Unless you’re heir to a fortune comprising more than a Skoda and a suburban bungalow (or you’re living in a part of the country where your nearest neighbours are sheep, not people), chances are you occupy less space than your childhood hamster did.
Keeping your cluttered home looking as well-appointed as your wardrobe is a difficult enigma to crack. But fear not – we’ve searched far and wide to bring together six definitive tips that’ll help you maximise the space in your home. So no more tripping over the lead to your straighteners (go on, admit it, you have a pair somewhere – right?)
1. Turn Your Furniture Into Storage
The ‘box room’ is a bygone. The days when property prices were so low it meant you could dedicate a room – an entire room – to just storing stuff are sadly no more.
In 2016, it’s all about hiding things inside your chairs/tables/beds/literally anything. “By having lift-up lids on bench tops you can benefit from quite a bit of storage inside,” says interior designer Audrey Whelan.
Creativity doesn’t have to stop there: “In a recent project we maximised space further by putting in a cat litter tray with a cat flap on the end of the bench,” says Whelan. Aspiring cat café owners, take note.
2. Go Bespoke
Like a tailored suit cinches your waist and broadens your shoulders, so too tailored furniture makes the most of what you’ve got to work with.
“Where possible, opt for tailor-made built-in storage, which will maximise the space of often under-used areas of the home,” says Sheena Notley-Griffiths, head of studio at Helen Green Design. That gap from the end of your bed to your wall? Ample space for a few more suits.
3. Choose Your Furniture Wisely
Make the most of the space you have by choosing furniture that multitasks. “Consider using multifunctional pieces wherever you can,” says Gail Taylor, managing and creative director at Th2 Designs.
“We have recently specified a dressing table that can double as a desk space and an end-of-sofa bookcase that works as a table too.”
Helen Green Design
4. Make Use Of Every Nook And Cranny
Even if you don’t have fitted furniture, a strategically placed shelf can do the job. “The often forgotten space between a door or window frame and your ceiling can be an excellent spot for an additional shelf or horizontal cabinet,” says Rob Owen, senior interior designer at The Manser Practice.
“These are great areas to store items that you don’t use day to day, like seasonal clothing or homeware.”
5. Max Out Mirrors
If you can’t magic up more space, you can at least create the illusion of it. “Hiding a kitchen behind doors in a living room is a great way to define your space,” says Sandra Drechsler, creative director at Taylor Howes.
“This can be done in a really chic way by using mirrored doors – giving the illusion of more space.”
6. Turn Your Clothes Into Works Of Art
Who said hats and shoes were just for wearing? If you’ve splashed out on some classic pieces, put them to work double-time – by putting them on display.
“Use everyday objects [as pieces of] feature art or sculpture,” says Taylor. “Mount your hat collection on the living room wall or create a decorative display of [grooming] products in your bathroom.” Cheaper than a Damien Hirst, that’s for sure.