Small but efficient
22 small bedroom designs home staging tips to maximize small spaces
Small Room Ideas And Small Space Design Small House Ideas House

Small Room Ideas And Small Space Design Small House Ideas House Small Room Ideas And Small Space Design Small House Ideas House

The original maid’s room in this converted London mansion flat designed by Johnny Holland was the smallest, and considered the short straw when it came to designating bedrooms. However, by moving the door, Johnny was able to transform the space; he also designed a mezzanine bed reached by its own private staircase.

Utilise a small corner and make it into a practical space to hang outerwear. Inspired by the warm pipes often found in traditional country-house boot rooms, designers Thomas and Nicholas Cox of Ham Interiors have plumbed copper piping to the wall and attached ‘S’ hooks for hanging damp items.

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There is no need for discreet lighting either, as shown by this bold handmade glass-and-chrome pendant light, ‘Flower’, £3,620, by Valerie Wade.

Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton.

The living room belongs to designer and H&G contributor Ben Pentreath, it can be found in his Georgian flat on Great Ormond Street. Ben has chosen a soft pink, ‘Calamine’ from Farrow & Ball, for the walls. An inbuit bookcase – which emphasises the height of this small room – holds a colourful array of fiction.

Where does the light in the room come from, and how can you maximise it? These are the first things you should think of when decorating a small room. Interior designer Ann Boyd’s mirror panelling is a masterstroke. ‘It adds a huge amount of depth. I suggest putting it near or opposite a window; you’ll be amazed at how much bigger the room feels, and how they bounce the light around,’ she says. ‘Getting the spaces between the panels right is so important. This look is all about symmetry and it is imperative that the application is scrupulously neat.’ A fresh palate and delicate furniture are the finishing touches. A dark, poky corner, becomes a light, calm space.

This iconic wallpaper is Scalamandré’s ‘Zebra’ in masai red, famously used in Wes Anderson’s film The Royal Tenenbaums. A great small room idea, it creates an intimate feeling in this small bathroom, which was boldly designed by Beata Heuman. The decorator has perfectly demonstrated how to choose one bold colour for a tiny space. Mirrors also help – they encourage light to bounce around, making the small space seem larger.

Low ceilings are made the most of in the white bedroom of interior designer Pietro Cuevas’s Ibiza home. The bed is a chic dressed-up mattress without a frame, a low-hanging light offers ambience and a wooden chair, stool and hanging branch as a clothes rail give the space a rustic feel.

A double-height conservatory brings light to a small drawing room (on a mezzanine with a glass half wall), and the kitchen and dining room below at the back of Giles Vincent’s London town house. The luxury of the fabrics, the antiques and the paintings are offset by the rugged eighteenth- and nineteenth-century floorboards he has used throughout the house.

Designer Ann Boyd’s tiny London pied a terre is packed with useful ideas, including making use of natural light and mirrors to expand the space. Ann has forged a reputation for creating crisp, elegant, predominantly pale interiors – even on a small scale. ‘It’s not in my nature to live with strident colours; I like serenity,’ she says. Most of the furniture, has been recycled from her old flat; putting favourite things into a new environment creates a fresh mood straight away. ‘There is no point in change for the sake of it,’ says Ann. ‘Moving is expensive.’ Sophie March, of The Order Restorers, was enlisted to help her with decluttering.

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In the designer Hugh Leslie’s London flat, Artemide ‘Dioscuri’ lights float on the surface of the mirror like bubbles in a bath. The motif is echoed in the handles of the teal cabinets, which were designed by Hugh, providing plenty of much-needed storage in the small space.

Rather than move, the owners of this Kent barn conversion consulted architect Thomas Croft, who remodelled and extended the space to give them the indoor-outdoor lifestyle they craved. A space saving mezzanine bedroom means the open plan feeling of the room is maintained. Large sliding steel doors (bottom right) can separate the sitting and dining rooms.

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Small spaces don’t have to be white and minimal. Instead, embrace the diminutive size of a room and even emphasise it by creating a cosy nook (see how to create ‘hygge’ in your home).

This is the Scandinavian home of model and stylist Pernille Teisbæk, full of inspiration for minimalist interiors and clever design pieces. Pernille bought the flat a year ago, and it was love at first sight. She was won over by its scale and, before she had even moved in, Pernille made some significant decisions. ‘Traditionally in Copenhagen, the apartments are big but with very small rooms. You need to tear down walls to create more of a sense of light.’

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This compact west London house belonging to Tom Siebens and Mimi Parsons has two small bedrooms on the upper floor, so a deep shelf built above the door lintel provides extra storage space.

Interior designer Jane Taylor’s London flat is a box of brilliant, space-saving tricks. In this bedroom, the raised bed lifts up to reveal extra storage underneath.

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The kitchen was designed by DPAW in conjunction with Space Cucina, with units by Schüller made to order off-site and further customised during installation. To add textural contrast within the black ‘L’, the MDF cabinets have a laminate finish in ‘Lava Black’, and the rougher textured Compac Quartz worktop is in ‘Nero Ebony’, supplied and installed by Space Cucina.

In small living rooms overhead storage can be a life-saver. The built in cabinetry enclosing the sofa in this house by Paolo Moschino creates a cozy, decorative nook.

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In this seaside cottage, Ham Interiors has created a children’s bedroom in the smallest room of the house. Bespoke joinery was used to create three single bunks, each complete with a bookshelf and nautical bulkhead wall light, perfect for bedtime reading.

Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Christopher Stocks.

Picture the scene: your house is bursting at the seams, your soon-to-be teenage children need rooms of their own, and you urgently need a home office for your newly launched business. Then your architect suggests using precious space for a country-house-style hall, empty save for one central table. On paper it sounds mad, but walking into the hall of this 1850s London terrace house with its owner, Henrietta Courtauld one half of The Land Gardeners one can see the logic behind that suggestion. The architect in question is Maria Speake, one of the founders of architectural salvage and design company Retrouvius. As she says, ‘Families need space, but also breathing space’, and the new hall has just that.

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At one end of the light-filled study in Kim Wilkie’s London flat, a ‘Dublin’ desk from Habitat and a Seventies Perspex and steel chair provide a small work space. Metal beer mugs are used as simple and stylish stationery holders. If your office space is merely a corner of an existing room, opting for a glass-topped desk and see-through chair rather than clunky furniture is ideal.

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The large chocolate-brown panel to the left of the working area can be slid across to separate the office from the bedroom. Concealed storage is slotted under the stairs.

Small living room? Try creating symmetry and establishing a centre of interest in the space – this distracts from the tiny proportions and bestows a feeling of grandeur.

This project, designing a shepherd’s hut, was not without its challenges. ‘The biggest hurdle was the special planning due to the tight dimensions,’ says Top 100 designer Katharine Pooley. She decided to take on the task ‘with the same approach as any other project’ and created a space that would suit playing children and adults seeking a relaxing retreat alike.

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The 1960s tan leather Walter Antonis chair is a recent acquisition from Goldwood by Borris, a dealer in Belgium, and it is decorated with a vintage kelim cushion. A collage of framed prints and pictures surrounds the chair, including an oil pastel sketch and a print by Luke, a large Rene Magritte poster from the Penny Guggenheim Collection in Venice and a Pablo Bronstein print. ‘We buy lots of old exhibition posters from eBay – they’re great value and lots of fun,’ says Luke.

So began a relationship with the restaurant’s British designer, Ilse Crawford of Studioilse, and an immediate friendship was struck. When asked what was the best value for money in the whole project, Jeanette responds without hesitation, ‘Ilse Crawford’. For her part, Ilse describes her client as ‘terrific and courageous. Prepared to go beyond her comfort zone.’ And true comfort is the end result.

Event designer David Stark and his artist husband Migguel Anggelo have reconfigured their Brooklyn apartment to create calm and flowing spaces brought alive by theatrical objects and unexpected finishes. The cloakroom is wallpapered in an intricately patterned violet design.

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Choosing a larger rug — even in a bold pattern — is a trick that makes a room feel bigger. Unlike smaller rugs, the large size doesn’t visually break up the floor.

Duncan put the heavily laden bookshelves in when he first moved in, and has had to add a few reinforcements over the years! ‘They were on the brink of collapse at one point,’ says Duncan. The walls either side of the desk are covered with framed art, including fern prints found on eBay and a Paolo Bronstein print.

While white kitchens certainly open up a space, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid colour entirely if you have a small kitchen. Clever storage is the perfect platform for a pop of colour – just make sure the surfaces are flat to keep the look smooth.

The owners of this London house have called upon the expertise of Maddux Creative’s design duo not once, but twice – most recently to maximise space and light, and play up the distinctive period details.

The small bedroom in Patrick Williams’ Victorian flat is entirely painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Lamp Room Grey’. It is a haven of calm watched over by a stone statue of the Virgin Mary.

Cubby-hole shelving with wicker baskets provide storage in an awkward space at Vanessa Branson’s Holland Park home. Trinkets arranged on top and hanging pictures on the exposed-brick wall behind add a whimsical warmth to the area.

In this small bedroom, belonging to architect Johnny Holland, a corner has been hived off to create a walk-in wardrobe which has been papered in a tropical wallpaper design from Ananbô. This has been overlaid with a grid of panelling to give it added depth. The colour scheme is dark and sumptuous and the chair, bedcover and carpet all have the texture of plush velvet.

A huge sitting-room-cum-party-room now takes over the vast, former schoolroom of Saint Paulinus, a nineteenth-century church in North Yorkshire that is now the home of Sophie and Greville Worthington and their three children. Try Morso or Charnwood for something similar. The free-standing wood burning stove is the perfect alternative to a fitted fireplace for smaller spaces.

Storage cube-style shelves are an ideal choice for small spaces. They fit snugly into awkward alcoves you can configure them in whatever formation you wish. Alternatively, use them as a table.

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This glamorous chalet in the French Alps designed by Kate Earle of Todhunter Earle has plenty of tips for teeny-tiny homes – especially in the bedroom department (witness exhibit A and exhibit B). In this room, a united colour scheme punctuated with a zigzag rug keeps everything looking sleek – particularly the ample storage provided by the large wardrobe and matching nightstand. The wall-mounted bedside light is another space-saving trick.

Storage space is often the biggest hindrance when trying to make small spaces work. A problem which Clare Stevenson and Claire Sa, from architectural practice De Rosee Sa, have tackled with neat aplomb in the Victorian terrace house in west London. This storage wall, with masses of drawers and space for the television, is smart, cozy and useful.

This small bedroom is under the pitched roof of a medieval barn on the Nyetimber Estate. Exposed beams highlight the shape of the roof apex and make a feature out of what could otherwise be seen as an awkward shape. The twin beds are topped with with quilts and cushions in a Chelsea Textiles fabric.

This living room is really a paradise for book lovers. The bespoke shelving, designed and built in around the large windows, houses architectural designer Charles Rutherfoord extensive book collection. Rutherfoord says he designs rooms for living in rather than showing off, but that seems like he’s doing a disservice to his own impeccable taste.

A large, internal glazed window provides views from the main bedroom into the sitting room and vice versa, while a concealed Venetian blind provides privacy in this compact London flat by architect Daniele Petteno. The bed sits on a 60cm podium, elevating the floor level and allowing access to all the cupboards.

In a neutral decorating scheme, painting the hardware and features a contrasting colour is a subtle yet distinctive way to introduce some colour into a room.

While the main bedroom in Jonathan Tuckey’s Swiss chalet family home may only have space for a bed, a sprectrum of grey paint highlights the architecture of the room to give it warmth and depth.

Don’t be afraid of oversize chairs. Lots of little things in small spaces can make the room feel cluttered, so stick to a few larger pieces for comfort.

In this small sitting room, the walls and woodwork have been painted in ‘Murrey Red’ from Papers & Paints. Designer and antiques dealer Adam Bray deliberately chose a light gloss finish to encourage light to bounce around the space. The nineteenth-century alabaster light was chosen to impart a touch od sophistication. The bookshelves fit neatly and elegantly into the alcoves either side of the chimneyplace.

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Small spaces can still be luxuriously ornate. The three adjoined chairs in the dressing room of this provençal stone house in Luberon are covered in a Nicholas Herbert linen and a chandelier hangs above to give a sense of decadence to the wardrobe space.

