Tiny interior spaces presenting you with big design problems? Gail Taylor of th2 Designs lends her expert advice on how to make the most of small homes….
1. Don’t fail on scale
The biggest mistake that people make when designing for a small home is to get the scale of the furniture wrong. They either cram in so much that it loses its function, or choose furniture that is too small. That said, hanging up over-scaled artwork is a great way to instantly add character.
2. Make an impact
For a modern take on a feature wall use tongue and groove or panelling and apply a dark shade, like a rich blue or grey. Patterned tiles on the floor in a small bathroom inject some fun, while subway tiles laid in a herringbone formation make a space feel larger. I also love textured vinyl wallpapers.
3. Don’t skimp
Using high quality finishes and materials are key. Perspex sockets look expensive and give continuity, showing the paint or wallpaper underneath. Invest in proper lighting and use interesting wall lights and drop lights with spotlights to highlight a particular feature like a niche in the wall.
Squeeze every inch from a room with clever solutions. For example, when designing a holiday home that needed to have the capability to squeeze in extra guests, we created a bespoke bunk bed that looks like a stylish extension of the room when not in use.
5. Continuity is key
Curtain the whole wall rather than just the window – this creates an illusion of space by not breaking up the wall and also means you can put the bed in front of a window if necessary.
TOP TIP: Built-in furniture is often considered a luxury, but in a small room it should be a priority as it can make a big difference in terms of how the space is used. It can also hide mess and establish a sense of calm and order. A cleverly designed built-in unit is so versatile and can incorporate the bed, wardrobe, storage and bookshelf, something that isn’t readily available with freestanding furniture.