Using multi-functional furniture

Furniture for small spaces doesn't just have to be functional

In compact spaces, hard-working furniture is a must. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that combine practicality with aesthetic appeal, from concealed kitchen storage to streamlined shelving.

Work it
Don’t shy away from making a big statement in a small space. Striking furniture will make an impact and hard-working pieces that conceal storage or double up on function will maximise your home’s efficiency. Natalia Miyar, Design Director at Helen Green, suggests a bold approach. ‘Proportion is so important; I like to use large-scale furniture as it makes a space seem bigger and more luxurious,’ she says. ‘The key is to choose carefully. Buy a few large, impactful pieces rather than cluttering a space with lots of small items.’

Bespoke or standalone shelving is a simple way of creating storage, as well as acting a room divider. Open shelves can also inject a sense of spaciousness in compact rooms. Anna Richmond of Conley & Co suggests installing banquettes in the kitchen or living area, which double as handy bench seating with a padded cushion atop, plus drawer and cupboard storage underneath. She also advises adding practical lighting inside deeper kitchen cupboards and plenty of mirrored cabinetry operating on push-latch systems. This design bounces light around, helps cupboards disappear into a bathroom, bedroom or hallway, while concealing plenty of storage.

Bright ideas
Take time to plan your furniture, considering the functions you need. Going bespoke will allow for a totally tailored finish, but you’ll also find stylish options on the high street. In living spaces, opt for pieces that can double up as a discreet study area with a pull out desk, while in the bedroom, choose a divan with large storage drawers. Mila Podiablonska of Absolute Interior Décor suggests opting for coffee tables and ottomans with plenty of space beneath or inside to help you de-clutter, while sofa beds are great multi-functional pieces.

Choose extendable dining tables too. ‘I always recommend glass and mirrors in small rooms to reduce obstructions and enhance the feeling of space,’ says Mia. ‘Glass tables create an open feel whilst maintaining their function and mirrors will visually enlarge the space.’

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