Ashley Hicks has visually enlarged his daughter’s bedroom with mirrors found in the flat and put together to create a wall-length, with vintage braid covering the join. He has redecorated the whole rented flat in west London, using handmade details and David Hicks fabrics.

At Prince Charles’ Welsh cottage in Carmarthenshire space is at a premium, but using an area for both living and dining can create a cosy atmosphere. Here a table from Heal’s sits under a Carl Toms watercolour. The comfortable and stylish sitting/dining room enjoys views over a beautifully maintained courtyard garden.

Bright yellow paint works as a perfect foil to white industrial tiles and gold accessories in this London bathroom.

A masterclass in making a small living room feel spacious yet warm and cosy with the use of colourful decoration – pinks and yellows – in a west London town house featuring plenty of antique treasures. The plaster and marble fireplace was designed by owner Giles Vincent, who was inspired by the work of artist Oliver Messel. Giles also designed the bronze wall lights to echo the shape of the gourds in the still life painting by Louis Valtat.

“Cozy” is always the keyword for “cramped” space, but in this case, leaning into what makes a room feel genuinely cozy — as in, an enveloping cocoon from the sh*tshow that is the real world — can be totally soothing. Keep seating close together and intimate, and choose a plush, soft rug. Don’t you want to just curl up and relax?

This charming one-bedroom flat in the picturesque village of Thorpeness, Suffolk makes the most of a small space by sticking to a mismatched monochrome scheme and clever architectural details.

Scandinavian flats have notoriously small bathrooms, so no wonder Ikea has cracked the code for offering style on a small scale. Here, the floor-to-ceiling shelves (not to mention the towel storage built into the sink) cleverly gives small-bathroom owners room to decorate.

Mirror is a vital tool in the armoury of anyone designing a small room. Use it to reflect light and create an illusion of space. Here mirrored Ikea ‘Pax’ wardrobes flanking the window emphasise the view on to leafy Brompton Cemetery in interior designer Beata Heuman’s flat. The blinds are in ‘Serafina’ (white) by Marvic.

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Choose lighting that can be attached to the walls or hung from above to save room on floor space. Swing Arm lamps also free up space on side tables.

Make the most of the space under the stairs by turning it in to a walk-in larder like this designed by Plain English. Luxurious touches like a honed Carrara marble worktop, a wine rack and linen-lined baskets for holding fruit and bread make it a joy to use.

While she is always on the lookout for artwork for her clients, in her own home it is her northern roots that are most evident. ‘I spend a lot of time in the Lake District and much of the art is relevant to that area.’ She buys regularly from Castlegate House Gallery in Cockermouth, which deals in twentieth-century art, and she is a fan of the Edinburgh artist Louise Kosman.

When it comes to small spaces, Ikea can’t be beat. This room proves that you can still create a functional, stylish bedroom in a small area. A bunk bed with a built-in desk frees up space for a sofa, while built-in storage, hidden hanging rails and wall pegs ensure the room is kept clutter-free.

In our columnist Rita Konig’s London flat, a feeling of space has been created by removing any barriers between the kitchen and the open-plan dining/living room around the corner. From the living room the kitchen is neatly out of sight, but still within easy reach.

This living room by Philippa Thorp is actually much smaller than it appears. Every inch of space has been used to make the space feel bigger and lighter.

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The living room of Charles Rutherfoord’s London home reflects current architectural ideas surrounding the play of light and flow of space. The ceiling has been opened up to create a mezzanine level reached by ladder, which adds interest to a corner of the living room. Instead of architectural mouldings, there are shadow gaps at the top of walls painted a shade of luminous blue-grey.

Bathrooms (even small ones) often have a lot of empty wall space, so make use of this with decorative wall shelves to display your products. If you have a few smart bottles you save for special occasions, place them under glass cloches to keep the dust off.

The owners of this Barbican flat designed by Maria Speake of Retrouvius decided to keep the flat’s original galley kitchen. When the architects of the Barbican, the Grade II-listed Seventies London landmark, drew up the kitchens, they had the clever idea of bringing in Brooke Marine, a firm of yacht designers. They figured the one place where space for a kitchen was always at a premium was on board a boat. It wasn’t the only ground-breaking idea: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon also decided the kitchens should be placed at the rear of the flats and be windowless, so that the living area and bedrooms could enjoy the available window space instead. However, the design ran afoul of council bylaws requiring a window or ventilation in the kitchen. The solution? The kitchens were named ‘cooking areas’ that were considered part of the living room and the designs were approved. Canny.

‘In the main bedroom, there is only room for a bed, but one way to make a room like this seem bigger is to select a compact four-poster. It creates a feeling of grandeur and makes the proportions of the room seem larger,’ says designer Veere Grenney of this bedroom in his Sussex folly.

In this London flat, Sigmar has done the opposite of concealing the television by framing it with a smart, simple cabinet. Behind the cabinet doors, there is ample storage space for other audio-visual equipment, books and objects.

A concealed wardrobe with a sliding door is the perfect solution for smaller bedrooms, where traditional hinged doors can cause an obstruction. The lights here are from Emery et Cie.

‘Spend as much as possible on the joinery – the things that you touch and use all the time,’ says interior designer Hugh Leslie, whose Chelsea house is a testament to this mantra. In the dressing room a sloped wall has been beautifully utilized with a chest of drawers and a cupboard.

Keep walls and floors all white to brighten up the space. A gallery wall with wide-matted art and white frames blends in with the wall, so the effect is eye-catching — yet not a bit cluttered. That way you can make a colorful piece of furniture the focal point of the room, so it’s not like the walls are closing in on you.

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Interior designer Ilse Crawford has created a perfect little nook by installing a wooden bench in an awkward corner at the bottom of a staircase.

Interior designer Beata Heuman has worked hard to achieve visual unity throughout her west-London flat by replacing mismatched flooring with engineered boards, and picking fabrics in large scale prints but soft toning shades. ‘Less is more when it comes to colour,’ she adds. Farrow & Ball’s ‘Pavillion Gray’ on the walls gives a sophisticated evening mood. Above the doorframe she has used mirrors to reflect the light, and create an illusion of space and increased ceiling height.

Transforming this tiny attic room into a children’s room for two required some ingenuity. Enter Kate Earle of Todhunter Earle who designed these overlapping bunk beds as a clever space-saving solution.

Taken from the September 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

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If you have a small bathroom (it’s not called ‘the smallest room’ for nothing), try experimenting with varying levels to help define different areas. Dark flooring and white walls and ceiling also make this bathroom seem bigger.

Patrick enclosed the bed, hiding the original chimney breast and cleverly making use of the voids either side for a bedside shelf and walk-in cupboard. The patchwork quilt on the bed was made by Patrick’s grandmother, while the painting is by his mother.

Masses of walk-in storage space, plus an enviable laundry and additional bathroom in the basement, make Rita Konig’s London flat a highly functional, enviably modern family home. ‘If you don’t have good storage, your life is a mess. It is expensive, and people don’t like to put it into their budgets, but it’s crucial,’ says Rita. When asked how she did it all, she reels off a long list, which includes losing 12cm off the length of the sitting area to make room for the full-length bath in the bathroom.

Pretty antique quilts and Elanbach fabrics adorn this adorable cottage bedroom at Prince Charles’ Welsh home. Adapted from a former model farm, it was restored with both sustainability and style in mind. A chest at the foot of the bed provides storage – ideal for attic rooms where taller storage solutions create problems.

Bespoke fitted seating with storage beneath surrounds the the wood-burning stove from Austroflamm in the living room of architect Jonathan Tuckey’s chalet in the Swiss Alps, which he has imaginatively modernised. Timber panels line this open-plan area, making the space look taller – the greatest design challenge was the low ceiling heights, which were 1.9 metres high at best.

No room for a dining table? Utilise a corner of your kitchen with smart banquette seating, the perfect dining room set up for a small space. A view of the living and dining area from the kitchen in the innovative one bedroom home of property company CEO, Edo Mapelli Mozzi. The high, arched windows let in a wonderful amount of natural light and the yellow velvet is a gorgeous, rather luxurious touch.

Make small spaces look bigger by keeping the area clutter free. Here, built-in storage, a wall-mounted television and shutters (as opposed to curtains) all ensure the floor is kept clear. As a result the room feels super spacious.

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The green living room of Luke Edward Hall’s London flat is painted in Leyland’s bold ‘Forest Storm’, which makes the space cosy. Although there was initial concern about how dark it was, the final result is beautiful. The room fortunately benefits from two large sash windows, so it remains bright and light. Luke and Duncan’s decision to steer clear of beiges is typical of their decorating approach. ‘People spend so long thinking about paint colours, but you can very easily change them,’ says Luke.

Interior designer Virginia Howard had no intention of moving from Knightsbridge to Pimlico, until a balcony flat in a nineteenth-century garden square changed her mind. In the dining area, Virginia created a workspace cleverly tucked inside a wall cupboard.

A warm, welcoming interior with a carefully curated mix of vintage and custom-made furniture gives Ett Hem in Stockholm the feel of a well-loved house, rather than a hotel.

The understairs area can be the ideal spot for a workspace, especially when you do not have the room for a separate study or want to create somewhere for children to do their homework. Either find a narrow desk that fits or, as is the case in this renovated Wiltshire farmhouse, attach a length of wood to the wall with brackets.

Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box.

Sofa beds, ‘Melissa’, 85 x 102 x 90cm, £1,690 each, at The Bolton Sofa Bed Company; covered in ‘Moro’ (mango), cotton mix, £71.50 a metre, at Romo.

Don’t think you have room for a dressing table? Try this idea from interior designer Jane Taylor’s London flat. Here, a mirror-lined dressing table fits into the window reveal in the main bedroom. If you’re extra short on space, the table can also double as a stylish desk.

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Turn tricky spaces to your advantage. Get creative with alcoves by cleverly turning them into bookshelves or customised wardrobes.

French doors open from the kitchen into the garden, making outdoor entertaining a breeze. Exposed storage displays the mix of functional and quirky kitchen items and utensils.

Carve out a niche in your child’s bedroom… literally. This ‘cubby hole’ bed creates a cosy space in a large room and provides endless storage for books, clothes and toys. Kids will love the feeling of being in a den too.

Calm, even-toned rooms fool the eye into thinking they’re more spacious than they are. Make sure to add subtle patterns and textures to keep the space from falling flat.

Taken from the January 2015 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Claire Wrathall.

‘We needed to fit a three-bedroom house into just 93 square metres without its seeming squeezed,’ says Philippa, ‘so we had to make excellent use of space. It was also very dark. We basically gutted it and started again, to bring in as much light as possible, and increase the sense of space.’

Taken from the July 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Emily Senior.

The small but perfectly formed OfficePOD was initially designed for extra meeting spaces, and pods have been snapped up for hip media offices, including Google in London and BBC MediaCityUK in Salford. However, they make equally alluring outdoor rooms.

When it comes to small bedroom ideas, the top tip is to try and move as much storage as possible out of the bedroom – wardrobe, accessories, make-up, etc. If that’s not possible, stick to streamlined, built-in storage and floating shelves to keep the space cosy and tranquil. Soft materials and good-quality bedding help, too.

In this tiny en-suite, Gytha Bouchon of Nuttall Home has created an ingenious hybrid that can be used as both bath and shower. A custom-made Corian tub has been installed with steps leading down from the bedroom. Taps have been kept at standing height for ease of use.

One top floor flat. One family of 5. Designers have turned this place into a Tardis

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Use ottomans in place of a traditional coffee table to make better use of your space (because, let’s face it, a tiny house means your living room often does double or triple duty when people come over). You can top them with a tray to hold flowers and books, or call them into use as extra seating.

Plastic-and-steel storage system, ‘Antonius’, 180 x 124 x 55cm, £107.78 and polyester hanging shelves, ‘Skubb’, £7.99, both at Ikea. Forged iron curtain pole, ‘Classic’ (matt black), 2.5cm diameter, 19p per centimetre, at Jim Lawrence. Curtain, ‘Sofienburg’ (porcelain), linen, £75 a metre at Designers Guild. Laminated-paperboard storage box with steel corner protectors, ‘Kassett’, by Jon Karlsson, £9.39 for two, at Ikea. White and orange storage boxes, ‘Inge’, £13 each; and black DVD box, all at The Holding Company.

