Jane Field- Lewis shares her top tips to making the most of your small living space
With property prices skyrocketing people are making the most of every bit of space available to them by sprucing up their spare rooms, beach huts and garden sheds.
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to decorating a small living space, the obvious solution being to paint it all white and include minimal furniture. But with a little creativity, you can do something much more exciting!
So, here are some top tips from author and Amazing Spaces’ presenter Jane Field-Lewis to help you maximise your small living space and turn it something spectacular…
When it comes to small area’s it’s not how little space you have but how you use it. Hunt around for multi-functional furniture and where possible look for inventive ways to create your own.
‘While I was working on Amazing Spaces I was privileged to see many brilliant ideas, one was dreamed up by the owners of a small boat, they made each step of the stairs into storage cupboards. Multi-functional genius!’
‘Glass walls, mirrored furniture and other reflective surfaces can create the illusion of space when it’s limited.’
Placing one large statement mirror against a wall is a quick and effective way to magnify an area and add light.
‘Realise that if you haven’t used something in the last 12 months then you probably don’t need it. For everything else, give it a place it can go back to after you’ve used it.’
The key to pulling off lots of patterns and contrasting colours is to look for commonality.
‘If there is one thing in common it doesn’t really work, but two or three and you can mix collections. Try to stick to a 3 colour maximum, any more and you’ll need to be very confident,’ advises Jane
Older textiles and textures can bring an eclectic edge to modern objects and art.
‘Look for commonality in the structure and theme of items, that way placing them together will always work.’ says Jane
‘Light, bright and simple colour palettes are often the most popular with small areas as they create a sense of space.’ However with statement wallpaper and colourful prints making a comeback it can be tempting to shun a plain white wall in favour of something with a bit more personality.
To stop busy wallpaper from becoming overwhelming Jane recommends using a small piece of black to break it up.
‘If I’m using a lot of colour or contrasting prints, I will work in a little bit of black.’ It can be a single small object such as a picture frame or a larger piece of furniture but either way ‘it will pull the room together.’
Lighting is key but doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag.
plays a major role in creating the right atmosphere and the illusion of
space. If done well it can become a piece of art itself. Something as
simple and affordable as fairy lights can make an area homely and
welcoming.’ says Jane
Charity shops can be treasure troves of interesting pieces if you know where to look. ‘Head to south coastal area’s with a more gentile demographic such as Eastbourne or Southend.’ suggests Jane. ‘These are the type of places where people got proper wedding presents and where you could pick up a genuine 50’s tea set for £20.’
Make the most of the area directly outside your shed, camper van or beach hut, to dramatically expand the space available to you.
‘Whether it’s a yard, deck, or entranceway it should always be given a bit of attention. Making an awning, finding some good weatherproof chairs and lanterns have the effect of expanding space and linking the inside to outside,’ suggests Jane.
For more expert tips from Jane visit her blog mycoolhomepage.com or check out My Cool Shed: An Inspirational Guide to Stylish Hideaways, £11.99 (Pavilion 2012)