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6 Steps to Stylish, Compact Living

Whatever the size of your home, make it feel more spacious with perfectly proportioned furniture, ingenious storage solutions and space-enhancing accessories. Keep reading for our favourite small house interior design ideas.
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1. Keep sofas and chairs in proportion

An outsized sofa in a small living room is sure to make it feel cramped. Choose seating in proportion to your space such as a small sofa or cuddle chair. Sofas and chairs with slim arms seat more people in less space, and sofas with legs create a feeling of space around them. Space around furniture creates an uncluttered look that’s perfect for making the most of small homes. Place sofas, sofa beds and chairs away from your walls if you can, and make sure there’s enough room between your sofa and coffee table or side table. Corner sofas are always a popular small home idea as very little space is wasted. Compact corner sofas will also define a small seating area in a larger open plan space.

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2. De-clutter the bedroom

The bedroom’s where we need to relax, but too often can end up as a dumping ground if your home is short on space. That’s why having a place for everything is so important. For stylish compact living in a small bedroom, go for a double or small double bed with storage – drawers in a divan bed or ottoman storage. And remember, a lower bed takes up less space than a bed that’s high off the ground. Instead of a large dressing table, opt for a shallow console table which can double up as a desk. Slider wardrobes maximise storage space without taking up too much space in a bedroom. Keep bedside cabinets narrower and bedside lamps smaller scale, and don’t have more furniture in the room than is absolutely necessary.

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3. Choose an extending dining table

Every home needs a place to share food and conversation – but when space is limited, finding a dining table that fits can be a challenge. But with a few clever small house interior design ideas, you can create a room that feels more spacious. For a smaller dining area choose an extending dining table so that when guests leave, it’s not taking up more space than it needs to. You can find extending dining tables in every style – from marble to rustic wooden or industrial style. In a kitchen or a kitchen diner, a flip top dining table is a versatile choice, as it literally doubles in size. Or choose a folding table that can tuck against the wall for truly compact living. Round dining tables take up less space, and it’s easier to walk around them in an open plan area. You can even find round glass dining tables that extend, perfect in a modern home.

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4. Zone your living space

One of the most popular small homes interior design ideas is zoning. If you have a room that’s multi-functional, it will appear bigger divided into distinct ‘zones’. And by that we don’t just mean putting the dining table at one end and the sofas and chairs at the other! Where you place your coffee table or sofa matters, but more than that is needed to really separate out the different areas visually. Real or artificial plants or display cabinets can be used as room dividers, while carefully placed rugs and floor lamps can mark out a relaxation area. Even where you place wall art and mirrors plays a role.

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5. Get clever with storage

When you consider storage for a smaller room, remember you can go up as well as across. Modular storage, ladder shelving and funky open shelved display units can go high, saving space in small homes. Taller, narrower cabinets can sit neatly in alcoves. Find sideboards or console tables that are shallow, so they don’t encroach too much on floor space. And don’t forget to look for furniture that includes storage, from ottoman footstools and storage coffee tables to beds with drawers. In the bedroom, slider wardrobes and bi-fold door wardrobes take up less space and you’d be surprised how much you can hide away in them. Read our article on small bedroom storage ideas for more inspiration.

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6. Choose space enhancing accessories

Another top small homes idea is to use mirrors to increase the light in a room and create the illusion of more space. Place a mirror opposite a window to reflect in the daylight, or behind a lamp to double the warmth and light from it. A mirror in a narrow hallway makes it seem wider and is practical too, for that last check before you leave the house. Rugs draw the eye and can make a space seem bigger. You can also play tricks with lighting. Never rely on one light source, place wall lights to make the most of corners and alcoves. Finally, lots of small knick-knacks make any room feel cluttered – instead choose a few statement accessories to add the ‘wow’ factor. Just because a space is small, does not mean it needs to feel that way. By making just a few compact living changes, you can transform any room in your home into an organised, airy place you’ll just love to relax in. For more tips and tricks, check out our small homes hub, including advice on making the most of small bedrooms.

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Hints & Tips Guides
Want more space at home? You’re not alone! Our survey of 2000 homeowners reveals how people feel about the size of their homes, and how they make the most of their space, from clever storage to multifunctional furniture.
Design Inspiration
Versatile, beautiful, incredibly chic and sophisticated – no wonder grey is the neutral of choice in the world of interiors.
Design Inspiration Hints & Tips
Live in harmony with a place for everything, and everything in its place. Read on for ingenious storage solutions that are as stylish as they are practical.