How to furnish your small flat: 9 designer tips | homify

How to furnish your small flat: 9 designer tips

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Roland Gardens BTL Property LTD Minimalist living room
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Turning a house (or a flat) into a home doesn’t have to be tricky; it all depends on how closely you abide by the sacred style rules of furnishing small spaces.

And fortunately, we’ve gathered some tried-and-tested tips from some of our busiest Interior Designers/Decorators to make your next interior design project (in a small space) so much easier…  

1. Light up your walls

Bedroom in Holland Park Apartment Decorbuddi Classic style bedroom Grey

Bedroom in Holland Park Apartment


You can’t skip the lighting factor, but you can opt for more clever ways to introduce illumination into your small spaces by focusing on the walls and ceiling instead of the floor.

That’s why it’s recommended to rather invest in wall sconces and ceiling downlighters (depending on your home style) instead of floor- and table lamps. 

2. Keep furniture off the floor

White boards Pixers Scandinavian style bedroom Grey

White boards


Bulky pieces close to the floor only eat up more visual legroom. Instead, choose slim-style furnishings that are elevated a bit off the floor (hanging chair, anyone?) to make a small space look roomier. 

3. Pick light colours

Richmond Full House Refurbishment A1 Lofts and Extensions Minimalist living room
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Richmond Full House Refurbishment

A1 Lofts and Extensions

It’s simple: dark colours can make spaces appear smaller, and light colours open them up. But for visual interest, include three colours in your main palette: two light shades for the majority of the room, and one darker colour for a (little) bit of style drama.  

4. Split up the space with furniture

Living Space homify Modern living room Grey

Living Space


Look to your furnishings and accessories to create different “zones” in your small interiors. For instance, use your sofa’s back to separate your living room from the dining/cooking zone. Or plant a bookcase between your sleeping- and working zone/home office

5. Try a unique rug

Smiling Spirit Pixers Eclectic style living room Multicolored

Smiling Spirit


Adding an irregularly shaped rug is not just about adding detail and anchoring a room. This can ensure a sense of visual flow while also drawing attention away from the limited space. 

6. Opt for transparent designs

Furniture made from glass or acrylic is terrific for freeing up extra visual legroom (just like those slim-style ones we asked you to consider in tip no. 2). And bonus points if your interiors are of the modern/contemporary/minimalist kind, for they welcome see-through furniture with open arms. 

7. Consider multi-purpose furniture

Light and bright! CC Construction Classic style living room
CC Construction

Light and bright!

CC Construction

Every available centimetre counts in a small space, which is where double-duty furniture can help you save on legroom. So, instead of buying just a bed, search for one with built-in storage compartments and/or which folds into a sofa. Or purchase an ottoman (yes, also with built-in storage space) to be used as both a coffee table and extra seating. 

8. Prop up pieces

Tropical Flowers Pixers Living roomAccessories & decoration

Tropical Flowers


If you’re renting or just don’t feel like putting holes in your walls, you can still display pretty pieces around your home by letting artwork, mirrors, etc. lean on shelves or against walls. 

And while we’re busy with mirrors, carefully consider their placements – mirrors near windows are better at reflecting light, making small interiors look and feel more spacious. 

9. Style with curves

Reflected Glory - Holland Park Renovation Tyler Mandic Ltd Classic style living room
Tyler Mandic Ltd

Reflected Glory—Holland Park Renovation

Tyler Mandic Ltd

Furniture and décor with rounded/curved edges make a space look “softer”, scare up a bit of extra legroom, plus add dimension, especially if the majority of the pieces in the room consist of sharp lines, rectangular/box shapes, etc. 

Next up: 12 simple Dos and Don’ts for interior design beginners

What other design tips do you have for furnishing small interiors?
Whitton Drive GK Architects Ltd Terrace house

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