Best ways to make use of limited space
There’s nothing that I like more than decorating a brand new apartment!
I like to say that empty room is for me what an empty canvas is for an artist – a challenge, but also an opportunity and a promise of creating something new and exciting. So, when a friend asked me to help her furnish and decorate her brand new apartment, I was absolutely thrilled.
We went to check the place out a couple of days later. It’s a nice place on the outskirts of Copenhagen. So, bathroom, kitchen and a 12 square meters living room – not exactly large, but also not too small. I loved the huge window and the general layout of the apartment, so I was pretty excited about what we had to work with. I quickly made some sketches, we browsed couple of online stores for a simple desk in bright ash, some chairs and a couple of lamps, just to get started.
Next time we visited the apartment, we got a couple of lamps, and brought boxes upon boxes of stuff from her old apartment. Books, clothes, framed pictures and whatnot. All of the sudden it became clear that neatly storing and organising everything will be rather challenging.
An exciting opportunity for decot experiments quickly turned into a nerve-wrecking experience on a tight schedule. We had around 20 days to completely furnish the apartment and prepare it for housewarming party and we practically haven’t even started! On top of that, even without any furniture whatsoever, the space started to look rather cramped and cluttered. But, it was a challenge accepted moment!
Getting rid of the clutter
When working with a limited space, you always have to try and stay aware of the spatial footprint of your furniture and try to ensure that light, airy feeling that will add a sense of space to a room that doesn’t offer much surface to work with. While doing so, you will be involved in a constant struggle to get rid of the clutter. So, the first step is to do it make a selection.
We all do it, keeping on a bunch of things that we might maybe find some use for in the future or which you just can’t part with just yet. With my friend, the main issue was books. Old books from the uni days, second-hand novels bought who knows when, birthday gifts, forgotten borrowed magazines… A whole bunch of stuff. So, the first thing we did was sort all these out and make a selection of those worth keeping. In the process, we at least halved the clutter that awaited us in the apartment.
Furniture with tapered or skinny legs
Next step was going back to the wishlists at our favourite furniture stores. We picked furniture with legs only, avoiding broad bases that can take up much of the floor, making the room appear even smaller. Slim or tapered furniture legs will not only clear up additional floor space, but will also allow the light to flow through the room, giving it a spacious and light vibe.
Use vertical lines
Vertical lines are highly efficient at drawing the eye upwards and creating an additional sense of space. Some nice curtains of just the right length so they don’t touch the floor did the trick on one side, while a nice cabinet was chosen for the wall next to it.
Oh, and a note on cabinets and cupboards – always choose those with legs in order to keep the floor free. And avoid tall models that will fill in a huge chunk of space from the ceiling to the floor as they can make the room seem significantly smaller.
Use bright and sophisticated colour scheme
Colour is a very powerful tool when it comes to décor, regardless of your preferred interior design style or the room that you are working on. The trick is to be clever and choose colour palette that is just right for your situation.
In this case, we decided to go with light, natural colours combined with reflective metallic surfaces in order to further contribute to that sense of space that we were after. A bright and pale Scandi look for a Scandi home! Perfect!
Mirror, mirror on the wall
If there is one décor element that absolutely excels at adding spaciousness to a limited space it is a nice and stylish mirror. And I absolutely love them. We opted for a simple yet elegant floor mirror with a thin, rectangular and minimalist frame in pure white. It instantly made the room look lighter and airier.
Don’t forget the texture
If you are working with light colour palette and minimalist aesthetical expression which are the building blocks of Scandinavian style, you must be careful not to overdo it. Too much brightness everywhere and your stylish airy space might start looking a bit too sterile. However, this is something that can be easily fixed with adding a bit of texture and character to the room.
My favourite fix for this issue are plants. Stylish plant pots can add so much expression to a room, while a touch of natural green is just perfect for stylish and minimalist room. However, my friend wasn’t too happy about this idea – with more or less constant travels, just watering the plants can be a bit problematic. And without the wish to go for the plastic ones, we decided to go for a different solution.
So, we ended up getting a pendant lamp with a lovely textured shade that added so much character to the room. On top of that, I remembered I had some old 60s concert poster in a rustic white wooden frame with peeling colour. It served as a perfect addition that gave the room a distinct character and expression.