The older I get, the more excited I am about chairs and vases and everything I thought was boring as a child. I’m house-proud and love creating warm and artistic spaces to relax in. Plus I work from home, so my small one-bed needs to work as a cosy space for my boyfriend and I, while also doubling up as an office for me during the day.
Anyone living in London knows that all too familiar eye-roll moment of looking at the mess due to lack of space and storage – I mean, my airing cupboard is full to the brim with old furniture, suitcases and seasonal clothes stacked up like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But there are a couple of tricks I’ve mastered which make my tiny London apartment work as a multifunctional space.
1. Space-saving furniture is a godsend.
Unless you’re a millionaire, London flats tend to be a little on the small side. Because I have such a small hallway, an L-shaped sofa was ideal because it broke into two parts, meaning that I could place them around the flat in such a way that didn’t take up any more space than necessary.
2. Faux plants are your friend.
Smaller apartments let less light in, and as such I’ve managed to kill around eight plants in the last two years. It has to be faux for me, and Ikea does some amazing ones that I have in the bedroom. They’re also a great way to hide other things – like that gorgeous exercise bike.
3. Rugs are the new artwork.
Keep them layered and in similar colours to create a souk feel. They create a focal point in any room and are ideal for decorating homes with wooden floors. My tan cow hide is an old one from Homesense, and the tapestry number is new-in from French Connection.
4. Keep artwork leaning.
I have them perched on the back of the sofa and on a low shelf in my hallway. It creates more of a gallery vibe – plus, there’s less DIY work to be done when we decide to sell. I have a few prints from Junique and Desenio, mixed with genuine artwork from the Affordable Art Fair.
5. Chairs are my new weakness.
Especially the old Indian-inspired rattan design. These chairs are from Lombok and remind me of a dining table set my grandparents had. I placed the two chairs opposite our velvet sofa, this way it makes the living room a more conversational space instead of focusing everything around the television. Additionally, this has become my work space, and it's perfect for when I have meetings in the flat.
6. Lamps and candles create small intimate spaces.
I never use the main light, ever. Floor lamps are placed on either side of the sofa, plus a brass double headed one from French Connection by the new rattan chairs. This makes everything so much cosier, especially when the place is so minimal. Jo Malone candles also burn in other areas where needed. And they are needed every night – they smell too good not to be!
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