Small Lounge Ideas

Our Top 10 Tips From Interior Design Gurus, Homewings

With space at a premium, most of us are now living in compact footprint homes and are faced with the dilemma of finding furniture and storage solutions for small spaces. But compact doesn’t mean designing a small space is impossible. Being clever with colour, materials, furniture design, plants and layout can all maximise your space, making it look larger to the eye.

To help show you the way, we’ve teamed up with online interior design gurus, Homewings, to bring you their top tips and tricks to transforming your small spaces into a showstopper, without breaking the bank.

Floor to ceiling windows looking out to garden

HACK 1: GO VERTICAL

Vertical lines are a fundamental part of giving your space a sense of height. By using a linear wallpaper print or adding a tall lamp or lengthy mirror, you’re diverting your sight line away from the main body of the room to the emptier heights of the ceiling. Look for tall multi-functional furniture designs that incorporate multiple levels of shelving upwards, allowing the floor to remain clear and appear larger to the eye. If you’re renting, you can find many designs that are freestanding or lean against a wall so it doesn’t involve a large amount of DIY. If you can fix to walls, look to incorporate wall lights, hooks, floating shelves – these will all make dead wall space more practical and have a purpose while keeping the floor clear.

Wooden shelving unit with vases

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HACK 2: FLOOR FILLER

This is a great hack and one we use in our designs a lot. If you need small space ideas, then try incorporating an oversized rug as a base to the room that will spread beneath most of your furniture (such as sofa, coffee table and armchair). This makes the room appear wider to the eye and gives the illusion of more space whereas a smaller rug size can sometimes highlight the smaller footprint of a room.

Living room and dining room with oversized black and white rug

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HACK 3: BRING THE OUTSIDE IN

Against a plain backdrop a large plant is enough to make a statement without making the space feel crowded, plus its foliage will bring softness to a room. If you prefer smaller plants, group them in odd numbers such as 3 or 5. You can arrange them on shelves and countertops to free up vital floor space and add depth to your walls.  As an additional benefit, plants remove pollutant gases, leaving you with cleaner air to breathe! So style plants in every room of your home, it’ll be great for your health and wellness.

Plant pots inside a home

HACK 4: TIDY AWAY THE CLUTTER

Clutter can really clog up a space and make it feel claustrophobic and messy, especially in small spaces. To make a room look bigger than it is, it needs to feel light, clean and airy. Try instead to store away items you don’t need on display in stylish storage – hand woven baskets, under-bed storage boxes or coffee tables with extra storage. They’re all easy options that allow you to hide clutter away quickly but still on hand when you need it.  Then you can use the sides or shelves to make deliberate design decisions – maybe one vase of flowers on a sideboard, or a few books and a trinket on a shelf, don’t feel like you have to fill every space and side. A good declutter is also known to cleanse the mind and reduce stress!

Wooden storage unit with ceramics on top

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HACK 5: SYMMETRY

Symmetry creates a feeling of balance, calmness and stability. The human brain loves balance, whether it’s perfectly symmetrical or asymmetrical. Why? Well it’s because it is all around us in nature; flower petals, hexagonal honeycombs and even the radial symmetry of a starfish. In the home, symmetry is created by simply splitting a room down the middle and mirroring one side on the other, whereas asymmetry can be created by using the repetition of similar forms, lines and colours, i.e, the room is not mirrored but, for example, you may have a sofa on one side and two occasional chairs on the other.

HACK 6: BE BOLD

One of the strongest tools that interior designers use when curating a unique interior environment is the trick of placing two designs close together with contrasting effect. In other words, combining contrasting elements – themes, materials, colours or objects – that may not naturally occur together, thus creating a bold visual impact within a space. Creating this statement will immediately draw the eye so that you are less focused on the actual size of the room and more engaged with the furnishings. The key thing to remember is that in order for an object or zone that is guided by this principle to truly stand out however, is to take into consideration rhythm, balance and scale as opposed to merely blending a range of finishes, styles or elements – and this is normally where interior designers come in!

Yellow armless sofa in a living room

HACK 8: MIRRORS, MIRRORS, MIRRORS

Mirrors amplify both space and light, making them ideal for giving breathability to a small space. Place your mirror strategically to fulfil your goal, whether it’s to act as a statement centrepiece, deflect sightlines from crowded areas or opposite windows to brighten a naturally dark area. Mirrors are particularly useful for providing light and space to awkwardly shaped rooms – don’t be shy to use more than one in a room!

Black mirror above storage unit

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HACK 9: MAKE USE OF NATURAL LIGHT

Put simply – the lighter a space, the larger it appears. Natural light is the key to making a space feel comfortable and enjoyable, however this is sometimes limited, particularly in densely built areas. So, to make most use of the light you have available look to invest in skinny framed or glass furniture that allows all-important daylight to flow right through a room, rather than heavier set furniture that blocks and punctuates a room. Light woods, light colours and metallic surfaces are also your friend here that will all help reflect light and give a more spacious feel to a space.

Window seat with colourful cushions and throws

HACK 10: GET LEGGY

Furniture that’s upholstered all the way to the floor can swallow up a room fast. Opt for open pieces that are supported by slim legs—they will feel lighter and airier. The more floor you can see, the bigger the room feels as light is able to flow through the space creating a ‘loftier’ vibe. Feel free to blend the types of legs supporting the furniture – furniture legs can be straight or flared out so mix and match the styles that suit you.

Leather armchair and wooden floor lamp

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Feeling inspired? Homewings will be hosting special design consultations in our Tottenham Court Road and Westfield London flagship stores throughout February and March.

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We’ve also got a competition running with Homewings that allows one lucky winner the chance to get a free Full Design Service with an interior designer and £5,000 worth of Habitat furniture.

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