Make the most of your compact home by choosing the right furniture and using some clever hacks...
The best flexible furniture and narrow storage for small spaces
The dilemma of how to furnish small rooms and awkward corners to make the space feel bigger is one of the most difficult interior design challenges to solve. And it's a universal problem for tiny flat dwellers across London and beyond.
However, compact living doesn't have to mean compromising on style.
Following a 50 per cent increase in customer searches for 'small space furniture', homeware giant Habitat has joined forces with Homewings, a community of expert designers offering online advice and insider tips on making the most out of even the smallest of rooms.
For those needing help to solve a small space challenge, head to Habitat's Tottenham Court Road store this Saturday 30 March (11am-1pm), where Homewings and Habitat will be hosting a special interior design consultation. Take along photos and floorplans for the experts to help you plan your home redesign.
If you can't make it to an in-store appointment, here are five of the best small space hacks from the experts:
1. Slim down the sofa
One of biggest challenges of moving into a small flat or any property with a narrow doorway is being able to actually get large pieces of furniture, such as beds, sofas and wall units, inside.
It's not unheard of for entire window frames to be removed in order to squeeze in a bulky sofa.
"Sofas are one of the largest pieces of furniture in any home so if you're limited on space, think carefully about the style you're going for," says Cornelia de Ruiter, the founder of Homewings.
"One clever trick is to allow daylight to flow through a room — and easy access for awkward stairwells — is to invest in a sofa without any arms"
2. Flexibility is key
Open-plan layouts in modern flats and studios mean living areas and bedrooms can share the same space, so there's an art to ensuring these zones don't merge together.
One way to minimise wasted space is to invest is in a bed which folds up against the wall, or a day bed which can double up as a sofa.
"Multi-functional designs that provide two functions in a very small footprint will be your friend in a compact home. Dining tables are always space hungry, so if there are only two of you most days opt for a folding table design that will cater for you on a minimal footprint during the week but the can turn into a dinner party extraordinaire come the weekend," says de Ruiter.
Ideal in the bedroom or living room, this side table is made from solid oak with a cotton lampshade (Habitat)
3. Skinny frames
The Scandinavian-inspired, mid-century modern look continues to be a key interiors trend.
Key characteristics of the much-loved timeless look include low-sitting designs, clean lines and classic appeal, which helps to create the illusion of a much larger room.
Opting for skinny framed or glass furniture allows all-important daylight to flow right through a room, while heavier set furniture can block out the light, punctuating a room.
Light woods, colours and metallic surfaces all help to reflect light, which opens up a room and adds a more spacious feel.
4. Use mirrors to add light - and space
Mirrors add light to a room and make spaces look brighter and wider, so be sure to place them opposite a window to make the most of the reflections to brighten a naturally dark room.
Place your mirror strategically to act as a statement centrepiece, deflect sight lines from crowded areas or opposite windows to brighten a dingy area, suggests de Ruiter.
5. Add vertical lines to create height
Make the use of height to free up the floor space in open-plan spaces to eliminate clutter.
Put the belongings you don't use to often at the top of a cabinet with the everyday items more easy to reach at the bottom.
"Vertical lines are a fundamental part of giving your space a sense of height. By using a linear wallpaper print or adding a tall lamp or lengthy mirror, you’re diverting your sight line away from the main body of the room to the emptier heights of the ceiling," says de Ruiter.
"Look for tall multi-functional furniture designs that incorporate multiple levels of shelving upwards, allowing the floor to remain clear and appear larger to the eye."
Scroll through our gallery above to see the right furniture to help make the most of your compact home...