The pretty, pink affair of this bedroom creates a festive space in Butter’s Victorian London home. Slanted walls and a built-in bookcase, along with various sitting options make the small room a cozy place to spend an afternoon.

A former artists studio in Chelsea is transformed into a light-filled pied a terre for a family of five, through clever reconfiguration of the interior.

Curtains hung well above a window add airiness and height to a small room. Keep the curtain design basic but use extra fabric for fullness.

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‘My clients had asked me to include an office space within the apartment,’ says Italian architect Daniele Petteno of his contemporary working of a compact London flat. In the main bedroom, he designed a built-in desk to the right of the access steps, made in European oak and treated with the same wax by Turgon used on the wooden flooring. The continuity of the materials makes the room feel larger.

Bespoke built-ins, storage nooks, and furniture tailored to your exact needs can utilize every available sliver of space. When they’re part of the walls, you don’t lose nearly as much valuable square footage.

The best thing to do is get rid of any extra clutter if you live in a small space. But for what’s left, built-in storage offers a much better solution than free-standing wardrobes or bookshelves, as you can store so much behind what’s essentially a blank wall. If you want the look to be less severe, split the shelving in half so you can display art books or personal objects.

A pair of Robert Longo lithographs, bought from the Brooke Alexander Gallery, anchor the compact living room of this Manhattan apartment, made to feel more spacious with a white ceiling and white walls and furniture. A Dee Briggs sculpture is suspended from the ceiling in front.

If you have a small bedroom matchy-matchy can work a treat. In architect and designer Ben Pentreath’s Bloomsbury flat, Soane’s delicate ‘Seaweed Lace’ wallpaper has been paired with a roman bilnd in the fabric iteration. The bold striped blanket is from Pendleton.

Furniture has been kept to a minimum in the small spare room of interior designer Sarah Chamber’s Victorian terraced house in South London. Lack of space means furniture has been kept to a minimum, with interest added instead by a rich autumnal colour scheme that contrasts brown walls with red accents. This is an easy idea to apply to any small room where space for objects is at a premium. Instead transform the mood of your space using the walls and upholstered furniture as your canvas.

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Were you to read that, when designing a house of the Seven Dwarves in the animated-film version of Snow White, Disney’s artists had taken their inspiration from early photographs of this very eighteenth-century barn, you might well believe it.

How’s this for a small bedroom? Due to the ceiling height being just two metres, the owners of this London terraced house faced two immediate problems when they extended in to the loft – how to get more natural light and where to direct artificial light.

The Bunkie Co. offers one of the smartest flat-pack structures we have seen. The company is based in Canada, but because the design is in flat-pack form, it can be shipped around the world. We particularly like this ‘Premier’ model, which is shaped like a cut-out house and was developed to require no building permit – though it might require planning consent in some UK contexts. It costs from £26,900.

By using Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’ paint and incorporating storage under the hallway stairs, this family home (measuring a snug 90 square metres and designed by Eve Mercier) doesn’t sacrifice space or style.

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Wondering how to fit a bath and a shower in to a small, sloped attic space? Take inspiration from this design by Todhunter Earle for a chalet in Chamonix. The space is enlivened with iridescent tiles by French company Emery & Cie.

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Small Spaces Living + Family Rooms Room Ideas 15 Furniture Pieces for Small Spaces We Love Living Room Ideas from BestProducts.com The Best Paint Color Ideas for Your Living Room 30 Genius Decorating Solutions for Small Kitchens Small Bedroom Design Inspiration The Best Decorating Ideas for Small Bathrooms small living rooms small space decorating small spaces living room

Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole.

Light curtains and shade help maximize the light in a small living room. It’s even better if you can match them to your wall color.

This tiny attic bathroom in the country cottage of designer Paolo Moschino makes maximum use of the space, without scrimping on style. In order to allow room for the sink and bath, they are cleverly fused together.

Taken from How to Live in Small Spaces by Terrence Conran (Conran Octupus, £19.99)

When space is at a premium, make every piece of furniture earn its keep. This sleek bed has storage in the headboard for books, plus under-bed storage for clothes. Clever.

Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

When the space is lacking, you’ve gotta get creative. This desk can become a dining table, making it perfect for entertaining.

This country barn conversion in Norfolk makes expert use of its smallest corners, thanks to owner Claire Agnew’s attention to detail. The bathroom basin is fitted on top of a marble countertop with a matching splashback. The wood of the mirror surround complements the marble, tying the space together perfectly by making sure that the space isn’t over-crowded with too many different colours and materials.

It may seem counterintuitive, but outfitting a small space with just a few large-scale pieces (rather than a mishmash of pint-size furniture) can actually make it feel grander.

A small guest room can be the ideal place to make a bold decorative statement, as in this Paris flat by Tara Craig. The walls of the spare bedroom are painted in ‘Papaver’ by Adam Bray for Papers and Paints, with an imposing ‘Carlyle’ headboard from Ensemblier London upholstered in ‘Serpetti’ linen by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

This small office lies behind a screen of Douglas-fir panelling in a living room of a mews house in Notting Hill (see it here), designed by Jonathan Tuckey.

‘We couldn’t afford to hang cupboards in the kitchen, so we covered the walls in black-framed prints and paintings. They are pieces that I’ve collected over the years – some are very good but others are virtually postcards,’ she says. It is a clever trick that, teamed with the tongue-and-groove panelling, gives the space a cottage feel.

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Glass and steel folding doors separate the drawing room from the study. Bunny Turner says she chose the bold David Hicks print to line the walls so that despite it being a diminutive space, you wouldn’t pass by without noticing it.

In this small bedroom, a wrap-around headboard takes on the appearence of luxurious wall panelling and makes the small space look bigger. Naomi Paul was commissioned by Studio Ashby to make the beautiful hand-woven, offset wall and table lights.

A tiny bathroom with big charisma in garden designer Butter Wakefield’s London home. Flowers in a vase freshen up the small space while the decor perfectly balances quaint with chic, avoiding clutter.

Interior designer Hugh Leslie transformed his nineteenth-century Chelsea studio into an airy, harmonious space. In the bedroom, he introduced some handsome joinery in the room, not least a cupboard-cum-drawer unit (left) which provides ample storage above and below.

Caroline and Fatimah’s collection of pottery bowls and jugs is displayed along the stone window sill next to the Rayburn, where seating makes huddling up next to the cooker inevitable. A narrow gap beside it has been used for extra storage, while S-hooks are used to hang pans off a rail overhead – a classic way of organising a small kitchen.

A mix of sofas and armchairs are arranged around the stone chimneypiece in Robin Muir’s north London house. There are many features that draw the eye here, including the John Bellany painting on the chimney breast and the wire-cage chandelier.

The pièce de résistance of this tiny house, a former artist’s studio in Chelsea designed by Eve Mercier, is the original Perspex roof on the upper floor, which lends the small living room the feel of a conservatory and creates the illusion of space.

Warmth and depth is provided by a neutral fabric from Colefax and Fowler that lines the walls. The calm neutrals and clean lines are highlighted by an eye catching abstract painting by Terry Frost. The sofa is covered in ‘Small Star’ in flax by Galbraith & Paul, with cushions made from ‘Minuet’ silk velvet by Kravet to add texture. A bespoke rug from Vanderhurd covers the distressed oak boards that extend through the entire ground floor.

Ett Hem, a hotel in Stockholm, is filled with great design ideas. A clever space-saver for smaller bedrooms is this bedside table, which is built into the panelling of the wall.

Designer William Yeoward painted the walls with Farrow & Ball’s ‘Card Room Green’ and an eighteenth-century screen from Hollyhock works in a similar manner to a mural. The bespoke tented cupboard was created by Clock House Furniture from William Yeoward at Designers Guild fabric and is a great example of how furniture with character can bring zest to a small space without compromising practicality. The chest of drawers and the bed are also of William’s design, with bedding from The Linen Works.

‘We couldn’t afford to hang cupboards in the kitchen, so we covered the walls in black-framed prints and paintings,’ says garden designer Butter Wakefield of the kitchen in her London home. ‘They are pieces that I’ve collected over the years – some are very good but others are virtually postcards,’ she says. It is a clever trick that, teamed with the tongue-and-groove panelling, gives the space a cottage feel.

Storage boxes can be useful in tiny bathrooms. Secondary storage boxes from Ikea currently include ‘Dröna’, £2.50; ‘Pallra’, £10, for jewellery and trinkets; and ‘Pingla’, £6 for two. There are also baskets such as ‘Knipsa’, £16. For more ideas, see our storage solutions for small spaces.

Embrace the small space and turn it into a jewel box. Statement wallpaper and a unique light fixture dress up this powder room.

Keep your bicycle out of the way and make a stylish feature of it with a wall-mounted bike rack (these Graham & Green ones are no longer in stock, but an array of stylish alternatives can be found online). You don’t need to store above the fireplace, a hallway will work just as well.

The atmosphere of this living room is one of enveloping cosiness, with delightful details and textures. Despite its small size, the space does not feel cramped. This is partly thanks to the unusual sliding doors, which offer a clever storage solution.

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For The Bigger Picture photo shoot, our decorating team took on the challenge of a 17m² studio apartment. They gave the main studio room an injection of personality with a graphic rug and toile wallpaper, while the high display shelf draws the eye to create the illusion of height. Best of all? At night, the ‘chairs’ – which are actually sofa beds – can be pushed together to become a stylish double bed. (See the room in its ‘bedroom’ form here.)

Wood panelled walls coupled with a fresh colour scheme and patterned fabrics render the space bright and cosy. Jeanetta works on new designs in her office space at one end of the room, using a desk and stool from Loth Station Antiques.

This 90 square metre former artist’s studio in Chelsea is transformed into a light-filled pied-à-terre for a family of five, through clever reconfiguration of the interior (with help from designer Eve Mercier). The small bathroom features a champagne bucket sink and red ikat wallpaper by Ornamenta.

In a small bedroom where space is at a premium, designer Sarah Chambers has used colour to add richness and mirrored surfaces to reflect light.

Small bedroom with no space for an en-suite? There is something undeniably charming about the tiny little free-standing clawfoot bath designer Ilse Crawford has used in this room of Stockholm’s Ett Hem hotel, where panelling and rugs add warmth.

Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman. Locations editor: Hatta Byng.

Classic-boat enthusiast and creative talent Katie Fontana’s love of craftsmanship and aesthetic simplicity resulted in both her bespoke kitchen design company Plain English, as well her charming houseboat and boathouse. When she is in London, Katie lives on an ex-Customs and Excise cutter called Stork, which is moored in St Katharine Docks. In ‘Stork’, Katie’s 1926 a small reclaimed butler sink provides a diminutive washing station in restricted space.

This design shows how one small space can be made into a living room, kitchen, dining room and bedroom by building mezzanines. The open plan nature of Flint House also ensures a fluid layout, while glass doors invite plenty of natural light.

Taken from the September 2011 issue of House & Garden. Styling by Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory.

The bedroom is large enough to just fit the owner’s bed in this Manhattan apartment. ‘It is the size of the original bedroom – literally the size of a mattress,’ he says. It does not feel confining, however. ‘I have a huge window in here, so it’s like a beautiful cocoon.’ An artwork by El Anatsui hangs above the bed, with built-in storage under it.

Choose furnishings that offer maximum functionality in minimal square footage. For example, use two small round tables instead of one big coffee table. They’re better for traffic flow and easier to move.

Remember that storage doesn’t necessarily have to be in the bedroom. If you have a corridor near the room consider utilising that as a place to put wardrobes, as designer Philippa Thorpe has in this Chelsea house.

This small garden room is made to feel less poky and more practical with a number of design ideas. The table and chairs are foldable, the fireplace is built into the shelving unit and there is a combination of cabinets and open shelves. There are also two glass walls, inviting natural light into the room.

Taken from the May 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton.

A lower couch creates the visual effect of higher ceilings. Just add pillows to make it more comfortable for lounging.

