Top space-saving tricks when your room is the size of a shoebox

Anyone living in London or any other expensive city knows that you’re not going to find the space you’re after for the most affordable price. With rooms that you could hardly swing a cat in, prices are still rising and the spaces are shrinking.

But even though you have more ‘stuff’ than square metre, don’t despair. It is possible to utilise all the space efficiently in a cramped room, without a cluttered mess (my worst nightmare!).

Here are some space-saving solutions to buy you extra room…

Float on  – 

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Floating cubes – eBay

Just don’t forget to check what’s behind the wall first before you start drilling holes everywhere, and measure up properly as you don’t want to create an eyesore!

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Overstock.com – Hanging cabinet

In the nooks  – Corners can be such a waste if not used properly. Whether it be a L-shaped sofa, TV cabinet or book shelf, these ‘corner’ designs can fit neatly into the room, and save you extra space.

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Corner shelving – Inspiration from Listotic
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Corner unit – LACK range IKEA
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Inspiration from heroindia.net

Stack ’em  – For those in private rentals who don’t want to risk eviction for damaging walls, you can choose to stack your shelves instead! Cube units can easily be stacked on top of one another to again, save you on floor space. Also, utilise any alcoves with ceiling to floor storage.

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Storage cubes – IKEA

 

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Inspiration from Peterhenderson furniture.co.uk

Off the rails – Hanging things on wall-mounted rails can be handy. You can still have more counter-space and looks less cluttered. People tend to do this in compact kitchens or bathrooms where storage is limited and more organised. But you can utilise anywhere in the home. Magnetic wall holders are also a popular choice.

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Iron wall-mounted rails – IKEA
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Mason jar holders wall mounted – HGTV.com

Out of sight – Ottomans or blanket boxes are clever ways of hiding clutter as well as doubling up to be comfortable seating. You can get various sizes and styles that compliment your rooms.

I’ve got a couple of cubes for my son’s toys and books which would be scattered everywhere! It’s a great way to store children’s ‘stuff’ and keep mess at bay.

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Leather ottoman – Ebay
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Storage cubes – Ebay
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Fabric ottoman – John Lewis

Trick of the trade

A large mirror on one side of the room can create the illusion that small spaces are bigger than they actually are.

Have you got any other clever space-saving tips? Which one is your favourite?

In the spotlight: trendy pendants

 

It’s that time of year when the evenings are getting darker and a chill is definitely in the air. One thing that can make homes feel cosy and put you in a relaxed mood (besides a cup of hot chocolate!) is the use of warm lighting.

While I was looking at light pendants, I was inspired by the many modern and vintage styles available on the market. Gone are the days of the plain, feature-less shade just to cover a lightbulb, designs have got more innovative, quirky and a real statement feature to highlight any room.

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Inspiration from IKEA
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Inspiration from Dwell

Whatever your personal tastes, you can find a suitable pendant to reflect you. Just remember to measure your ceiling height as not all ceilings are the same. You don’t want to fit a light that hangs ridiculously low, or a light that is so high that you need a big ladder to change a bulb!

Also, think about what you want the light for. Is it to illuminate a dining table or kitchen island? Is it to light a room or hallway? Or is it simply just a nice decorative feature. Here are just a few of my favourite designs.

Contemporary – Designs generally offer a bright aesthetic with smooth, clean lines. They can incorporate glass and high-shine metals such as chrome and nickel that go well in contemporary spaces. Pendants can come as a trio or cluster of lights in one.

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Inspiration from John Lewis

Industrial /vintage – This design is more about the ‘back to basics’ feel, focusing more on striking bare bulbs, known as Edison style and on the metal craft effect. These usually have sturdy structure and antique brass finishings.

 

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Inspiration from lampplus.com

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Inspiration from notonthehightstreet.com

 

Retro/rustic – This includes the rustic look and time–worn effect. Materials are usually copper, wood or other metals with earthy tones. A new rectro trend is the mason jar lighting which is a quirky use of natural resources, and simple to make at home yourself (just get electrical advice beforehand!)

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Bulb attack

 

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Inspiration from zain interiors

Trick of the trade

A useful trick to achieve the type of lighting you want is to use a dimmer switch. It may sound old-fashioned, (yes, my parents had one when I was little!) but this simple devise is often underestimated and can work wonders. It can instantly change a room’s mood, feel and atmosphere at the touch of a button.