The Interior Designer Toolbox for Small Spaces.

Every Interior designer has a tool box full of ideas and solutions to help bring your home ideas to life.  These tools change when working with small spaces as we look to create illusions and clever tricks to fool the eye. For now, we are going to draw back the curtain and inspire you with our toolbox full of ideas to make your small space 'You Ready’ in other words, beautiful.

Be Emotionally Stable.

When starting any project you want to be sure you are jumping off a stable design platform.  If you try and make the room too many things, to too many people, chaos will reign. Being 'disturbingly eclectic' is to be avoided here. Emotionally intelligent interiors often resonate because their simplicity reflects nature.  So this room needs to communicate your emotions clearly for your aspirations to happen.

To begin, ask these 2 questions.
1) What do I functionally need to do in this room?
2) How do I want to feel while doing it?

For example, your bedroom is for sleeping and reading, so you want to feel relaxed, soothed, cocooned, welcomed. At the same time, you will want to get up (maybe) and get ready, so you will also want to feel refreshed, crisp, and downright glamorous.  These aspirations for the room will form the base of your overall design.

So, how do you want to feel?
Sophisticated. Edgy. Relaxed. Powerful. Capable. Cheerful. Inspired. Sensual. Elegant.
Take your time for this is a important step in making your small space a pleasure to live in.

Colour Ways

One of the best ways of expressing emotion in a small space is by using colour. Research abounds on the relationship between colour and emotion but as a basic example, consider how you feel happy when you see the sun, and cautious when it is dark. That is because the way our environment looks evokes an emotional reaction from us.

So decide how much emotion you need in the room.

For the Classicists among us. Go Light.
Light colours will make your room look bigger because they reflect more light. The closer it is to white, the more light it will reflect and the bigger the room will look.

For the Disruptors among us. Go Dark.
Dark colours work magic in a room because they blur the lines from where one wall ends, and another begins, making it hard for the eye to know how big the room really is.

Get Horizontal

For achieving a more spacious feel in your room, horizontal lines will be your best friend as they highlight the distance between the walls.
Pursue this friendship with a passion and let nothing escape you.
Horizontal flooring
Horizontal panelling and moulding
Horizontal art and accessories
Horizontal patterns in your fabric choices.
Horizontal pets.

Hoarders Beware

Sorry, but you knew this was coming.
Grandmas tennis racket has to go...unless she was seeded, blond and Slavic.
The more things you have in a room, the smaller it will look.
So the fewer the knickknacks and pieces of furniture in the room, the better.
That does not include mirrors; you can have lots of those. The reflective quality fools the eye into thinking there is more space beyond. Which can't be said for those among us who keep looking in them. Select a few statement pieces, and don't be afraid of large furniture, just make sure it is long and low, and placed against the narrowest wall.

The Right Touch

Visual texture is when something looks like it would feel to touch.
Rough. Smooth. Shiny. Matte. Soft. Bumpy.
Although it is the last thing we notice, it will add depth and subtlety to your room.
The more noticeable the texture, the smaller the room will feel so take care and choose wisely. 
A whisperer is better than a screamer in a small space.

Storage Rules

We will inspire your storage woes with a little 17th Century Genius...

'A place for everything and everything in its place'

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
So our suggestions are:

  • Only store what you need. Refer Hoarders Beware.
  • Have a home for each item. Select and measure your 'must have' items. Remember to include the items in plain sight and the items hidden from view. Small spaces take no prisoners.
  • Make the items home easy to use. And we mean easy. 

A teenagers argument for the 'floordrobe' is a strong one.
Now shop to that list. The storage solution world is a big one so go knock yourself out on beautiful shelves, drawers and designer hooks.
 

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Stay a While

In this day and age we can get caught up in first impressions, but in a small room, you need to think about your extended stay vantage points. When planning your small room try and keep these things in mind: Traffic flow, access space, utility locations, and ways to encourage conversation flow. But most importantly, think about your lines of sight because if someone dares take their eyes off you, you want to be sure they are looking in a fabulous mirror.

 

Blog originally published for www.homeideas.co.nz