At the Old Stocks Inn in Stow-on-the-Wold, the rooms are contemporary and relaxed. This attic bedroom features original beams which look striking against the chic grey and white scheme. Be inspired to make you’re own – a simple wooden pole hung with fabric cushions is an interesting and inexpensive way to mimic the look of a designer headboard.

This newly renovated eighteenth-century farmer’s house was completely restructured to create a sense of comfort and space. Designed by Caroline Holdaway and Fatimah Namdar, the grey horizontal panelled bathroom utilises every inch of space. Using contrasting shelving and a light and airy colour scheme.

Kitchen cabinets don’t have to be uniform. Bold red cupboards add an extra design element to this monochrome scheme, while the sleek surfaces make the small kitchen look even bigger. Result.

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The owners of this Barbican flat felt the resin floor they had laid a few years earlier made their home feel cold. A parquet floor was mooted but Maria persuaded them that the floor should remain and warmth and texture could be added by different means. Instead, in her typically playful way, designer Maria Speake clad walls and sliding doors with parquet.

Make your office space work for you with these clever design ideas »

Keep your bicycle out of the way and make a stylish feature of it with a wall-mounted bike rack. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be above the fireplace, a hallway will work just as well.

The owners of this London flat charged interior designer Max Rollitt was tasked with adding character to a space modernised by a property developer. He added sixteenth-century style panelling to this living room and painted it a creamy white. The corner chimneypiece is edged with breche violette marble. Grand ruched blinds add drama and texture.

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One top floor flat. One family of 5. Two designers have turned this place into a Tardis

The devil is in the detail when it comes to small spaces – especially living rooms. You may want to avoid skirting boards, cornices and other architectural details, as these stop the illusion of smoothness. Here, white walls and cupboards contrast with beautiful dark flooring, and a panel-shaped mirror above the sofa subtly reflects light, making the small space look bigger. (See home hacks using mirrors for more tips.)

With no floor space for a bookshelf, adding one over the bed is not only practical but also gives the wall an injection of interest and character in the way that only books can. The bright yellow colour on the walls adds warmth and light to a room which could otherwise be feel pokey and dark. A strip of Anatolian silk inspired the palette for this tiny bedroom in London’s Barbican. Designed by Maria Speake of Retrouvius, the silk was used as a feature panel in the curtains, and the colours are echoed by the vintage Indian bedcover.

Hammock chairs are super trendy right now, but they’re also a life saver in a small living room. You can add seating without taking up a ton of floor space, like you would with a traditional armchair.

Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole and Emily Tobin. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

No extra room for an office? We love the way this landing has been utilized as a desk space by designers Turner Pocock.

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‘I planned this room around some old silk ikat I found in Istanbul,’ says designer Jane Churchill of the two-bedroomed terrace house in London to which she downsized. ‘I designed two chairs for it – without armrests but with curved backs for comfort, as there is no space for armchairs.’

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In a bid to reduce clutter, jib doors conceal everything from washing machines and understair storage to what must be the tiniest cloakroom in London. It is lined with red ikat wallpaper by Ornamenta and has a basin made from a Champagne bucket on a pale limestone shelf.

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Built-in storage should be as self-effacing as possible. Doors and panels can be painted to blend in with the rest of the room or made from lightweight or semi-transparent materials.

The upper-level sitting-room landing makes a cosy and gloriously eccentric reception room. When Lincoln and Tish Seligman discovered this eighteenth-century barn in Oxfordshire, they resolved to save the interiors by its artist owner from unsympathetic modernisation and have subtly updated it.

Some of the rooms are relatively small but a white-on-white colour scheme throughout and large windows mean that it never feels cramped. Here in the study storage and shelving is built in, doing away with the need for bulky furniture. A decorative wooden ladder allows easy access to the top shelves.

When it comes to maximising space, this James Bond-esque London pad with a stylish mezzanine floor takes the cake with its innovative approach. Featuring a bed suspended underneath a retractable glass ceiling, it just goes to show you the sky’s the limit (sorry) when it comes to cool, creative decorating ideas for small spaces.

Beata believes that ‘people are sometimes afraid of custom-made things, but you just need to know where to go’. The antique bronze table cost £30 from Portobello market.

Event designer David Stark and his artist husband Migguel Anggelo have reconfigured their Brooklyn apartment to create calm, flowing spaces brought alive by theatrical objects and unexpected finishes. The entrance hall walls are clad in black linoleum with a large blackboard mural David made for an event.

Taken from the December 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot and Bonnie Robinson.

Simplify your life – pass on anything you haven’t used in 18 months to a charity shop or put it on Freecycle. Clothes, shoes, crockery, the works. The owners of this house, decorated by David Bentheim, disposed of much of what they had collected over the years to downsize and start again. If they can do it, so can you. A neutral colour scheme keeps things streamlined, while the bench, artwork, books and flowers add a punctuation of colour.

If you have no room for a dining table a cantilevered stainless-steel one this is just the ticket. Accessorised perfectly with contrasting neon chairs.

A muted colour scheme was chosen by Top 100 designer Katharine Pooley for her stylish shepherd’s hut due to its limited space. Metallic accents were added with bronze- and copper-toned accessories. ‘To finish the look, I used sisal carpet that was seamless and had a country feeling, complementing the choice of fabrics throughout the hut.’

If you don’t have space for all your glassware in the kitchen, listen in. Designed by owner and decorator Emma Burns of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler this gem of a pantry is concealed behind a bookcase. Long shelves store her collection of crockery and picnic paraphernalia.

Designer Mark Gillette makes careful use of colour and lighting in his flat, proving that even small spaces can handle a dark, dramatic palette of jewel-like amber offset with black and white. ‘I’m not afraid of colour, but I like to keep it contained,’ he says. The well-positioned light above the bed is useful for reading but also spotlights the white bedding, bringing light and space to the centre of the room. The clothes storage is also a clever design feature, both practical and beautiful.

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They come in a range of sizes from £10,000. The smaller version – the 1.94 metres-square model shown here – has room for seating, drawers and a wrap-around work surface. The room has glass panels and white walls to maximise light, while strip lights do not take up precious space.

Tear down walls, enlarge windows, or swap solid doors for glass to open up views and connect adjacent spaces.

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One of our favourite small room ideas. Known for their restoration of historic buildings in Scotland, conservation architects Nick Groves-Raines and Kristin Hannesdottir relished the challenge of saving Lamb’s House in Leith, where they now live and work. In an attic room, the box bed is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘India Yellow’.

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In this wet room by Dublin firm Architecture Republic, the glazed ceiling floods the room with light, offering views of the sky while retaining privacy.

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Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to use light neutrals in a tiny room. Dark hues work surprisingly well for small spaces. Temper their impact by pairing with a lighter shade or rich accent colour.

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A ‘Grande Papilio’ chair by Naoto Fukasawa for B&B Italia adds a pop colour to this little corner of an ultra-modern barn conversion in Kent. Don’t be frightened of colour in small spaces. A statement piece in a bright colour can make a room sing.

A cupboard kitchen takes the place of exposed kitchen units – a practical and good-looking alternative (you can see the kitchen when it’s all folded up here). A drop leaf dining table can be discreetly folded against a wall when not in use.

Having moved from a Georgian manor, Clare Agnew reworked the conversion of a 300-year-old barn in Norfolk to create a secluded home for her family.

The boot room at architect Ptolemy Dean’s house in Sussex has a lunette window salvaged from a basement kitchen in Northamptonshire and terracotta floor tiles made locally by Aldershaw in Sedlescombe. These design features sit beautifully within the painted wood panelled room.

The owner deliberated long and hard over her choice of interior designer. It was during a dinner with her husband at Mathias Dahlgren’s restaurant in Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel that she saw the balance of international and Scandinavian design she wanted.

The Seligmans’ eclectic use of textiles, such as the loosely draped fabrics on the bed, adds a sense of warmth to their house. Clarke & Clarke has a good range of print fabrics that would look right at home, including ‘Musar’, ‘Maroc’ and ‘Catherine’. Buy similar mismatched, jewel-tone cushions from de Le Cuona in silk-velvet and linen, priced at £205.

An alternative solution for small homes is to keep your music or film collection concealed in built-in storage. You might wish to separate favourites from your archive so you don’t waste a great deal of time hunting for what you want. Serious collectors might consider arranging discs alphabetically or by theme.

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The master bedroom in this petite, 90sq metre family home in London’s Chelsea is the work of designer Eve Mercier. The two Rothko-esque panels that flank the bed are not paint but vibrant silk, a good option if you’re a renter who can’t paint the walls, or for adding colour to a space-enhancing white scheme. The Fifties-style Danish bedside tables come from Chelsea Textiles (£498 each), a good source for chic and simple designs. On top of them are Forties Quindry lamps.

Small bedroom? Make the best of it by placing a mirrored dressing table in one corner. This stylish piece of furniture makes the room feel more spacious, encouraging light to bounce around.

So many ideas – where to begin?! There’s the coffee table with added storage, the sofa that doubles as a bed, and the desk/dining table hybrid. But best of all is the wall of storage, stacked high. Now you see it…

Interior designer Louise Jones has given the small entrance hall of her south-west London cottage a grand treatment. The corner window has been fitted with luxurious, stately home style curtains, made in miniture. The French polish on the Georgian mahogany chest of drawers – bought from Richmond Hill Antiques – reflects the natural light beautifully, opening up the space. Finally, the pretty pale blue keeps the room airy and fresh.

This tiny bedroom in the country cottage of Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen obeys one of the cardinal rules of small space design. Don’t feel that just because the space is small the furniture or patterns have to be. In this space the bed takes up the majority of the room, and a bold red floral used over bed and window gives a punch of character which nods to the English country cottage tradition. Adding light to rooms with low ceilings is crucial, and the room is painted in pale colours that are ‘slightly dirty’ says Philip, to complement the age of the house.

Formerly a rabbit warren of small, dark rooms, this modern Victorian family home in west London designed by Clare Stevenson and Claire Sa from architectural practice De Rosee Sa has been opened up. Today, it is flooded with light and filled with the owner’s collection of art and furniture, to create a balance between its original character and modern style.

Ingenious built-in storage for books features thin shelves set within a metal framework. With the books arranged on their sides, the effect is of unsupported stacks. The shelving is neatly integrated into a corridor.

This en-suite bathroom is painted in an emerald green with smart black and silver accents, a bold scheme that makes a big impact in a small space. The black and white tiling, a glimpse of which is seen in the mirror, also emphasises the modern feel of the room.

A home by photographer Christoph Klauke, available from One Fine Stay.

Use two small tables to take the place of one big coffee table. They’re better for traffic flow and easily moved to wherever else you may need them.

Using different patterns in a small room works best if you stick to one colour scheme. In this living room, cream has been used. The curtains are made up in a discontinued fabric that interior designer Beata Heuman was able to buy cheaply as it was water-marked. She recommends looking for inexpensive off-cuts, available direct from individual fabric manufacturers.

The design of this small attic bathroom by Todhunter Earle for a chalet in Chamonix, is practically perfect (see the rest of the room here). A panel of mirror-glass that works with the shape of the room, makes the sloped ceiling feel higher and the room bigger.

Interior-design duo Keech Green reworked and redecorated this London flat for their young clients: the result pays homage to the house’s Arts and Crafts heritage and also the couple’s favourite local football team.

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Designer Jane Gowers discovered her London house by chance, but its restoration has been the result of good judgement and a sympathetic approach. Glass doors or skylights are a great way to flood a small space with light and make it seem much bigger. The room is full of texture, with an exposed brick wall setting off the earthy palette. The bedspread is by Brigitte Singh, based on a Mughal design, and the cushions are made from an antique Japanese obi sash.

The small study in this modern Chelsea home is full of curiosities – a lobster shell is on display in glass box and the wall is decorated with oil paintings. Don’t let a small space make you feel confined to minimalism – instead use unusual accessories to spice up a modern decoration scheme.

Edo Mapelli Mozzi downsized to a flat housed within one spacious room of a Victorian house in west London. Every inch of the space is used – the inbuilt dining nook has banquette seating upholstered in Linwood’s ‘Moleskin Velvet’. On the wall behind the seat Edo has empolyed the oldest trick in the book for making small spaces feel more spacious – mirror. The entire back wall of the banquette houses an enormous mirror that reflects the living area beyond. A trio of Michael Anastassiades pendants hang from the ceiling, past a mezzanine of bookshelves.

