When you have more stuff than you do space, you ultimately have three options:
- Do a cull (Marie Kondo would approve!)
- Box up your stuff and either store it under the house, rent out a storage space, or offload it onto a very generous family member
- Optimise the space you already have.
Alternatively, you could opt for a combination of these options. We are 1825 Interiors, though, so you likely already know the solution we’re here to bat for. If your home is on the cosier side, you may be wondering how you can make the most of your limited surface area. Read on for design tricks and space-saving ideas for when you’re working with a smaller space—or for when you want to milk a space for all its worth.
DESIGN TRICKS FOR A SMALL SPACE
In cosier homes, it pays to make every square centimetre count. A great way to do this is to plot an open floor plan. Taking inspiration from this modern architectural trend pays off from both a visual and practical perspective. Let’s illustrate this point with a few space-saving furniture ideas:
Befriend storage benches
If you live in a small space, storage boxes are your friends. A storage box is a place to sit and a place to store blankets by the bed. Whatever you choose to stuff them with, these dual-purpose furniture pieces store a lot more stuff than a bench without a storage compartment. To really optimise your space, place them along the length of your bed or sofa.
There may be blankets in here—or there may not be. Storage benches are so stealthy, you may miss that they even store! Image: 1825 Interiors
Give your sofa a hardbacked look with a bookshelf
You could place your low bookshelf against the wall—or you could place it back-to-back against your sofa. Think about it! Not only are you saving wall space, but you’re adding an aesthetic surface to your sofa setup. A bookshelf is a great place to store stray trinkets or to display home décor or lamps. Plus, if you don’t feel a hankering for a coffee table, a bookshelf could be all you need to fill that surface-shaped hole.
Choose pieces proportionate to the room in question
Although this is an overarching guideline rather than a specific design trick, it’s worth noting that you should dress something to its true size. One person’s XL t-shirt is another person’s art smock, after all. In a similar vein, an oversized or extended sofa won’t look great in a smaller home. You need to choose furniture that fits whatever space you’re working with. At 1825, we have a selection of occasional chairs fit for any corner of the house. In the interests of segregated seating, you can browse our single-seaters here
Image: 1825 Interiors
Our Lavish Day Bed is also a great compromise for cosy spaces—though, admittedly, it’s hardly a compromise. True, it has just one seat, but it’s tailor-made for a couple—or two snuggly besties. Speaking of tailor-made, did we mention this seat is customisable? Order your Lavish Day Bed in one of five combinations of feathers or foam and also get free rein on the fabric. You can choose from our entire Warbrick fabric range or from a selection contributed to by other leading suppliers.
Choose a bed with a storage compartment
At 1825 Interiors, we don’t have much in the way of space-saving beds for small rooms. However, one of our favourite space-saving bedroom ideas is to invest in a bed with a storage compartment. Our Elsie bed frame is fit for a queen but features a storage drawer at the base. Easy to pull out, this drawer is like a built-in blanket box where you can store bedclothes or even a spare pair of shoes. Whatever you pop in the space, this storage solution is the neater alternative to plonking things under the bed.
The Elsie queen bed frame with its drawer extended.
If you’re working with a smaller space, there’s never been a better time to embrace minimalism. Minimalist interior design stems from the philosophy of retaining only that which is necessary, unlocking a space that is equal parts stylish and functional. It’s a strategy to combat clutter and embrace clean lines, which lends to a cleaner space and a clearer head. In this case, minimalism is your best bet from a practical and aesthetic perspective. Add only what you need and find form in the lines and shapes of simpler, less striking furniture.
Store smaller or bulk items in jars or containers
Though you can do this in any room of the house, this tip is one of our most significant space-saving kitchen ideas. You know all those unopened bags of sugar or pasta or herbs that are cluttering your kitchen? A much more space-efficient way to store them is to pour them into glass jars or plastic containers. You can also apply this principle to any other small items in any other room of the house.
You know those unopened pens and pencils sitting in your study? Remove them from their packaging and place them in a pen holder. You know those fancy soaps and bath bombs sitting by the bath unused? Group them together in a basket—perhaps our Samana Kubu Rattan Basket?
A rattan basket for a rustic touch by the bath. Image: 1825 Interiors
Whilst packaging takes up space, grouping items together is an aesthetic, space-saving game-changer. For an alternate take on this tip, why not ask yourself why your home holds so much unopened packaging? Perhaps you could curate a small or sizable donation for your local op shop. To declutter is to save the most space of all!
LET’S GET COSY
In cosier spaces, you only have so much space to work with. It’s important to optimise space wherever possible. You can do this by trimming down the flourishes to embrace open-plan or minimalist interior design. You can do this by opting for furniture with hidden storage compartments at every opportunity. You can do this by finding ways to group items or furniture together in a way that still looks like a stylistic choice.
However you go about it, remember our space-saving ideas operate in a way akin to stylish Tetris. If everything fits together in a way that works, you can play on. However, if you force too many incompatible items together, they quickly become clutter, and you’ll likely reach game over. Push it too far, and it may be time to do a cull or start the game over.