6 clever design ideas for compact living

Whether you live in a small space, or just have a small area in your home that needs attention, there are clever design ideas to get everything to fit and make it feel larger.

1. Right size rug

Just because your space may be small, doesn’t mean your rug should be. A small rug can make a room look even smaller, so choose one that’s large enough so that most of the furniture can sit on it. This will draw the eye to the full width and length of the room.

The Massachusetts rug from Source Mondial is woven by hand from a special blend of natural undyed wool and viscose.

2. Be brave with colour

While white may seem the obvious colour for small space to create an airy feel, dark colours can add depth and coziness because they reflect less light. The key to colour is to keep to a limited colour palette.

3. Clever storage

Storage is always a problem in small spaces, so it’s important to be inventive. Over the door storage is a great option, such as shoe racks if cupboard space is lacking. A slimline shoe cabinet can be added to any spare space, such a hallway or entrance for shoes that you only wear occasionally. Hooks on the wall and floating shelves are simple ways to add more options. And always choose furniture that provides hidden storage.

4. Floating Furniture

Floating furniture frees up valuable floor space and looks fabulous too. From floating consoles to cabinets, from vanities to seating, the choice is endless. This floating desk is great for quickly checking emails or writing notes.

Compact Living is the new Rexa Design collection, a system of furniture, washbasins, mirrors and accessories for small spaces

5. Create an optical illusion

There are design tricks you can use to make a space look bigger. Floor to ceiling curtains hung above the window make ceilings look higher as can vertical stripes, a big mirror can create the look of more space, and wall-mounted lights use the least space possible.

Audrey mirror from Studio Italia has minimal design but maximum impact

6. Low-profile furniture

If low ceilings are cramping your style, look for low profile furniture which can create the look of higher ceilings.

The Gant pouf by Vitttorio Prato for Studio Italia is a great example of low profile, stylish seating which can also double up as a surface

5 designs we’re coveting right now

Multifunctional furniture is what we are coveting right now, and these pieces work hard and look fabulous.

Extra time at home may have changed the way you use your house. Many of us have totally reorganised the furniture, trying to get it to work and look better. These pieces help your space work a little harder, while looking fabulous.

Calamo Desk
The Calamo Desk (available from Studio Italia) has a steel frame with a top that comes in black, chrome or graphite. As well as using it as a desk or writing table, it works well as a console or entrance table. The desk also features a handy storage space that is accessed by a drop-leaf opening.

Barolo Bar Cabinet
Now our home is also doubling as a bar/restaurant, the stylish Barolo Bar Cabinet (available from Coco Republic) is on our wish list. Simple forms and luxe materials, close the doors and you have also have a display area.

Hamptons Brass & Glass Hanging Hexagonal Light
Now the days are getting shorter and we are spending time indoors, good lighting becomes a valuable asset. The Hamptons Brass & Glass Hanging Hexagonal Light (available from Leopold Hall) not only looks like a work of art it provides a warm glow to your home.

Medici Bed
If you are getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night that equates to nearly 3000 hours a year. Investing in a good bed is always a good idea, for if you’re looking for something luxurious and grand you can’t go past the Medici Bed by Vittoria Frigerio (available from Trenzseater).

Vintage Persian Rug
Now that it’s getting cold, it is time to cover up the floorboards and tiles with a rug. Rugs also brighten up a room, create a zone in an open-plan space and can tie a theme together. The ultimate in up-cycling, Source Mondial have a collection of vintage Persian rugs that have been reworked by artisan rug makers to give them a new lease of life. Each rug is a one-of-a-kind vintage piece with designs complimenting both contemporary and traditional interiors.