With a characteristic respect for the fabric of this eighteenth-century house in Bath, designer Patrick Williams has carefully transformed it into a welcoming home and B&B. The family bathroom continues the triumph of aesthetics over modern-day convenience. All pipework, as throughout the house, is copper: even the shower rail was dechromed. A Bathstore loo that cost just £99 is cleverly disguised – Patrick took the push button apart and connected the cable to a brass bell pull that flushes the loo.

This clever tree-like shelf on which you can also hang coats and bags is perfect for itty-bitty entryways – and can also be used in the kitchen. Stack plates, bowls and mugs underneath and hang utensils like sieves from the pegs.

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This small bathroom has been decorated with fittings with clean lines, allowing the exposed brick to be the only feature of the room. The bath is continued under the sink, creating a limitless quality to the fitting.

Roses sit prettily on the bedside table of interior designer Louise Jones’ bedroom. Louise has wasted no space here. The bookshelves – holding plently of bedtime reading material – have been built into the alcoves; they complement the striped wallpaper perfectly.

Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole.

Paolo Moschino chose a cabin-style bed to make the most of the limited space in this spare room. The designer has transformed this small, humble fisherman’s cottage in north Cornwall into a light-filled home. A blue-and-white colour scheme is used throughout the property, inspired by colours of the sea, as well as giving continuity that adds to the sense of spaciousness.

Perhaps best known for producing beautiful tiles, Bert & May have created this chic barge in the depths of Hackney. Having limited space they have cleverly utilised the narrow shape to create a comfortable living area. The walls are clad in reclaimed wooden planks from Bert & May, stained white to contrast with black window frames. The ‘Azilal’ rug by Larusi is complimented by an ‘Illum Wikkelso’ sofa by The Modern Warehouse with cushions from Conran. The mix of lights add a cosy feel to the room with an Eileen Gray ‘Roattino’ floor lamp from Aram, and wall lights by Atelier Areti. The side tables are from Sigmar.

This small living room corner has been used to display books, ornaments and artwork with shelving that surrounds a comfy red and white sofa. The shelves are painted grey to match the walls and papered at the back with a geometric pattern to reflect the sofa fabric.

In the living room of garden designer Jinny Blom’s home in Nunhead the living room is painted in ‘Swedish Grey’ by Marston & Langinger, since discontinued. ‘Grey Birch’ from Sanderson is a similar cool-toned light grey. The armchairs and ottoman are upholstered in a pewter linen from John Brown and a glass coffee table displays Jinny’s collection of shells.

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In this kid’s bedroom, the ceiling has been painted to look like a circus tent, using Farrow & Ball’s ‘Rectory Red’ and Paint and Paper Library’s ‘Slate I’. This creates an optical illusion, making the room seem bigger.

Removing doors can make a place feel less cluttered. If you can choose the doors, a sliding door or panel will keep things streamlined.

Hand-printed fabric walling and selected antiques add character to the hut, which has a different design scheme to the main house. ‘Complete with a sweet kitchen, wood-burning stove, artisan-fitted furniture and a bespoke bed, it has the perfect feeling of cosiness.’

Careful consideration of every socket, shelf and lighting source has transformed a poky bathroom in to an inviting space. The designer Juliette Byrne enlisted lighting designer Sally Storey of John Cullen for the job, installing hidden LED’s to change the feel of the space. ‘So often people consider these things after the carpentry has been done, but we were able to plan in advance which was a joy,’ says Sally. ‘We used lights on top of mirrors, and illuminated the dead space beneath the floating shelves and the vanity unit, with creates a feeling of depth: the bathroom appears so much bigger.’

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Small spaces can be the hardest rooms to get right. The DNA of small rooms from bathrooms to bedrooms, are made to test the limits of your design ideas.

This room in the Florescus’ modern Chelsea townhouse belongs to Lizzie and Ion’s son Leopold. The blind is in Jane Churchill’s ‘Deverell Stripe’ and the model of a Cadogan Square house was made by Leopold. These small touches add a sense of fun while maintaining the decoration scheme that runs throughout the house. Stripes, natural light and unfussy furniture make the space seem bigger.

Although this barn is small, Emma Burns of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler made the space comfortable and spacious by using its height to create a mezzanine.

Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Christopher Stocks. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

How do you solve a problem like a 17m² studio apartment? If you’re our decorating team, by using a whole lot of stylish space-saving ideas. One example: forgo a cumbersome wardrobe for separate storage crates and hanging rails, which can be hidden behind a decorative curtain.

By hanging a chair on a wall, not only are you saving valuable floor space (and also keeping it easily to hand if you need a spare seat), but it provides the perfect home for a stack of magazines or books. Genius.

This small kids’ bedroom features a loft bed, along with two broad, wall-mounted benches that are easily transformed into beds (bed-linen is concealed below), while a third, drawer bed (pictured) slides out when needed. Eve Mercier designed this former artist’s studio Chelsea, London which measures only 90 square metres and is home to a family of five.

If you don’t have much floor space, utilise your walls. Space has been maximised in this tiny bathroom with built-in shelves.

In one of Kensington’s original ‘genteel residences’, designer Cindy Leveson has risen to the challenge of opening out and updating a nineteenth-century house to create elegantly functional twenty-first-century living spaces for the owners and their young family. This staircase leading down to the basement extension, was designed by Holloways of Ludlow and utilises every inch of space, with shelving alcoves cut in to the wall and custom-made painted-tulipwood units.

Interior designer Eve Mercier turned a former artist’s studio measuring a mere 90 square metres into a home for a family of five, without sacrificing style. As shown by this chic hallway where a 1960s Sciolari chrome and glass chandelier makes a discreet statement and clutter is kept hidden behind streamlined storage solutions.

For a small space, this combined kitchen/living room crams in a whole lot of style. The checkerboard floor unites the space, while each individual area is subtly sectioned off: the grey ‘living room’, a bright ‘dining room’ and a retro blue ‘kitchen’.

A mezzanine bedroom is the ideal solution for a small space, especially if you fit in a built-in wardrobe behind the bed. But designer Maurizio Pellizzoni had to jump through several hoops to get planning permission for the staircase, which links the mezzanine bedroom to the sitting room. First the staircase had to be craned in, then the council had to close the street while giant glass panels for the bedroom were hoisted up into place. Maurizio refers to this project, done for his friend Andrew Daniell in London’s Shoreditch, as the James Bond flat, because of its technology and slick looks. It’s a bachelor pad, but the striped blanket adds a soft splash of colour in an otherwise monochromatic scheme (find a similar one from Welsh weavers Melin Tregwynt, £95 at John Lewis).

This adaptable eco-design by Manchester-based company Dwelle is both space and energy efficient. The interior is flooded with natural light thanks to skylights, glass doors and windows, and te effect is intensified by white walls and a neutral colour palette. Enough space is created on a mezzanine level for a bedroom and workspace, with a kitchen underneath.

‘My brief was to make the cottage as special as possible,’ says Paolo. ‘It needed to be bigger, lighter, fresh and a little bit modern.’

In this London terraced house conversion, the kitchen includes a casual dining area with a corner sofa. This is a stylish way of using a small kitchen to its fullest potential.

This living room isn’t necessarily small, but there’s some big design ideas to steal from it – especially the shelf wall. If your place is particularly tiny, hang only the high shelves – leaving space for a sofa or table underneath. The wheel trolley coffee table? Also an idea worth stealing.

When the architects of the Barbican, the Grade II-listed Seventies London landmark, drew up the kitchens, they had the clever idea of bringing in Brooke Marine, a firm of yacht designers. They figured the one place where space for a kitchen was always at a premium was on board a boat. It wasn’t the only ground-breaking idea: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon also decided the kitchens should be placed at the rear of the flats and be windowless, so that the living area and bedrooms could enjoy the available window space instead. However, the design ran afoul of council bylaws requiring a window or ventilation in the kitchen. The solution? The kitchens were named ‘cooking areas’ that were considered part of the living room and the designs were approved. Canny.

One way to deal with a small space effectively is through harnessing the power of colour. Designer and author Claire Lloyd and her artist husband Matthew Usman have chosen a chaste palatte that virtually erases the perimeters of this tiny bedroom. Painting out the awkwardly placed window also helps to give the room a feeling of cohesion. The eye is then drawn irresistibly to the few notes of colour and detail that the room has to offer, meaning that fewer decorative flourishes are needed to give impact and character. Texture is key here to avoid the room looking sparse. When making a small space totally white opt for the natural warmth given by wood or roughly hewn stone as a base.

This tiny cottage kitchen is a perfect example of the best thing about smallkitchens – they can be incredibly cosy. Here, a small sink (‘Udden’, £105 at Ikea – see our round-up of the best Ikea products for more ideas) is paired with a William Yeoward linen curtain (‘Khalana’ in marine, £55 a metre).

Present a designer with a space of no more than 90 square metres, ask her to create a home for a family of five, with ample storage space, and she could be forgiven for thinking this was stretching the bounds of possibility. Yet this is just what happened when the owner of this former artist’s studio in Chelsea asked interior designer Eve Mercier to turn it into a two-bedroom, light-filled pied a terre for a family of five, through clever reconfiguration of the interior.

Ta-da! Hide shelving and storage behind a simple curtain. The flat surface lets the eye rest, making the room seem MUCH bigger. White works, or experiment with fabrics and prints that coordinate with the rest of your room.

The study nook in Luke Edward Hall’s flat is cosy, compact and functional. Luke’s partner, creative consultant Duncan Campbell works from home most days with his business partner Charlotte Rey, and finds this micro-office ‘a great place to work’. It benefits from good light due to the glass door to the right of the desk, which leads out onto a small balcony. ‘People always ask if it’s hard to work from a desk in our living area, but you don’t feel like you are in the same room. There’s also a lovely view from the desk out onto the trees in the square,’ explains Duncan.

Black and white flooring in oversize checks unites the two spaces. ‘I blame the floor,’ she says laughing. ‘That’s where it all started.’ She is referring to the palette of green, black and white that runs throughout much of the house, but comes to the fore in the kitchen and conservatory.

‘We gutted the whole interior’, says Eve, ‘moved the stairs that had led to a tiny mezzanine, and built a second floor, leaving a large angular well from ground to roof that allows light to flood from upstairs into the hall below.’ Floorboards of limewashed Douglas fir run the length of both levels, concealing heating units between the joists below. Walls are panelled Arts and Crafts-style and painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’, while, in a bid to reduce clutter, jib doors conceal everything from washing machines and understair storage.

Hannah Cecil Gurney’s west London pattern-filled flat is a feast of luxurious colour, texture and pattern – little surprise given that her father founded the handmade wallpaper company de Gournay.

The curtains behind the bed – along with adding a cosy feel to the room – draw the eye up, making the ceilings appear higher, while the cushion in the window seat also draws the eye outwards. Avoid bulky bedside tables in a small bedroom; this Forties industrial metal table with narrow legs lets the light shine through, making the space seem airy. Additional storage comes from the smart suitcases tucked underneath.

Every nook and cranny cleverly camouflages storage. Even the window seat and custom-made table conceal touch-catch drawers, and a false bookcase (to the left of the fire) incorporates a rise-and-fall mechanism that reveals the television. ‘I went to a second-hand bookshop and bought books to the exact measurements, then had to chop them up for their spines,’ says Philippa. ‘I felt very guilty – but the result looks genuine.’

Built-in bookshelves are ideal when you have a large collection of books and space is at a premium. High alcoves are particularly useful for this design solution.

A great small bathroom design idea for a studio flat or a guest annex. Interior designer Suzy Hoodless has added a bath and sink to a bedroom in this Notting Hill House. Geometric tiles create a division between the bathing area and the main bedroom. Graphic curtains made with fabric from Madeline Weinrib add colour to the white walls by the bed, while a Fifties Swedish chair upholstered in sheepskin sets the tone by the free-standing ‘Vieques’ bath from Agape.

