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Squish-up – ideas and inspo for big style in a small sleeping space

Small on space doesn’t mean small on style. Create maximum impact with these nifty tips from Matt Blatt….

Play with pattern

Whoever said pattern should be avoided in small spaces is no friend of ours. Playful pattern gives the eye something to focus on. If you feel the need for cohesion, repeat the same pattern in multiple places, such as on the bed, on blinds or underfoot….or mix and match patterns but stick to one colourway – such as monochrome.

Calfskin rug – black and white

Go light

The old-school strategy for tackling small spaces is to go light and bright – like the Scandis do. That’s definitely an option…white walls, sheer drapes, pale linens. Stylish, but safe. The other would be to……

Provo Armchair

Go dark

Embrace the small space and make it sing. Opt for dark and moody – hard to do in a giant space – and choose dramatic décor and sumptuous colours like plum, burgundy, petrol, navy, chocolate and charcoal. Divine. Love.

Take the vertical challenge

Small space furnishing – and decorating – is all about creating an illusion of height, and there are a tonne of fun ways to do it:

  • Buy (or build) a super-high bedhead, or create your own using artwork
  • Drape fabric from the cornice to the floor behind the bedhead for a dramatic alternative
  • Hang pendant lights above bedside tables in lieu of lamps
  • Hang plants – preferably cascading – from ceiling hooks
  • Find your inner princess and sleep beneath a ceiling-mounted mosquito net (not because of mozzies, just because you can)
  • Hang curtains or blinds as close to the ceiling as possible, and let them run all the way to the floor

Put your walls to work  

Walls are a fab canvas for wallpaper and colourful paint. They also provide scope for storage galore without using up an inch of precious floor space:

  • Use individual hooks or hat racks to hang scarves, jewellery, belts, coats, bathrobes, bags, tennis racquets…you get the idea
  • Floating shelves don’t just work well for books. Use them for plants, trinkets, perfumes, clocks and art too
  • Bookshelves are for books of course, but you can also use them to create gorgeous displays, to fold scarves, show off photos – even to store shoes!

Make a (style) statement

Decorating around a single, strong focal point is a surefire strategy for making a small space look sharp:

  • Forget everything you’ve ever heard about large pieces in small spaces. Add a four-poster bed to create a spectacular centrepiece (with somewhere to hang stuff!) and to draw the eye upwards. It’s unexpected in a small room, but it’s unreal.
  • Create an eclectic art gallery on the wall behind the bed – go floor to ceiling in diverse sizes and shapes if you dare – and forget the need for a bed head
  • Put the pattern on the ceiling. Why not? Wallpaper the ceiling, or at least splash on some striking colour and it’ll be so distracting who’ll care how much space is between the walls down below?

Multifunction magic

The latest multi-function designer pieces are turning traditional furniture concepts on their head – and the view from upside down is pretty cool:

  • Specifically designed to create sneaky storage, the latest European designs include coffee tables with hidden storage beneath the top, under-mattress and bedhead storage, desk and hutch home office combos, shelves which bend around corners…and more
  • Repurposing existing furniture works wonders to – use mini ottomans as bedside tables and stash spare blankets inside
  • Use ladders (cute ones of course) against the bed or wall to hang scarves, ties, trousers or trinkets

The obvious stuff

So you’ve probably heard these ones before, but doesn’t mean they’re not still handy tips:

  • Mirrors reflect and make everything seem bigger so use as many as you like, wherever you like, so long as you don’t mind seeing yourself from all angles, all the time
  • Underbed storage is golden – use trunks, boxes, or purpose-built options
  • A bed without a footboard will make the space look more open

Still lamenting the size of your bedroom? Surely not!