Seven clever ways to optimise small spaces

Try these creative tips to add pizazz to any small zone

With a bit of creativity and the use of clever design, you can make your limited square metres feel like a roomy oasis. We spoke to renovations expert Cathy Morrissey from The Renovation College to find out her top, space-savvy tips on how to maximise your home.

1. De-clutter and clutter

Optimising space is a fine balance between adding items and getting rid of them. Throw away items that no longer fit the look you are trying to create as these add visual clutter and make a space look cramped. If you want to keep sentimental items, but have nowhere to put them spacer offers self-storage solutions. Once you’ve got rid of excess, add signature pieces like a corner table and top it with the ‘right’ type of clutter, such as a gorgeous candle to bring some luxe to your place. 

2. Invest in clever storage

While you can declutter and declutter, there are certain items that you simply can’t throw away, such as your car keys, TV remote and phone chargers. The answer is to hide these items in clever storage solutions. Wooden boxes are great not only for hiding the mess but also for adding natural texture and style to your décor. 

3. Choose the right colour palette 

Play with crisp white and light pastel colours on your walls and ceiling and add soft accents of wood to your floor. A light colour palette will trick the eye and make your place feel more spacious. As much as white freshens up a zone, sticking only to neutral tones can make your room look blurred. Add dashes of bright colour in pillows and other accent pieces to break it up and to create a stylish contrast.

4. Choose the right lighting 

Lighting can have a dramatic effect on the illusion of space. The most important thing to remember when choosing light for a small room is not to simply rely on one overhead light in the middle of the room. This will cut off a significant amount of space by not shedding lights on the corners. To create a balanced environment, invest in table and floor lamps that spread a warm and even glow. This will not only make your place feel spacious but will also create a cosy and relaxed atmosphere. 

5. Match furniture according to size

Small furniture can make your room look uncoordinated, while larger pieces make it feel cramped. The trick is to find a happy medium and to choose the perfect size for your place. Chunky furniture can look groovy but for a petite home the best solution is to invest in slim and sleek furniture that keeps your room airy. 


(Credit: Aphra Wall Hung Vanity Unit by Wood Melbourne. Stockist

6. Think differently about ‘breathing space’

When thinking of symmetry and space, pushing furniture up tight against the wall may be the first thing that pops into your mind. This actually has the opposite outcome, and makes the room look smaller. By pulling furniture away from the wall you create breathing space, which opens up the room. Another method to effectively create space is to not just think horizontally. Instead make your room vertically blessed by adding stylish shelves and minimalist art on the walls. 

7. Transformable furniture

Is there a better way of optimising space than to use furniture with multiple functions? Invest in stylish pieces of furniture that serve at least two purposes, such as a coffee table with built in storage boxes, a sofa with a side table or a storage ottoman. Make these into your statement pieces and style your place around them. 

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