Interior designer Peter Mikic redecorated this chic modern Victorian villa for his clients, stripping back a previous, over-slick modernisation to display the house’s considerable original charm. (See Peter Mikic’s Dos and Don’ts of Decorating for more tips.)

Classic-boat enthusiast and creative talent Katie Fontana’s love of pure craftsmanship and aesthetic simplicity resulted in the bespoke kitchen design company Plain English as well a charming houseboat and boathouse. In ‘Stork’, Katie’s houseboat moored in London the interiors of are painted in Farrow & Ball paints.

You don’t have to display everything. After all, nothing makes a room feel smaller than clutter.

For more cosy inspiration, see our hygge design ideas and favourite rustic interiors.

The pale walls, bedding and headboard in this small bedroom are perfect for such a tiny space. Loft conversions always benefit from large windows, such as the one here, to fill the rooms with natural light.

Design Ideas: Stylish Mezzanine Floors | Hallway Ideas | Small Bedroom Design | Cool Wallpaper

This tiny tin-roofed Scottish fishing lodge belonging to fashion designer Jeanetta Rowan-Hamilton is like something from The Wind in The Willows – not just in the sense that the house is close to a river, but that she evidently shares author Kenneth Grahame’s time-honoured view that interior decoration begins with a good log fire and a toasted teacake.

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If your living room is cramped and cluttered, the last thing you’ll want to do is hang out there. That is, unless you trick your eye into thinking your room is bigger than it appears. It’s not magic; it’s just smart styling. Get ready to Pin all these tips.

Garden Designer Butter Wakefield and her now ex-husband bought this London Victorian villa ‘for a song’ in 1991. ‘The kitchen was so poky, you could barely open the oven. But we saw it in spring when the light was pouring in across the west-facing garden and we just fell in love,’ she recalls. The kitchen is far from poky now, helped partly by the addition of an elegant conservatory 10 years ago. ‘It is essential to have the garden as much inside as possible,’ says Butter, hence the large sash window and the stable door.

To heighten the dimensions of this small bedroom, the ceiling is painted in ‘Lulworth Blue’ from Farrow & Ball. To emphasise the leafy view onto Brompton Cemetery, Beata Heuman has placed ‘Pax’ wardrobes with mirrored doors from Ikea on either side of the window. The blinds are in ‘Serafina’ (white) by Marvic. See more small space ideas in this small first time buyer’s flat.

Taken from the September 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Emily Senior

Placing French doors at the end of a narrow kitchen opens up the space, filling it with light.

This attic bedroom is not boring, however, thanks to a patterned headboard and exposed beams adding interest to the space.

As for the artificial lighting, we used the products of Urban Cottage Industries to run four cables out of the central ceiling, fixing them with a combination of FactoryLux Ceramic Cable Holders and white cleat hooks from eBay. This meant we could easily move bulbs around and change their cables’ lengths by coiling them around a cleat or two.”

Like this? Then you’ll love: How to Transform a Room with Yellow Accents | Small bathrooms | Small bedrooms | Small dining rooms | Small kitchens | How to get organised | How to decorate a 17m² studio apartment | The art of designing a small room

Sofa beds can be a surprisingly stylish (if not necessary) choice for a small space. This double bed is actually two sofa beds pushed together. (See the room in its ‘living room’ form here.) In the daytime, bedlinen can be hidden away neatly in a trunk.

As a small space dweller, the maxim ‘make every inch count’ wears thin. If you already live in a studio, your living room and kitchen might already mingle (whether you like it or not), but if you have separate rooms, consider storing certain items that belong in one room in another. For example, a pretty shelf display of dishes or glasses would look as equally charming in a living room – and save some much needed kitchen storage.

Taken from the April 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Butter Wakefield makes small space sing in the bedroom of her London house. It’s a pared-back affair with a pretty green blind from her days at Colefax and Fowler and an exceptionally comfortable looking bed. Butter’s house and garden is a place of bounty and comfort: the furniture is positively plump; there are layers upon layers of fabric; anything that can be filled with flowers is filled with flowers. The vases beneath the painting of trees in bloom is an especially sweet touch.

The main bedroom has walls covered in Nicole Fabre Designs’ ‘Abbeville’ fabric, from Tissus d’Helene. Freshly pressed cotton sheets lie atop a bed with a wave-edged headboard.

The kitchen in interior designer Jane Taylor’s flat features storage ideas galore – including this clever corner which mixes and matches shelving to brilliant, space-saving effect.

Gallic style goddess Inès de La Fressange revealed in her book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide that the French go mad for simple storage containers and decorate with them liberally, especially in their petite Parisian flats. Look to Muji or Ikea and intersperse them with favourite cookbooks and quirky kitchenalia.

Suede banquette seating from Alma makes for a perfect small space solution, shown here filling an alcove in a London flat designed by Keech Green. Such seating often has hidden storage too, making it ideal for awkward corners. In this scheme, a limited colour palette ensures the corner doesn’t look too ‘busy’.

A simple palette and minimal accessories make this bathroom feel elegant and luxurious. The walls are covered with tadelakt plaster which reflects light beautifully. The walk-in shower has no door, this makes the space appear larger, and perhaps even a little more enticing.

No room for an office? A large hallway makes the perfect spot for an ad-hoc workspace. To avoid it looking too cluttered, blend the desk and shelving into the surrounding area by using similar colours.

Like this? Then you’ll love See all the pictures from this adorable Cotswolds cottage

Beata Heuman has transformed her small first-time buyer’s flat in a style she jokingly refers to as ‘urban safari chic’, making imaginative use of both the compact space and her limited funds.

If your room is lacking space for both cupboards and seating, take a leaf out of the book of the late Helen Green of Helen Green Designs. In her son’s bedroom, smart storage space, with a recess for a small sofa, solves the problem. Spotlights have been added to the underside of the middle shelf to create a cozy, well-lit nook for reading. The tongue-and-grove effect on the walls, is echoed on the sturdy bunk-beds to the left of the picture.

The spare room in shop-owner Alastair Hendy’s restored Tudor home has beds under the sloped roof, creating a perfectly cosy small bedroom. For more inspiration, see our hygge design ideas and favourite rustic interiors.

‘The proportions of these houses are not particularly good, they are a little too tall and a little too narrow’ says interior designer Cindy Leveson of the hallway of this nineteenth-century house designed in collaboration with Holloways of Ludlow. The rooms have been opened up and the hall wall removed and replaced by almost invisible sliding doors, which disappear into deep reveals. The elegant, painted corner cupboard opens to reveal a practical space for coat and boot storage – simple but brilliant.

The rope and iron chandelier is from Pottery Barn and the sofa below it is covered in ‘Mirandela’ cotton linen from Prêt à Vivre.

Pieces that can serve multiple purposes are key: Find a table that can function as a desk and a dining table, get a deep sofa that can double as a guest bed, or buy cubes that serve as a coffee table and bonus seats when guests are over.

Even if you’re living in a tiny studio apartment, the kitchen can still take centre stage. The simple wood and white design keeps things streamlined and the galley style open layout – save for a statement dividing wall – keeps it from feeling pokey and allows for a real luxury in small kitchens: a dining table!

If you don’t have room for a dedicated study take note. Having commissioned an award-winning newbuild in Suffolk, the owners entrusted its decoration to interior designer Virginia White. The gallery leading to the spare bedrooms has been turned into a self-contained study, where Virgina chose a corner desk attatched the mezzanine wall to minimise the amount of floor space used.

This white living room has a mezzanine level above the sitting and dining areas. This design idea, which is best applied to small rooms with high ceilings, is one clever way to increase square footage in a small flat.

The ‘Peacock Dark’ rug, designed by Matthew Williamson for The Rug Company, inspired the design of the sitting room and set the tone for this ship-shape Mayfair flat. The walls are painted in three shades of Farrow & Ball white to prevent the space looking too severe.

Terrace Loft Sofa from £4,315 and China Stool, from £139 at Raft

Other things you may find useful: How to Decorate a Small Flat | Small bedrooms | Clothes Storage | Rita Konig on Choosing Bedlinen | Headboards | Small Space Ideas | Bedroom design ideas

A wood-burning stove surrounded by bookshelves heats this writer’s shed. Irregular shelving allows space for a sink, while another ‘compartment’ is a window, which maximises natural light in the garden room.

Like this? Then you’ll loveMore pictures from this small bedroom

Wondering what colour scheme to use in a small bedroom? In this small Chelsea house, interior designer Philippa Thorp has ingeniously used every centimetre of space. The scheme revolves around calm neutral patterns and clean lines, highlighted by eye-catching abstract paintings (including this one by Lasse Skarbovik).

Brooke Marine kitchen taken from the January 2013 issue of House & Garden.

Downsizing from a bigger flat meant decluttering for established interior designer Ann Boyd. “That is a discipline but it is also a joy,” she says. The flat in Chesil Court, Chelsea features a kitchen fitted with handle-free units from Ikea teamed with a Corian worktop. Mirror glass has been used for the splashback to create the illusion of space, while the pewter chargers are from I & JL Brown.

Create a fanciful retreat in your bathroom by papering all four walls in a dynamic print. The continuous pattern allows your eye to roam the room rather than be confronted by a solid colour.

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This owners of this London house gave architect Maria Speake of Retrouvius the go-ahead to make structural changes to give their family and business the space needed without having to move home. A shed has been made into a little studio in the vegetable garden, with a daybed that’s fitted with storage underneath. The shed sits in a vegetable patch, beyond which is a communal garden that has been a labour of love for Henrietta who is one half of the gardening duo the Land Gardeners who run a thriving flower garden based at Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire.

Crittall screens differentiate the space in this living room by member of The List Turner Pocock. The patterns on upholstery and rugs mimic the statement made by the mirrors – both are bold and graphic. The twin mirrors on either side of the fireplace reflect the natural light beautifully and really open up the alcoves.

Find a similar traditional Sheila Maid clothes dryer at Garden Trading. Raised and lowered from the ceiling with a jute rope, it is perfectly suited to small rooms with a lack of floor space.

This grey panelled utility room with a Sheila Maid is the perfect example of what to do with that strange little space in your home. The smart room clad in tongue-and-groove panelling belongs to a west London house designed by Clare Stevenson and Claire Sa from architectural practice De Rosee Sa.

Taken from the October 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole.

This small bedroom belongs to the guest cottage of designer Vanessa Macdonald’s Georgian home in rolling Oxfordshire hills. The room makes small space stylish with a patterned headboard, valance and rug, and windows built into the slanted ceiling.

Designer Ann Boyd’s tiny London pied a terre is packed with useful ideas. In the bathroom she has installed a short-projection loo, and wall-hung basin – both from Bathstore – to free up space. These have been used in combination with a backdrop of mirror-glass panelling to cheat the room’s compact proportions.

A low sleeping platform-cum-mezzanine is suspended under the ceiling and accessed via open stepped storage. The total absence of handrails or guard rails means this type of arrangement is best suited to the sure-footed – as well as those who are sound sleepers.

Bunk beds are a great way to free up space in a small kids’ bedroom, and many modern versions come with some great storage solutions too (check out Very.co.uk for budget buys). If you’re nifty at DIY, a simple book rail is easy to assemble yourself.

A small workspace with space-saving pocket doors is cleverly concealed in a kitchen cupboard in this west London Victorian terrace house designed by Clare Stevenson and Claire Sa from architectural practice De Rosee Sa. This storage solution (it could be used simply to hide books or other objects) is stylish, inexpensive and can be easily replicated in your own home.

The owners of this London house asked architect Maria Speake to create more family space. In the main bedroom, framed pressed flowers are arranged above the headboard, which is upholstered in a hand-dyed pink velvet by Kirsten Hecktermann, with the same velvet used for the panelling between the bedroom and bathroom to create a sense of continuity.

This small house in Knightsbridge belonging to cartoonist and interior designer Sally Ann Lasson was completely reconfigured to create a comfortable home with a sense of spaciousness. ‘The smaller the place, the more the storage, the more hooks, the more shelves you need,’ she says. ‘Tulip’ chairs add a modern note to the dining room. The high shelf tucked in the corner provides welcome storage, the vase on top drawing the eye to the ceiling.

Taken from the January 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.

