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How to make a small space homely...
As many of you will know, Ru and I been living back at home with my parents for the past - must be almost 10 months now. Which is crazy actually. We're still waiting for a house and in the meantime we've been stuck sharing one bedroom in my family home. It hasn't been totally awful, but it's just so cramped for the two of us, you know? I knew I'd be looking at quite a lengthy stay here as housing is lacking massively in the area I live in, in general, so I've spent the last 9 or so months trying to make the best of the situation. I've still had to keep up my blog and photography whilst I've been here so making a pretty space where I have plenty of cute areas to work and photograph was a number one priority... plus I wanted to try and save as much space as I could with it being a fairly small room - all whilst keeping it feeling homely. It's been a mammoth task I tell you! It's still not perfect and half the time there's mess to clean up (oh the joys of toddlers and all their stuff!) but we've made it work and I thought I'd share a few of my top tips. This could help others in the same situation or those who are still living at home with their parents and want to make their bedroom a nicer space!
Furniture You Can Easily Shift Around
I think being able to play with the space is really important when it's a small room, you might want to be able to shift things about for a change of scenery, or you might just want to have a new space to use. For example, I like to be able to shift things about to make more space for Reuben to play on a weekend when he's not in nursery and needs entertaining for longer periods of time. I invested in a little marble side table last year and it's been one of my best furniture purchases to date. It was around £100 which is pretty damn affordable for a marble table and it's so easy to move around the room. I had it beside my bed at one point, and now it's next to my chest of drawers as I replaced it with a shelving unit for more storage. It's still easily moveable though and I quite often place it next to my bed if I want somewhere to place my laptop or maybe for a few insta snaps. I also have a huge floor length mirror that I haven't attached to the wall because I'm able to move it about to make use of the space it's usually in, same with my shelving unit. It's sturdy enough that it doesn't need attaching to the wall and it can't fall as it has a chair in front of it anyway - but it means I can easily move it if I wanted to open up the space it's currently in. It's definitely worth thinking about as having such a small space to work with tends to be a bit of a nightmare!
Shelving High Up
I added a large wall length shelving unit quite high up on one of the walls in the room shortly after moving in. This has given me a huge amount of storage that's completely out of the way but also looks pretty good above my chest of drawers I think?! I put some wicker baskets up there to store things in so that my things are tidied away and don't look cluttered, whilst also keeping the shelf looking pretty cute at the same time! It's a great way to add a bit more to the room and the walls whilst also giving you more storage space.
Keep It Light & Airy
Brightness is one of the most important aspects when you're working with a small space! I recently ditched my grey curtains in favour of these made to measure blinds for sale at Terrys Fabrics which I am utterly obsessed with. I received them a few weeks ago now and the difference in the room as soon as they were put up was just insane. The free space the curtains were in instantly made the room seem larger, and the blinds fit perfectly into the recess of the window so they take up no extra space whatsoever, yet they close fully to keep it just as dark at night as the blackout curtains did, and can be pulled right up in the day to let in even more light than before. If you have a small bedroom I can't recommend switching out curtains for a set of blinds enough, I honestly can't. They're amazing quality too, as you can imagine, Reuben is constantly messing with them lifting them up and peeking between the shutters and they're still in perfect condition. Anything that's toddler proof is a winner with me. When I get my own place again I'm 100% going to be invested in blinds for every room!
If you’re low on budget, or you’re not entirely sure what to do with the space, then consider simply brightening up the space you’ve got in the room to give it a new lease of life and open the room up. Sunnysweetdays.com has a wonderful guide on easy ways to brighten up your home, including tips on how to make rooms look bigger and more airy that won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Little Homely Touches
Homely touches are so important in a space to make it really feel like 'yours' - obviously we are only back home temporarily but 10 months is a long time and we needed to feel at home during all that time. I put most of my stuff in storage but I made sure to bring with me all my favourite books and trinkets so I could style the space to feel like mine. I try and buy fresh flowers fairly often too - mostly for business use as I use them in most of my photography, but they also really brighten up my room... and who doesn't love a vase of beautiful fresh flowers every week?! (Especially when it's peony season.)
Big mirrors are a bit of a must-have in a small room to be honest, not only do they look gorge anyway, but they also allow light to bounce off them... giving you the illusion of a bigger and brighter room. I have a large round brass mirror where my desk is and I'm just obsessed with it. It really is huuuge too and it's on the wall directly opposite the window so it allows so much light to bounce off it and keep my vanity area well lit which is always a good thing!
Use Prints To Add Character
My favourite thing about giving a room character with prints is that they don't have to be permanent. I have a set of 4 up on the wall but the rest are stood on top of surfaces, leaned against them. I actually prefer leaning them against walls as you are much more free to move them around and re-style a space more often! The most recent beauts to my collection are all from Desenio, I've had some Desenio prints previously and it's one of my favourite brands to get prints from as they're so affordable but absolutely divine. I went for mostly natural wood frames this time and I love the light but modern style they give to my room. The light wood just goes with everything so well, white tops, marble, my dark wood shelves... literally everything. I'm super into arty illustrative prints at the moment so I went with that kinda vibe too. My favourite two prints are the large 50x70 boobs drawing & the smaller 21x30 painted lines no1 which compliments it perfectly. I think they look lovely on top of my chest of drawers where I keep trinkets and fragrances. I'm a bit obsessed with the pale pink. I also picked out the abstract line people print in a 30x40 which I've placed on my little marble side table. It's quite a plain print but I think it makes a lovely background when trinkets and candles and things are placed with it. The final two prints I picked out were the dot abstract print, again in a 30x40 and the black ink swirls in a 21x30. I love that they go really well together and they add a bit of colour to the space. The mix of the wood & white frames is quite lovely too! I can't recommend Desenio more if you're on the hunt for some new prints, they just have hundreds and hundreds of different options to suit all decor styles and tastes, mine have changed massively since my last order and I've still found a whole range of new prints that I'm in love with.
Change Things Up Often
As someone who's gone from having their own house to moving back in with her parents, it's pretty crap to go from being able to decorate an entire house... to just one little room. I've found that this bothers me less as I change things up quite often. Whether that just be redecorating my shelving units, or moving my makeup storage around, all the little fresh touches keep me from getting bored I find!
Do you live in your family home and/or have a small space to work with?
Disclaimer: this post is a paid collaboration with Desenio and also features blinds given to me for review by Terrys Fabrics.