No room too small: interior design for tight living spaces

A small trick with a big impact: Making rooms look bigger

Bright dining roomInterior design is the art of designing spaces. Various stylistic devices such as colour and lighting are used for this purpose. The choice of furniture plays an equally significant role as the choice of wall colour(s), the manner in which the flooring is laid or the use of mirrors, pictures or possibly room dividers.

Light colours make the room look bigger. This effect can be magnetised by combining wall colours that are as light as possible with a darker floor. If the ceiling is then also emphasised using a white strip between the ceiling and the wall, the space looks even bigger. If you want to use patterns on your wall, avoid ones that are too large or very colourful. Such patterns can quickly suffocate a small room. The same applies to an excessive mix of styles, which can quickly make small spaces in particular look cluttered. A clear and as puristic design as possible is often more suited to showcasing tight living spaces and making the space at least appear roomier.

Another important stylistic device is lighting. If space is restricted, windows are also often not present. As already mentioned, dark rooms appear smaller than bright rooms. Therefore, the window, as the light source, should be put to the best possible use: If you want curtains, use light, transparent materials that allow as much light as possible into the room. In addition, lots of diffused light sources can help the overall effect of the space, as they prevent any dark corners. Also, zones with differing levels of brightness make the room look bigger. Uplights are also a good choice because they use the ceiling as a reflector and create the optical illusion of a larger room.

Making the best use of tight spaces – but how?

Nevertheless, making a small space appear larger through optical stylistic devices and actually employing clever design to use the space in the best possible way despite its limitations are two different things. There’s only one thing that can help, and that’s well thought-through products and interiors items that make up for the lack of space with their clever design.

Thankfully the design industry is very imaginative in this area: From stacked solutions that save storage space, like the kitchen set Nest series by Joseph & Joseph, clever 2-in-1 designs such as the SmartMat trivet and table holder from Eva Solo or space-saving design solutions that include the TriScale folding scale from Joseph & Joseph, designers around the world are focusing more and more on the problems posed by shrinking living spaces.
Kitchen nest series by Joseph & JosephStorage space is a major factor, because it makes it possible to keep things tidy. This is particularly important in small rooms, because if you don’t have much space, lots of individual items lying around the place can quickly make it look cluttered. That’s why a closet is the best friend of anyone who lives in a petite home. Not only does it provide the desired storage space, unlike open shelving it offers more options for keeping things tidy. If the closet is a light colour, it is suitable for use as a room divider without swallowing up the space.

Regardless of whether it’s a living room table or a place to eat, items of furniture that can be pushed together as modular pieces save lots of space. Furniture that offers additional uses is also practical. These could be a storage compartment in a living room table, a drawer under the bed, a sofa bed or a shelving unit that can also function as a room divider. A fairly new trend involves furniture that can be folded away or made to “disappear”. In small kitchens, for example, it is advantageous for the dining area to be temporary. For example, the dining space could take the form of a fold-away table top attached to the wall. If you combine this with folding chairs, you can hang these on the wall beside the table top to save space. This gives you lots more room to move around and you still have a place to eat when you need it.

Modern living roomAn impressive example of how to use a small amount of space in the best possible way has been created by the French KitoKo Studio. With its project “Maids Room Renovation” in Paris, the team of architects succeeded in transforming an 8 m2 room into a complete apartment with a space for sleeping and eating, storage space and cooking facilities as well as a bathroom. To make this little miracle possible, the principle of the Swiss pocket knife was used: Almost everything in the apartment from the bed to the seating area and the bookshelf can be folded away, pulled out or pushed back together as needed. The only thing that remains is a compact multi-functional wall with a tiled wet area.

However, most of you will probably have more than 8 square metres of living space available to you. That’s good, because otherwise you wouldn’t have any chance to treat yourself every now and then to one of the high-quality and innovative design products or inspiring books! If you want to find out even more about current developments, uses and fundamentals in the world of architecture and interior design, take a browse through the books in our Architecture category.

We hope that we have given you some inspiration!

Posted on 25.05.2016

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