Have a small kids’ room? This bedroom in the North London home of Lucie Allison (see more amazing images here) turns a shared small room into a magical space with a few clever touches. Cubby bunk beds with curtains, a vintage toy crib to store books and clothes hung stylishly on the walls makes for a small, yet dreamily-designed space.

The original flooring was preserved and restored throughout to create a home that combines twenty-first-century comforts with seventeenth-century character. Coated in larch shingles, it is a house of great charm and individuality, and was just the sort of thing to catch the eye of architectural designer Jonathan Tuckey, who has been commuting between London and the Swiss village for the last six years.

The elegant bed (painted ‘Slate I: Stark Paint’ by David Oliver’s Paint Library, with curtains in a muted Veere Grenney fabric) and demilune table are both antique Swedish; while his crisp white bed linens are from The White Company, with sconces sourced from Soane.

To keep a hallway light and airy paint the walls white but direct attention to the floor by introducing a bold colour. Stripes, painted in varying directions, play with our perception of space – and diagonal stripes give the impression of stretching out a narrow room. To enhance this effect, reverse their direction halfway through.

Architectural designer Daniele Petteno’s contemporary reworking of a compact London flat puts the bedroom and the kitchen next to one another divided by a bank of cupboards to allow light to flood the property. An internal window by the hob allows views into the main bedroom, with privacy created by a blind.

The interior of this fun, colourful home is a highly original space, unapologetically theatrical and oozing energy. ‘The owners are both artists. They have quite wild tastes and they love strong colours,’ says designer Beata. ‘I was told by the wife that her childhood dream was to have a house with a series of rooms each with its own distinct personality – Chinese, Japanese, American and so on. That would have been too much, but I did want to give the house variation and changes of mood.’

Sofa beds, ‘Melissa’, 85 x 102 x 90cm, £1,690 each, at The Bolton Sofa Bed Company; covered in ‘Moro’ (mango), cotton mix, £71.50 a metre, at Romo. Visit here for full credits.

Even designers live in awkward spaces. Jane Taylor has created a number of devices for her Chelsea mansion flat, including the kitchen door which doubles as CD storage.

Blue and white striped walls make this small bedroom feel bigger, a clever effect that is reinforced by the matching headboard. The subtle nautical style with industrial touches seems particularly fitting for a bedroom in a Victorian water tower conversion.

Two Designer’s Guild beds upholstered in ‘Brera’ linen furnish this small bedroom in the attic a Somerset country house. The calm turquoise and white scheme offers some colour to the room without making the small space feel too busy.

Having moved from a Georgian manor, Clare Agnew reworked the conversion of a 300-year-old barn in Norfolk to create a secluded home for her family, in which the inside works in harmony with the garden and the marshland beyond.

Opt for multipurpose designs, but ensure the design works equally well for all its uses. This small sofa does double duty as a bookshelf and lets you put your feet up.

This design idea has been stylishly executed in Wendy Nicholls’ London flat. The eighteenth-century painting above the Victorian chimneypiece provides a focal point in this living room, with its grisaille walls painted by Jessica Fletcher at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.

This Paris apartment was designed by London-based designer Tara Craig. The basic scheme in the living room is minimal but Tara has injected visual interest through her witty use of colour, pattern and texture. Tara’s client is a keen traveller and the decoration scheme gestures at this through the subtle ethnic touches used throughout.

Building a bookshelf around a door – as this place shows – is a super stylish decorating idea for spaces both big and small. Just add some beautiful boxes for storage and display your most beautiful books.

This built-in niche bed with shelves and a curtain was designed by Beata Heuman, who was asked to create a spare bedroom that was dark and cosseting. To achieve this, Beata designed a built-in bed complete with curtain and ‘Fretwork’ bedcover from Oka. The small space is made even more inviting by the contrast between the rust-red interior, which is painted in ‘Drummond’ by Little Greene, and the dark blue exterior in Dulux ’90BG 10067′.

From furniture to wallpaper, hundreds of living room pictures to inspire »

Exploit the often under-utilized space between the tops of furniture and a room’s ceiling with hanging or high-mounted elements. Take bookcases and cabinets all the way up—it’ll make the room feel higher.

This small white and grey bedroom, on the houseboat of Plain English founder Katie Fontana, is painted in Farrow & Ball paint. The light colours make the space feel bigger while the navy bed linen adds an appropriate nautical touch to the scheme.

Bed curtains and a pocket of patterned wallpaper give the feeling of a cosy room-within-a-room in a small bedroom at a modern country home designed by Veere Greeney. The bed curtains are in a wool felt from Holland & Sherry.

‘I find the kitchen – and where people choose to position it in a house – very interesting,’ Rita muses. ‘Women, having spent years fighting their way out of them, are now manacling themselves to these enormous kitchen islands, while their children sit in the drawing room playing computer games. I still have a sense of open plan without ever having to look at the kitchen sink.’ Every inch of space is utilised for storage, with the walls between the rooms fitted with shelves. Friendly and remarkably practical.

They have also cleverly slotted in a dining and kitchen area with a pine ‘Pirkka’ dining table and chairs design by architect llmari Tapiovaara for Laukaan Puu. The ceramics on the table were specially made for Bert & May by Vanja Bazdulj, based on tile designs, as was the wall hanging by Native Line. The plates on the wall in the kitchen were commissioned and made by Darkroom.

The vertical lines of the panelling in this Welsh farmhouse by Hackett Holland add height to the awkwardly shaped bathroom, while the window gives bathers a view of the sky. A sink curtain emphasises the country feel of the scheme and hides any unsightly pipes.

‘This cottage is now a part of us, an effortless comfort blanket,’ says designer Caroline Holdaway of the adorable Cotswolds cottage she shares with her photographer partner, Fatimah Namdar, on weekends. The wall shelves in the spare room – along with providing storage – draw the eye up, making the cosy ceilings appear higher, while a chair provides double duty as a bedside table. An olive-stripe flatweave rug from Sinclair Till contrasts with a vibrant tartan rug from Toast used as a bedspread and cushions made from fabric pieces left over from projects.

Taken from the October 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Alice B-B.

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Jeanetta Rowan-Hamilton inherited this fishing lodge from her parents and carefully restored it to its former glory. Being an avid antique collector she loves change of usage and hung a curtain made from old fabric to separate the utility room. A clever space-saver trick that also keeps in the warmth and blocks out unwanted chilly draughts.

You may also like… Small bedrooms | Clothes Storage | Rita Konig: Choosing Bedlinen | Kids’ rooms | Headboards

You may also like: Small Flat Ideas | Small dining rooms | Beautiful Wallpaper Ideas | Curtain Ideas| Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire

Small bedrooms don’t need to be boring bedrooms. Stick to a two-tone scheme (in this case, pink and white), streamline with clever and discreet under-bed storage and make a design feature with essential items, like books. In this thoroughly cosy space, skylights guarantee natural light and a few well-chosen necessities in bold prints (throws, cushions, etc) add personality.

However, you’d be off by several decades, for although the main footprint of this fairytale Oxfordshire barn is original, much of its glorious eccentricity and atmosphere is totally fake. Lincoln and Tish Seligman’s home designed by the artist Paul Nicholls (who was the former occupant) has been divided cleverly using beams, ladders, platforms and mezzanines.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng.

In this Paris flat, designer Tara Craig has transformed a narrow, bland hallway using a narrow rug and picture shelves.

Make the most of every surface, as in this Ikea design, by attaching rails, shelves and hooks to the side of a cupboard. Its stainless steel ‘Rimforsa’ rail, £6, holds everything from cooking utensils and chopping boards to tablets. The bamboo tablet stand costs £10.

Every inch of architectural designer Charles Rutherfoord’s dressing room in his London home has been used up. The wooden bookcase and drawer storage houses his impressive book collection, lovingly arranged and origanised. The room has an air of a charming, antique book shop.

Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden, Hotels by Design

Samuel and Caitlin Dowe-Sandes, the owners of Moroccan tile company Popham Design have decorated their riad, in the heart of Marrakech’s medina, using crisp colour and pieces sourced from the local souk. Utilizing a small narrow space, the blue wall draws the eye to the back of the room where the bed had been placed on a raised platform.

Open shelving has been fixed to the back of the mirror panelled bedhead in designer Ann Boyd’s small home create a walk-in wardrobe space tucked away from view.

In the bedroom of Sam and Jane Kasten’s 1830s coaching inn in Massachusetts the couple have chosen antique furniture to suit the scale of the room. A Shaker-style rocking chair sits in the corner and the bed is hung with a handmade patchwork quilt.

Bring your artwork up to trick the eye and expand or accentuate the height of the room. A gallery wall might seem too busy for a small space, but it can actually make it feel larger if it extends to the ceiling.

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Small Spaces Designer Tips How to Renovate How to Decorate a Small Bathroom The Best Decorating Ideas for Small Living Rooms Expand a Small Space Editing a Small Space Big Ideas for Small Spaces Make a Small Space Bigger With Color designer tips interior design

This modern city flat that has been transformed from a stark new-build to a characterful home. The use of a natural palette full of texture and earthy tones continues in this bedroom, creating a calm and peaceful space.

Small studio dwellers, take note – you can live in a bright, airy space. Take inspiration from this all-white room from Ikea. Seamless shelving (and lots of it) mixed with zinc storage boxes (very Parisian chic) makes for a tiny flat that feels roomy yet stylish.

On the second floor of a large Italianate block of gentlemen’s chambers on Jermyn Street, this flat offers all the advantages of living in the heart of London with few of the drawbacks.

This twin bedroom can be found in the attic of a timber-framed inn in Suffolk. The curtains are made of crisp linen tablecloths. The pretty pink of the bed linen accentuates the sweetness of twin beds. This bedroom really is a dream one true!

The attic of Kate Earl’s charming 1920s chalet in the French Alps is the children’s domain, and though the rooms up there are small, they are every bit as thought through and sophisticated as the rest of the house. This tiny bedroom (the smaller of the two) with painted-pine ceilings features one bed ingeniously built under another, in an L-shape configuration.

Emma Chapman of blog A Beautiful Mess created a wrap-around desk in a corner in her home, leaving the centre of the room uncluttered. A couple of compact, stool-height chairs means she and her husband, Trey, have the option of either sitting or standing while they work. See how to make your own version over on A Beautiful Mess.

if you have a small kitchen it is sometimes wise to cut the clutter and keep things minimalist. The clean-lined kitchen of Johnny Holland’s London flat has white units with push catch doors for a sleek and modern finish. The hob has a carrera marble splashback and the peninsula is made from Corian.

This small kitchen in an eighteenth-century cottage in the Cotswolds is tiny ‘but perfectly formed’, with the same floorspace as a larger kitchen with an island would have, and it adequately suits the owners’ needs. They cook on an oil-fired Rayburn, which stands in an alcove – ’20 minutes and you can have boiling water,’ says owner Caroline.

Living in small flats doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style for drab storage solutions and “it’s the only thing that will fit” furniture. It just takes a little creativity. To prove that small spaces can still be stylish, Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory took on the challenge of decorating a 17-square-metre studio apartment. Their ingenious ways of maximising space make quite an impact…

You may also like… Small Kitchens | How to get organised | How to decorate a 17m² studio apartment | The art of designing a small room

A tiny bedroom doesn’t have to be dull as this Moroccan-style space shows. The natural architecture allows for an in-built nightstand, while the other accoutrements are added to the wall – including the headboard and lamp. The DIY trim of cotton pom poms (‘Sherbert Pips’, £7.95 a metre from Clothkits) on the bedcover adds an inspired touch, while the matching Designers Guild curtains and cushion (both ‘Savine’, £140 a metre) ties it all together.

Jeanetta Rowan-Hamilton’s restored fishing lodge in Sutherland, Scotland is like something from The Wind in The Willows. It is not that just the house is close to a river, but that she evidently shares author Kenneth Grahame’s time-honoured view that interior decoration begins with a good log fire and a toasted teacake. The interiors of the tiny tin-roofed lodge are befitting of the architecture but still fresh and contemporary. Slate tiles divide the stove and sink from the dining room, while the original tongue-and-groove wall panelling has been sanded and varnished to a warm colour.

