Space is at a premium these days, even in the most impressive Belgravia town house. So every area has to work hard - and look beautiful as well.
We’ve designed the interiors of several high-end properties in central London, in which we had to maximise the room available. Here’s some of our insider tips you might like to try.
1. In a small space you need to choose impressive pieces. So that’s a large sofa that makes a statement rather than a smaller sofa and small chairs.
2. Choose furniture that comes off the floor - on legs - rather than something that touches the floor. The space underneath (and this is particuarly true of beds and sofas) will make the room appear more spacious.
3. Ditch curtains in favour of blinds and opaque glass in a small space. Cluttered windows can make an area feel more closed in. Neutral blinds can be a good option, particularly if the view outside is somewhat uninspiring.
4. Most people know that mirrors can enlarge a space but think about using them in novel ways - and possibly instead of wallpaper. Maybe mirror a recessed wall entirely, particularly in a narrow hallway or a bathroom. Or use a collection of mirrors on a wall instead of art.
5. Don’t put furniture up against the walls - bring it into the room. A sofa with a console table behind it lends a gracious feel - and the table behind will act as useful storage (choose one with drawers). Always leave space between pieces, otherwise the room will feel cluttered and too ‘busy’.
6. Make sure people have a path through the room, rather than having to weave around chairs and tables. You might want to consider putting furniture in one side of the room only if the area acts as a way through - in a room with two doorways for example.
7. Lighter fabrics will make a room feel less congested - heavy damasks and velvets will make it feel more closed in.
8. Keep accessories minimal. Far better to have one large work of art that dominates a wall than several smaller ones. Ditch collections of ornaments.
9. Talk to a specialist lighting designer about using lights to ‘enlarge’ a room. You would be amazed at the difference carefully placed illumination makes.