Felicity Carter looks at how to optimise the available space in smaller flats by smartly selecting space-saving furniture and keeping rooms clear of clutter
If you’re wanting to maximise your space, whether it’s for your living or work area, there are some practical do’s and don’ts that can be applied. An easy win comes in the form of multifunctional or built-in furniture, as they will do all the hard work for you. Adaptable furniture that can be reconfigured, and that has more than one use—such as divan and sofa beds, storage coffee tables and foot stools—offer greater flexibility, and are particularly useful for smaller flats.
"Adaptable furniture that can be reconfigured—sofa beds, storage coffee tables and foot stools—offer greater flexibility"
A considered approach to the space is also key, ensuring furniture pieces that are in proportion with the size of the room will give a more spacious feeling rather than a confined appearance. Remember to use the wall area too—try incorporating a floating desk with shelving, for example—and have a cull of the clutter for a more streamline aesthetic.
Juliette Thomas, the founder and creative director of the London-based interior design and luxury furniture retail company, Juliette’s Interiors, has been designing and offering up unique interior solutions and furnishings since 2005. With her wealth of experience with private residential customers, who better to ask then, for expert space-saving furniture tips.
1. Get an adjustable dining table
No matter the size of our homes, many of us love to entertain—and, therefore, a larger dining table is key. In small properties, a large table isn’t always the solution, as it limits the overall space. You therefore need to introduce furniture that adjusts as you do.
Opting for an extendable dining room table which can be easily adjusted, whether it’s for working from home or for when friends and family come over, will give you total flexibility throughout the year. Ensure the design is easy to assemble, not too cumbersome and gives plenty of room to grow when you most need it.
2. Maximise space underneath
Dual-purpose or multi-functional furniture is vital in small homes to maximise on available space, so think outside the box when selecting larger pieces. In the bedroom, an Ottoman bed is essential for space-saving, boasting plenty of room underneath for clothes, spare bedding or shoes which can then be easily hidden away.
"In the bedroom, an Ottoman bed is essential for space-saving, with room underneath for clothes, spare bedding or shoes"
I’d advise choosing a bed with an easy opening and closing system so you or other members of your household aren’t battling with it! In the living room, choose a coffee table which has built-in storage underneath so you can hide away your laptop, games or paperwork. A smart use of space, as well as an easy-to-reach destination for everyday items.
3. Look to the walls
Ensuring your floor space remains clear and uncluttered is an effective way of helping a room feel larger—therefore functional furniture doesn’t always need to be based on the floor. Instead, utilise the walls in your home and introduce floating furniture to avoid restricting useable space in each room.
I would avoid choosing larger pieces of furniture for this as it can have the opposite effect, so instead, opt for smaller pieces of furniture. From floating shelves and minimalist bedside tables to a desk or dressing table, rather than incorporating traditional furniture with legs, floating furniture opens up the space and allows for more fluidity and movement.
4. Size isn’t everything
It may be tempting to go for the largest sofa or bed possible, however, this will have a negative effect on the feeling and ambience of your home. Oversized furniture immediately makes a room feel cramped and small, which isn’t ideal if your home is limited on space anyway.
"Ensure you can walk around both sides of your bed or sofa to make a room more functional and aesthetically pleasing"
Instead, ensure your bed or sofa fits comfortably and you can walk around both sides to make a room more functional and aesthetically pleasing. Avoid pushing the furniture up against the wall at all costs!
5. Incorporate sliding doors
When space is limited, regular doors that open and close can easily eat into your available space. By introducing furniture with sliding doors, you will immediately save on space and be able to move much easier.
From fitted wardrobes to sideboards and TV units, sliding doors are more streamlined, sleeker and modern— plus, they can be paired with an array of interior design styles to suit a variety of looks.
For more information, visit juliettesinteriors.co.uk
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