‘Compact Kitchen’, including stainless-steel splashback with shelves and worktop with integral sink, drainer and two electric rings, £549 as pictured, at Space Savers. For full credits, visit here.

The artist owners of this fun and colourful London house called on interior designer Beata Heuman to create a family home full of distinctive design and strong colours.

Clever shelving can show off your best kitchen accessories, while a well-placed curtain can hide what you don’t want seen. Stackable chairs and a display of utensils on the wall can also free up much-needed space in a small kitchen.

‘Lining the kitchen walls with gold leaf and painting the woodwork turquoise has made the tiny cooking space feel like the inside of a delicious chocolate box.’ The room was designed with cosiness in mind; it is the only space where the celing was not restored to double height and the wenge worktop was chosen specifically to be ‘more cosy and warm than stone’.

It’s the oldest design trick in the book: Mirrors will make your space feel larger, lighter, and airier.

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Alastair Hendy has an uncanny talent for evoking the mood of the past – from his restored Tudor house to his charming Victorian-style shop in Hastings.

Whether you live in a cozy studio apartment or want to get more out of a small room or tiny nook in your house, use these small space design ideas to help you decorate.

Designer Jane Taylor has ingeniously incorporated storage into her small bedroom in Chelsea. Wardrobes and cupboards are concealed behind panelling made by Sympatico Joinery, which is painted in Zoffany’s ‘White Clay’, from £41 for 2.5 litres of emulsion. Shallow cubbyholes in the panelling next to the bed function as bedside tables.

The corner of the room features a small workspace with space-saving pocket doors, cleverly concealed in a kitchen cupboard. This storage solution (it could be used simply to hide books or other objects) is stylish, inexpensive and can be easily replicated in your own home.

Small rooms are the ideal places on which to splash out, and few things are more luxurious than walling (walls lined with fabric and wadding). Complement this opulent way of decorating with a glass cabinet filled with your more prized treasures, lining it with gold paper to reflect maximum light.

Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons own the second-smallest house in Manhattan, measuring just 1,200 square feet. Thanks to their clever handiwork, it has a sense of spaciousness that belies its bitsy façade. One of their space-enhancing ideas? The bar was once a boiler room – excellent design inspiration for a tiny kitchen (and proof that dark colours can work equally well in a small space).

Present a designer with a space of no more than 90 square metres, ask her to create a home for a family of five, with ample storage space, and she could be forgiven for thinking this was stretching the bounds of possibility. This is just what happened when the owner of this former artist’s studio in Chelsea asked interior designer Eve Mercier to turn it into a two-bedroom pied-a-terre for her family.

The spare bedroom of Ben Pentreath’s home in Dorset is housed in the attic. The apex is clad in tongue and groove panelling and the walls have been painted a creamy white – a shrewd choice for a small country bedroom. The twin beds are covered in a blue and white Indian block printed cotton.

Just because the room is small doesn’t mean the bed has to be. We love the elegant four-poster from Guinevere, in this house in Cap Ferret designed by Guy Allemand and Jonathan Tuckey. Furnished sparingly, apart from the fantastically clever storage flanking the door; the lack of furniture makes the view of the sea beyond the balcony doors the main event.

The mezzanine seating area has a cosier feel than the main living room, with exposed beams and plaid blankets on the sofas. If you have a space that’s big on height and small on floorspace, a mezzanine set up could be the perfect way to create an extra room.

Other things you may find useful: How to Decorate a Small Flat | Small bedrooms | Clothes Storage | Rita Konig on Choosing Bedlinen | Headboards | Small Space Ideas

The space features a whimsical yet modern bubble-like light fixture. Lizzie and Ion Florescu decided to combine two neighboring Chelsea town houses with ambitions of maximising outdoor space and keeping work areas separate from day-to-day life.

This small flat has lots of clever touches, from windows which let in plenty of light to under-bed storage. Resist the urge to clutter a hallway with leftover detritus or bicycles, and if possible, go for tall, flat radiators.

Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ros Byam Shaw. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

You may also like: How To Decorate With Colour | Curtain design ideas | Dark rooms | Storage ideas | Farrow and Ball colour inspiration

The architect and designer Giles Vincent has reconfigured the rooms of his west London town house to set off a rich mix of inherited and collected antiques. The smaller of the two spare rooms has a day bed upholstered in a discontinued Galbraith & Paul fabric. The bed’s headboard wraps beneath the window, padding the whole side of the bed, and making a deliciously cosy nook.

Playing on the lack of natural light in the bathroom, Rita had the bath area covered in horizontal and vertical boards, painted in a high-gloss ‘Deep Brunswick Green’ from Papers and Paints.

The best part of all? This ridiculously clever design actually conceals a DIY walk-in wardrobe. Click here to see the back.

Taken from the July 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Think about all the things you do in a space±work, sleep, relax, eat—and then establish separate zones for those activities. You can create “rooms” with a curtain, a strategically-placed table and chair, or paint, as seen in this apartment, where purple walls signal an entryway.

Low, gabled ceilings can make fitting furniture almost impossible. In this chalet designed by Todhunter Earle, custom-built shelves fit to the gables and storage boxes act as drawers (try Muji for similar), while a rail for clothes is concealed behind a simple curtain.

No space for a hat stand in the hallway? No worries. Designer and antiques dealer, Max Rollitt, uses the white walls of his hallway to display a collection of staw hats. The effect is pleasing, personal and utterly unique.

This dining area gives onto a tiny kitchen in this efficient Mayfair flat. Hans J Wegner’s ‘Wishbone’ chairs, sourced from Skandium, complement a Forties mahogany dining table by De Coene Frères, bought from the art dealer Tom Craig. The bespoke pendant light from Collier Webb echoes the deep marine blue of the kitchen beyond.

Like this? Then you’ll loveSee more pictures of this amazing home

‘Make the city guest room a place where people can have an escape of sorts,’ suggests designer Veere Grenney, the creator of this jewel of a room. ‘The fabric-covered walls and tented ceiling feel luxurious and exotic; it is hard to remember you are in the middle of London. A shelf full of good books is an imperative; here it is built in to the wall at the foot of the bed as there was no room for a standing shelf. It is the easiest way to give a room life and character.’

Interior designer Jane Taylor has taken an awkwardly shaped little corner of the dining room in her London home, and hidden it behind a bookshelf, turning it in to a miniature study for her husband Simon containing a desk and shelves. Height has been utilzed with shelves all the way to the ceiling, accessed by a fold-away step ladder.

Own a small flat? Consider an open-plan kitchen and living room and accent with an elongating mirror to really enhance the space.

When converting their Somerset chapel into a home, artist Jonathan Delafield Cook, illustrator Laura Stoddart needed space to work as well as live. And with two small children, space is always going to be a premium. So the mezzanine floor was turned into Jonathan’s office and the curved wooden desk provides him with enough room to work. Overlooking the living area and the open plan feel and makes the space feel less cramped.

To make the space feel bright and spacious, white paint seemed to be the obvious choice. Finding a shade that wouldn’t seem harsh and cold in the winter months was key. “We opted for Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’ throughout the loft. The tongue and groove panelling on two walls was treated to the ‘Dead Flat’ finish, giving it the appearance and feel of cartridge paper. (We loved this effect, though it is worth noting that it can mark easily so it is best applied to a wall you’ll have little contact with.) Our builder Billy proposed the simple but brilliant idea of adjusting the window jamb’s angle to allow more light into the loft.

Create a flexible dining space in your kitchen with banquette seating and a long, slim dining table. Even better, ensure you have enough storage with in-built cupboards and extra storage space in the seating. In this small dining space, the colour palette was kept bright and airy with muted white and grey, while a long, rectangular skylight in the stepped roof invites plenty of natural light.

Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Kasia Macie Jowska and Emily Tobin.

“Not an inch of space is unused,” says designer Jonathan Tuckey of the mews house he redesigned in London’s Notting Hill for a former submariner, someone used to confined spaces. Case in point? The modern living room is screened with Douglas-fir panelling, hiding a compact study behind it.

Interior designer Virginia Howard had no intention of moving from Knightsbridge to Pimlico, until a balcony flat in a nineteenth-century garden square changed her mind. The kitchen is designed to be simple and modern – clean lines keep the small space calm.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, Ikea are insanely brilliant at displaying clever storage ideas for small spaces. Case in point? These bookshelves along the perimeter of a bedroom. Genius.

The colour scheme for the whole house plays on crisp, nautical combinations of blue and white, and gives the interiors a continuity that contributes to the sense of spaciousness. The theme is carried through in decorative details. These fossils, bought locally, are dotted around the living room, which has its original chimneypiece.

A smaller bath, built in and panelled with marble, is an elegant option when space is limited. At this house in Chelsea, French interior designer Eve Mercier used wrap-around Carrara marble in large-format slabs ‘to visually enhance the sense of space and avoid a “bitty” look’. Natural light is afforded by a frosted, circular ‘peekaboo’ window between the bathroom and adjacent bedroom.

This tiny space was cleverly used to its fullest potential with a compact bar. Mirrored surfaces have made the area an exciting alcove rather than a dull corner, and avoid the bar looking stuffed-in. (See our home hacks using mirrors for more ideas.) Accents of gold add to the scheme’s luxurious feel.

You may also like: Beautiful bathroom ideas | Shower and wet room ideas | Bathroom Wallpaper| Small bathrooms | 20 modern bathroom ideas

‘What I really wanted to do was keep the whole roof space and the feeling of the barn, while creating storage for the books,’ says Emma, the owner of this barn converted into a sitting-room-cum-guest-cottage. ‘So I had the idea of making the two galleries with bookcases underneath.’

The parquet came from a local school and was in a terrible state – ‘it arrived in sacks of dirty, glued wood that looked ready for the bonfire.’ But all the pieces were scrubbed and individually hand-sanded, so that they reflect light in different ways. The result is wonderfully tactile, almost sculptural.

The two-part sitting room garden designer Butter Wakefield’s London home is painted a restrained shade of grey. A zingy apple-green blind and fabrics in shades of blue lift the palette, as does Butter’s collection of pink lustreware and the endless vases filled with flowers. ‘One of my greatest pleasures is having fresh flowers in the house,’ she says. ‘There is really nothing nicer.’ Not a room in this house escapes without a botanical print or a floral pattern. The walls in the sitting rooms are decked out with landscapes by Annabel Fairfax and Kirsty Wither. ‘When I finish a job, if there’s a little extra cash left and a wall space winking at me, I won’t buy jewels, I’ll buy a painting,’ says Butter.

A home created by the photographer Christoph Klauke, available from One Fine Stay

You may also like: Storage ideas | Farrow and Ball colour inspiration | The most stylish small spaces|Small bedrooms | How to get organised| How to decorate a flat

Situated on a leafy street in Manhattan’s West Village, Jos and Annabel White’s six-storey town house has been extended, gutted and completely renovated to create open-plan interiors tailored for family living. Underneath the main entertaining floor on the ground floor is the heart of the house, a huge basement family room devoted to eating, playing and lounging that opens on to the garden. ‘We have lunch in the nook,’ says Annabel. ‘Which gives a nod to old-fashioned American diners with its curved green banquette and neon sign – and dinner at the table. ‘For the kitchen, Jos and Annabel were inspired by the fittings in their friends’ New York restaurant The Fat Radish. This dining set up uses the space between the wall and cupboard to increase the seating capacity around the small round table.

‘Between the hall and the children’s floor, we took the place apart,’ Maria says. ‘Clients are anxious about moving things structurally, but often it is the easiest thing to do, and financially it is not a big deal. You can spend a fortune on cupboards, but a few good bits of steel can create the most dramatic change.’ And the dramatic change she made was to get rid of the original staircase and replace it with this slim one on a side wall, opening out the space that is now the hall. The space also includes a wall of storage and a bookshelf.

There is no need to paint an entire small apartment bright white; colour can add real drama to small spaces. On the right, a feature wall has been created using Farrow & Ball’s ‘Charlotte’s Locks’.

This bathroom belongs to a home created by the photographer Christoph Klauke, available from One Fine Stay.

You may also like: Small bedrooms | Small kitchens | Small living rooms | Storage solutions for small spaces | How to get organised| The art of designing a small room

The return of chintz – fabulous florals for bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms »

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