Minimalism: the ultimate way to maximise a small living space?

As rents get higher and the idea of owning your own home gets further and further away, more and more of us are renting smaller spaces in bigger cities. Living in London ourselves, we know only too well all about the downsides of cramped spaces and working with what you’ve got (or what your landlord has given you!)

It makes sense that the minimalism trend would open out a space – instead of cluttering a small area with tons of knick-knacks and statement furniture pieces it bodes well to strip back what you already have. Less really is more when it comes to petite living rooms!

The first thing we did when moving into our flat was ask ourselves what the key focus of our living space would be – what were we going to use it for? Relaxing, watching movies, entertaining, working from home, or all of the above? We mostly use ours for catching up on some much-needed chill out time; reading on the couch, listening to records or enjoying a little tipple on the sofa means that our main focus is the shelving unit containing our TV and music systems, as well as shelves holding all our books and knick-knacks.

If your living space will mainly be used for working then a minimal desk should be the focal point, if it’s eating then splash out on a luxurious dining table, or if, like us, it’s simply to lounge in, then building your room around a statement sofa is a good place to start.

The next step to making the most of a small space is to remove any excess furniture, or at least be open to downsizing what you’ve already got. As right now it’s just me and Stew at home, one of these 2 seater sofas is a perfect focal point for our living room. Ideal for snuggling up on after a day at work, this one by Arlo & Jacob makes a stylish investment.

Another way to avoid cramming too much in is to choose a side table instead of a large coffee table. Placed in the centre of your living room, a round coffee table restricts space by creating an awkward no-go space around it, or you risk bumping your shins every time you shimmy around to reach your cup of tea! I love this side table by Danetti, modern and minimal, it won’t take up too much space but still looks chic.

A warning when embracing minimalism – don’t go for a completely sparse look. This can have the opposite effect and leave your living room looking too stark and lacking character. Instead decorate with some of your favourite items – Stew and I love framed prints and souvenirs from our travels. This keeps a sense of personality in the room which can be bolstered by some cosy rugs, throws or even a cool mirror to bounce light back into your space.

So, what do you think of the minimalism trend? Is it right for you or do you prefer a more is more approach? Happy decorating!

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