Home Lifestyle PropertyHome Improvements Three design tips to turn a small London property into a spacious home

Three design tips to turn a small London property into a spacious home

by Cass
20th Apr 23 3:49 pm

Short on space? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, English-dwelling families are living in the smallest homes in Europe, with an average span of just 71.9 square metres. Unsurprisingly, London’s real estate is much more cramped than the national average — the median floor space is a measly 43 square metres.

London might be arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, but living in cramped conditions can be challenging, to say the least. In fact, research has found that children who grow up in confined spaces are more likely to succumb to certain psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness.

However, as Very Well Mind clarifies, ‘room to breathe’ can be highly subjective. “Assuming that the space isn’t dirty, over-run with possessions, or in disarray, one of the advantages of living in a small space is that it’s calming. Like a nest, you might very well feel cosy and comforted.”

So, if you’re living in a small London-based property and are feeling the squeeze, here’s what you can do to rework the space into a comfortable and functional environment like the one described above.

1. Install kitchen storage solutions

Despite being known as the ‘heart of the home’, London kitchens are notoriously tiny, and transforming a cramped, cluttered kitchen can take some careful planning. Decluttering a living room is one thing, but with tangles of pipes, heavy white goods and stubborn fixed appliances, the kitchen can prove to be a real challenge to streamline or renovate.

For this reason, we recommend going down the bespoke route. Investing in customised options — like open shelving, pull-out mechanisms, and modern corner pantries — built to your kitchen’s precise dimensions allows you to maximise all your available space and allow for smart, easy-access organisation.

We recommend visiting a local showroom for a much better picture of which solutions will be most suitable for your unique space, as well as the opportunity to inspect the quality and workmanship in real life. Harvey Jones, for one, has six showrooms across London, and states that its “experienced team will work with your initial ideas to ensure your homemade kitchen is the exact space you desire.”

2. Declutter with purpose

Less is now. Or, at least according to the contemporary minimalism movement. Pitched as an antidote to the world plagued by consumerism, minimalistic design is “all about owning only what adds value and meaning to your life.”

However, it’s tempting to dismiss the benefits of a minimalist approach, particularly in light of Marie Kondo’s admission that even she has abandoned clinical tidiness to dabble in more of a chaotic neutral lifestyle.

Is there a happy medium? Yes — or at least the Danish certainly think so. As The Spruce illustrates, “Danish design is all about simplicity, functionality, and creating spaces with a welcoming, comforting feeling.” This philosophy is known as hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) and can go a long way to help you add warmth and cosiness to your surroundings.

If you’re looking for a simple but efficient method to edit your interiors, use the ‘one in, one out’ method. An alternative is to keep track of the furniture, clothing, and accessories you and your household own but haven’t used, worn, or otherwise found value in during the last year, and then find new homes across the city for them.

3. Make it light and bright

Any interior designer worth their salt will tell you that colour is a powerful tool for expanding the visual dimensions of a small room. White or neutral-toned walls will reflect light, increasing the perceived size, and trick you into thinking there is more space.

An all-white or completely neutral-coloured home can end up looking cold and sterile — regardless of its size. To avoid a similar fate, we recommend using varying degrees of white or tones from the same colour palette, along with contrasting textures to inject warmth and character. These features, along with natural light, can boost the room’s overall brightness, giving the impression of more volume and airiness.

Reflective surfaces are also widely regarded as having magical space-creating powers. If you want to add depth and make a statement in your living room, for example, all it takes is hanging a large mirror on the wall. Mirrors can be easily installed by placing them on walls opposite windows or near other sources of natural light. The increased penetration of light will make your space feel more open and bright — like this renovated London flat.

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