1) White and bright 

In small rooms or corners, painting the walls a shade of white opens the space up. Even a wallpaper with a subtle shimmer or two-toned pale pattern can add some dimension and texture while maintaining the illusion of a generous space. Also, a lighter, brighter base allows furniture and accessories to stand out.

2) Multitasking is key

Effective use of small spaces can be smart and stylish storage solutions creating spaces within spaces like this reading nook under the bunk bed

To save space, choose furniture that serves multiple purposes. There are so many brands that have produced fabulous examples of multi-purpose furniture pieces, not just in the name of space-saving, but also showcasing incredible, statement-making design ideas. Daybeds that easily tuck away, double as a guest bed, or possibly transform into a table or shelving unit. Levitating tables or seating that can be reduced or hidden when you need extra space in the room. Of course, nesting tables and side tables that convert into mini desks or dining tables are also convenient for maximising small spaces.

3) Colour coding 

Use colour to differentiate areas

In an open space that has multi-purpose requirements, use colour to differentiate areas. Subtle changes in the wall paint colour or a demarcating feature wall can indicate a new area; for example, moving from a sitting area to a dining area in an open-plan room. This can also be achieved by coordinating a material, texture or colour in the furniture or soft furnishings in each designated area. For example, use glass and neutral shades in a dining area, and richer tones and textures in the sitting area, while using the same type or tone of wood throughout. Applying different yet complementing schemes stimulates your eyes in each space while maintaining a calm, cohesive aesthetic.

4) Switch and swap 

Small spaces require neat and organised décor. In the name of design simplicity, you have to be prepared to let things go, so if you find something new you really want to add to a space, abide by the rule: if one thing comes in, another has to go out

5) High expectations

High shelving, filled with books or trinkets on display, adds character to a room and makes the space feel larger and more engaging

Arrange displays of artwork above your eye level. It may seem that this is out of reach but don’t underestimate the effectiveness of this optical illusion. Hanging a gallery wall of paintings and other framed pieces as high as possible visually extends the room. In addition, shelves stacked to the top of a room also give the illusion of a higher ceiling and adds interest to a space. Shelving can also offer additional storage with decorative boxes put to use.

6) Light is right 

Hanging pendant lighting at various levels makes use of the upper space in a small room drawing the eye upwards. It’s also an opportunity to add more character to the décor with statement-making pieces

Lighting is often overlooked as a critical décor element. It’s not just the fixtures but the function of the lighting that can have an impact on your scheme. Task lighting gives each corner a focus, so consider how and where you’ll complete activities in the space and light them accordingly. Adding decorative and spot lighting will also help make the space feel open and well planned

Read more from InsideOut magazine:

The three key ways to organise your home

7 Clever closet accessory ideas

Smart storage ideas for every room in your house