Our place is always evolving and changing, every inch counts. I thought I'd share some tips I've learned along the way:
1. Trying to make the space feel bigger shouldn't be a priority. If it's a small space, it will always be a small space and will never look spacious so embrace the smallness! If your landlord is cool with it, instead of painting everything white (and bland and boring) to make it look bigger why not consider something darker and moodier. It will give the space atmosphere and make it feel so warm and intimate.
This room in the Parisian apartment of Diane Von Furstenberg is on the verge of being a little crazy, but give me a little crazy over bland any day of the week. It definitely makes you want to grab a stack of magazines, a coffee and snug in for the afternoon. What a cool small space. When I think of people in Paris living in small apartments, I feel a little better!
2. Having a small space does not mean small furniture. You would think that if we select small furniture pieces for a small room we will have more space and the room will feel bigger when in fact I've found the opposite is true. Small furniture pieces accentuate how small the room is so try to go with the largest size practicable in the space. For instance a tiny two seater sofa when a three seater will fit if the better way to go. A two seater with space around it will only accentuate how small the room is however a three seater will make the room seem bigger. Same with tables, a larger table creates a large plane in the space and not only is it more useful it makes the room seem bigger. Better still use an extendable table. You want to create a harmonious space and lots of small pieces of furniture will chop the room up and look out of proportion.
A small rug floating around on the living room floor will make the room feel smaller (my absolute pet hate) try the largest rug you can afford and make sure it goes under the furniture.
Just because this is a small living area, doesn't mean everything inside it has to be small. This large artwork makes a lot of impact and gives the space depth. A sofa without arms can give you more seating too.
3. Create different zones. Think about creating different zones in the space. Different zones (created out of necessity) such as a dining area, lounge area or study area can actually make the space and make it more interesting. When you walk in you don't just take one glance and sum the room up straight away instead there are a few different pockets of interest to see. It's makes a much more intriguing this way.
Check out all of the different zones going on here. Sofas for conversation, a study table, a sewing area and play space for kids. From The Design Files
So it's a work in progress but hopefully we can make it work...