April 15, 2024

Small Space Big Ideas

Local interior designer Hannah Ashe works regularly with clients whose homes are short on space. She says, “The key is being creative with what’s available and making the most of every inch.” Here Hannah shares her top tips to give your small space an injection of creative thinking.

Embrace small and cosy

“Small spaces can be super-cosy. Embrace the tiny footprint and fill it with natural materials such as solid wood furniture, wool throws, jute rugs and tactile pottery to help give a warm, inviting feel. The addition of a few beautiful patterns on cushions can help to give a compact living room or bedroom a bijou feel. One of my favourite suppliers of beautiful cushions and rugs right now is the fantastic Sourced by Holly. The cushions pictured would bring a homely, hygge feel and a dose of bold colour to any small space!”

Where space is tight, use height

“Where space is at a premium, it’s a good idea to look upwards and consider using the full height of a wall and even the ceiling. In a kitchen where storage space is tight, suspend a rack from the ceiling where you can hang pots and pans or even some trailing plants. In properties with high ceilings, go for wall cupboards that go right up to the ceiling to fully maximise storage. The top shelves can be used to store items used less frequently. For renters, shop for the tallest shelving unit you can fit in. Bespoke joinery is a great way to ensure that all space is used to maximum effect.”

Make a statement with plants

“Plants bring life and warmth even to the smallest spaces. They improve air quality and boost well-being. Many houseplants available don’t require huge amounts of care and attention and some can even cope with very low light levels. I advise my clients on suitable plants for their homes as well as providing care instructions. Even in small spaces, go for the largest sized plants you can for maximum impact.”

Be bold with colour

“Bright colours make people happy. I encourage my clients to go with colours that make them feel good. Love pink? Go for it! Paint is relatively easy to change, so my philosophy is, what’s the worst that can happen? Contrary to popular opinion, painting the ceiling and woodwork in the same colour as the walls can make a space feel larger because the sense of line is blurred and everything blends together. Equally, just because a room is north facing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go dark with the colour.”

A small space doesn’t mean small thinking

“It’s easy to think that a small space can’t contain any large items, when in fact lots of smaller pieces of furniture can make a room feel cramped. Instead, go for one large feature piece such as a big sofa over several smaller chairs in a tiny living room. The same applies to pattern. A small room can be made to feel bigger with clever use of a bold pattern. Use it sparingly but to good effect. Wallpaper is a good way to inject pattern and colour and I love what @onetwothreehome has done with this beautiful lemon themed paper.”

Lamps, Lamps, Lamps

“In my opinion, you can never have too many lamps. If you are thinking about making changes to the electrics in your home or even re-wiring, always add more sockets than you think you need. You will never regret having plenty of plug points and these can be used to ensure you are able to add several lamps to a space to create beautiful lighting. Lighting can help to make a space feel bigger by accentuating certain areas. This works best when there are a variety of different type of light sources in a space.”

Hannah Ashe specialises in interior design inspired by nature and is passionate about creating beautiful, calm spaces which enhance well-being. Visit Hannah’s website and follow her on Instagram to learn more.

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