Small Space Styling Tips9.8.16
Maitland Pyramid Hurricane Lantern & Large Candle Stick Mini Orb Vase with Marimo Classic Bell Jar Haws Mist Sprayer Styling ...
Styling a small living space has its challenges from lighting to tight spots to making sure the balance between decorated and cluttered is balanced. Here are a few tips that take a minimalist approach to styling a small home.
Light isn't always something you can control in your home, the windows will only ever be the size they already are and making a place light and airy isn't always easy, but there are workarounds. If your space lacks natural light and you aren't able to change the curtains, replace the blinds, or live without either; indoor lighting can be just as pleasant and give small spaces that cozy feeling.
Our second floor apartment is high up with big windows that let in a lot of light yet we have a healthy mix of indoor lighting too; a floor standing lamp nestled into a corner makes a good book reading corner, the hurricane lamps on the bookshelves create a warm glow, and there's even a mason jar lamp slung over the kitchen shelves for when we're cooking in the kitchen.
Calming, Neutral Colours
While minimalism is typically associated with a greyscale colour palette, that’s not always the case, although in a tiny home a carefully considered palette is advised. Sticking to neutral colours, muted shades and soft hues work tremendously well in a small space. The effect is to create a calming atmosphere while remaining inviting and warm.
In our home we have stuck with traditional white walls letting the contents dictate the colour palette: black, white, and wood, with pops of green from the countless plants and soft blues from the seating. We recently added a tub chair to fill an awkward unused space in our living room. The muted soft grey of the fabric paired with the smooth curves of the chair has created a cosy spot for guests to nestle in and nicely complements our apartment’s developing style.
Minimalism isn’t about perfection; there will sometimes be clutter and mess, chores will need to be done, and homes look best when they are lived in and not sterile spaces void of personality. Decluttering and downsizing is an on-going process that takes time, don’t feel put off because you feel a simple home must be perfect to be considered “minimalist." Simple living is about learning to live with less. Embrace the imperfections of your home, work with them, correct and change them, and learn to embrace them.
Our apartment is small and lacks closed storage space; a lot more than we would like is out on display, an imperfection we have learned to live with and embrace. The nook in our entranceway was, until recently, wasted space. This narrow self-standing unit fits in nicely and provides extra storage without invading or over-cluttering the space. My point is: embrace the awkward spots, find solutions, and work with them.
Declutter and Display
One of the quickest ways to style a minimalist home is: deep decluttering. Strip everything right back to the necessities and start decorating with a minimalist mindset. Keep only the things that are either useful, functional, or make you feel joyful when at home. Minimalist homes are not barren landscapes, like any home they should reflect the personalities of the people who live in them. Declutter open spaces, decorate shelves and bookcases with care and attention, and figure out solutions to utilise those tricky spots.
Layering, stacking, and displaying a mix of books and functional decorative items has provided an interesting focal point for our living room. After drastically downsizing my book collection we were left with a lot of space to play with; the remaining books are now layered and stacked for decoration, alongside a mix of plants and object of varying sizes, like this beautiful hurricane lantern and candle snuffer.
Balance and Proportions
Small homes don’t need to shy away from large items or furniture; playing around with proportions is a fun balancing act, and taking advantage of vertical space can create interesting displays in such tiny spaces. Balance and proportions plays a huge role in styling a tiny minimalist home, oversized items can change the feel and look of a space, creating an impact and drawing the eye.
Make use of vertical space and narrow spots to install open storage that make for interesting displays of otherwise common household objects. This Granville Shelf Unit is ideal for tidying up kitchen paraphernalia (but I’ve whisked this away to the studio to house shop supplies) and raising plants from the floor, like we have on this Granville Metal Side Table, provides a little more balance through varying height of the pieces in a room.
When you need a new dining table or chairs, a sofa to replace the tatty old one, bedside cabinets, chest of drawers, or storage units; with a click of a button it’s all to easy to order something online to fill up our homes to fill the voids we think are missing instead of waiting, patiently, for a more likeable alternative. Quality trumps quantity and so patience trumps temporary fixes. Instead of replacing or upgrading an object in your home immediately, wait a while. Patiently seek out the best solution to your problem, ask whether there even is a problem to be solved, and always focus on bringing objects and furniture into your home that are “just-right” rather than making do with a cheaper, less attractive quick fix.
We replaced our hand-me-down coffee table (two cheap square IKEA tables pushed together) only after discovering a restored Ercol coffee table in a vintage shop.. 200 miles from home. We carried it back on public transport and it now has pride of place in our tiny apartment. We love it and knew it was perfect; I’m glad we waited to find the “just-right” alternative. It's typically kept clutter-free with the addition of a pretty succulent, stoneware jug, and fresh scented candle.