Six clever ways to style a small space

Interior Designer Simone Haag shares her expert tips

Watch: simple styling ideas for your home

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Styling a small space such as an apartment or townhouse can be tricky, however with a few simple rules you can make the most of every square foot of your home.

Melbourne-based interior stylist Simone Haag has recently completed styling a preview of new townhomes coming to Balaclava, Victoria, for ICON Developments, and knows exactly how to enhance a smaller home.

“In townhomes you need to be mindful of keeping the collection quite refined,” Simone says.

“Grouping things that are likeminded, whether colour or texture, and using every surface possible as a moment to add your personality to the space. In townhomes I see any shelf, ledge or table as an opportunity for stunning objects.”

Here are Simone’s top tips for creating a stylish and inviting space in a small home.

1. Less is more

“We are not into masses of cushions on beds. People often feel they have to add lots, but this isn’t good when you haven’t got the capacity.”

2. Use rugs as art

“We liked the idea of treating the rug as a piece of art. There may not be as many options for artwork on walls in townhomes so why not bring it down on the floor. Art doesn’t have to live on the walls.

“Don’t be afraid to have rugs on top of carpets. Adding a rug on top of a carpet can help to enhance its texture.”

(Credit: ICON Developments/Derek Swalwell)

3. Invest in mirrors

“Use mirrors – they help to open up the space but can also act as a stylish element.”

4. Go big or go home

“If you’re worried about large artworks in a small living space, don’t be. In fact, be the opposite. Contrast is good.” For this project, Simone chose interesting pieces of art that were quite graphic. “We wanted to have a little bit of fun and give it some soul,” she says.

(Credit: ICON Developments/Derek Swalwell)

5. The rule of three

“Grouping objects by colour is always a really interesting device, whether books, ceramics or flower vessels. We also like to hang things in threes!”

6. Mix and match

“Choose different price points. Have a couple of high-end pieces balanced with some that are more affordable.”

(Credit: ICON Developments/Derek Swalwell)

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun, Simone says. “Our pieces don’t necessarily need to match the architectural typology in the sense that a modern house doesn’t need to have modern pieces – it can come with a bit of the unexpected.

“It could be a period house with very bold, sculptural art or a brutalist house with very soft or feminine pieces.”

(Credit: ICON Developments/Derek Swalwell)

For more information about ICON Developments’ new townhomes, visit

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