Small spaces

By Edilka Anderson

Modern urban living is trendy and ultra-convenient, but space is often a precious commodity. The key is to scale down and style up.

Whether your vibe is chic and compact or cute and cozy, a condo or loft can be configured to work brilliantly for a single dweller, professional couple or even a small family.

The trick is to employ what I refer to as “double-duty design.” Simply put, this involves selecting pieces that are multi-purpose, flexible and agile. To make it work you’ll need to think outside the box and consider the practicality of each piece before you let it into your life. Think Marie Kondo and ask yourself if an item ”sparks joy” in its organizational efficacy.

I often say “love it or leave it.” There’s no room for clutter. Detail rules when you have to make the most out of your small space, so think like a minimalist. A small table and a pair of colourful chairs might be all you need for everyday meals. Transparent surfaces that float in a room—think acrylic and glass furnishings—can also take up less real estate visually. Look for versatile neutrals to offset bolder pieces. Avoid confusion with well thought out storage for coats and shoes. It also pays dividends to invest in a stunning architectural piece or clever lighting that catches the eye.

Bold backdrops and separating screens are in vogue

Take a trendy loft space, for instance. The exposed rafters and rugged brick walls can create a bold backdrop for an industrial-style or contemporary kitchen with a breakfast bar or multi-purpose island and easy-to-store stools. Consider a screen as a way to create a sense of separation in an open space or to hide away a bedroom area or office space. An awkward alcove can become a hideaway for dishes, a mini library or a decorative shelf for keepsakes.

In some smaller spaces, creating a focal point is quite effective. You may have an affinity for a particular country such as Bali or India and choose to follow a boho lifestyle theme. Create spaces that are light and bright, and enhance feelings of calm and comfort.

Be bold and pick one or two fun and creative pieces that promise to make both you and your visitors smile. Moveable cubes, benches with storage baskets and bins can provide neat, tidy and attractive storage while also serving a variety of other functions. Accessorize with decorative pillows and plush throws, but don’t overdo it.

A restricted palette of a few complementary shades works best in petite apartments or condos, but be bold and go for a pop of colour in one area or add an accent wall with a bright hue or wallpaper. Try a mirror or a glass art piece to create an illusion of depth and light in your space.

Remember, it’s all about you. Whether your feel is urban modern meets traditional, Scandinavian or bohemian, your small home is, after all, still your castle.

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