No space? No problem. Make the most of your living area with our six easy ways to maximise a small flat

Words Joy Montgomery

Living in an absurdly small flat is a sad reality – and almost rite of passage – for the majority of Londoners. Whether it’s navigating a studio flat solo, getting cosy with a partner or enduring a sardine-like situation in a flat share, it can be hard to find ways to keep your interiors pretty.

But fear not, because there are ways to make the most of your living space while still satisfying your aesthetic needs. From clever storage to space-amplifying mirrors, scroll down to discover six of our favourite chic space solutions.

EXPERIMENT WITH BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVES

Built in bookshelves are easy and cheap to put up and will transform any wall into a serious interiors statement. Stack up and cover your entire wall for full impact. Arrange your extensive book collection, display your nicknacks or slot in the odd storage box. Your options are limitless. Just make sure the shelves are painted the same colour as the wall to keep things looking light!

INCORPORATE MIRRORS

It’s basic maths: small room plus large mirror equals space doubled (well, visually at least). Suited to everything from bathrooms and bedrooms to living rooms and hallways, a seizable mirror will reflect light and give the illusion of a larger space. This means it’s particularly good for flats with small or few windows. For a light and storage double whammy, why not try a floor-to-ceiling mirrored wardrobe? Ideal for compact bedrooms with little wardrobe space.

INVEST IN MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE

When you live in a small apartment you don’t have the luxury to be frivolous with furniture. Make your bed, chairs and footstools work their hardest by making them multi-functional. If you’re a shopping addict opt for a bed with hidden wardrobe space, or if you’re struggling with a limited living room then look for an storage ottoman – coffee table, extra chair and magazine holder all in one. Hooray.

GET CREATIVE WITH STORAGE

As well as being savvy with your furniture it’s also important to be creative with your general storage. Identify areas in your flat that can be manipulated for this purpose – such under the stairs or along corridors – and find a way to work in storage. We love a good shoe cabinet: stylish yet effective, slim-lined yet roomy. Ideal for corridors in place of a sprawling shoe rack. Or simple things, like using the ledge on a staircase to line up books, can also be just as effective as buying a clever new storage unit. It’s time to think outside the box.

MAKE THE MOST OF WALL SPACE

When floor space is limited shelves are the small flat’s saving grace. Stack them high in your living room, pop them above the loo, nail one up above your sink or even (securely) use one to double up as a desk. We love slotting ours into those awkward corners of the room at right angles and piling high with pot plants.

LIGHTEN UP WITH BRIGHT WALLS

It’s rule number one of small flat decoration: embrace light colours. Everywhere. Painting both walls and ceilings a pale hue will offer the illusion of spaciousness and brightness, particularly in rooms with low ceilings. Reserve pops to colour for your furniture or wall art. Light doesn’t necessarily mean white however (which can sometimes wash out a room) so play around with swatches to find your perfect shade.

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