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Ask The Expert: 6 Ways To Save And Create Space In Your Home – GAFF Interiors

Ask The Expert: 6 Ways To Save And Create Space In Your Home

No matter what your space situation, there’s always a need for more. Whether you’re sharing an apartment, renting solo, have just moved into your own home or you’re hanging out in your parent’s pad, everyone is in need of making the most of what they’ve got. Thankfully, interior designer Sarah Peterson of Dan-Éire Designs has offered up some of her seriously helpful tips and tricks to make even every nook of your abode count.

  1. Declutter

“In any space, the clutter you keep on your counters and on display should be items you use every day. Is there room in a cabinet for the food processor you only use once a month? Do you really need that melon baller you picked up on a whim? No? Get rid of it. Your local charity shop or friends and family will be delighted with themselves!”1

“Even if storage is limited in your home, get creative. Declutter your current storage and maximise shelving for more room. Tuck small furniture pieces under larger ones (e.g. nest of tables, store your footstool under the armchair). Even consider hanging items on hooks. You won’t be hiding it, but by lifting it off the floor, you are giving the impression of more space available in the room.”

2. Make your furniture work harder 

“In a small space, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to make a space feel more airy. If you’ve got a piece of furniture you’re no longer using, get rid of it. And then make the furniture you do have in work extra hard – for example, an upholstered ottoman can double as a coffee table or extra seating for guests. Versatile and flexible pieces that can perform two or three different functions are key to maximising confined living areas. We love this London Bus storage ottoman from MADE.com – adds a sense of fun to any room.”





“Invest in a good sofa bed – IKEA, MADE.com and other Scandinavian-inspired retailers offer affordable and stylish solutions. The Vallentuna modular sofa (below) from IKEA (new for AW16) can be used in so many ways, I had to watch the product video twice! This is perfect for guests and even kids’ sleepovers & midnight feasts. The trick is to try and avoid bold patterns and chunky, oversized pieces as these will take up too much space, physically and visually.


“Drop leaf tables, bureau’s that double as a home office space, kitchen islands that you can use as a breakfast bar are just a few examples of how to maximise the space in your home. BoConcept has a range of stylish multifunctional furniture available.”


3. Make the most of awkward spaces

“Hang shelves above the toilet. Use decorative boxes on the shelves to contain/hide the clutter. You can even label the boxes so that everything is easy to find, or so that everyone in the household can have their own box. B&Q and IKEA have affordable storage solutions for all tastes and budgets.”


“By adding a second rod inside your wardrobe, you can double your hanging space. You can even hang those handy cubby shelves for your shoes, keeping everything organised and quick to grab before you’ve had your morning coffee. Wardrobe envy below!”


“With a few towel racks and hooks (IKEA has ranges to suit every style, whether it’s country kitchen or modern), even the sides of your kitchen cabinets/island can be made more functional. In fact, they can provide a perfect space for holding kitchen tools or even small pots and pans. This is usually wasted space, so why not make the most of it?”


4. Pair mirrors with bright, neutral walls

“There’s a reason that people always suggest big mirrors in a space, but it’s because it works. Not only will it make a small space feel bigger, it’ll help cut down on that claustrophobic feeling by not letting those walls feel too imposing or solid. And spreading more light around a space can’t hurt.”

“In combination with this, bright, light colours help to make a space feel bigger. Try to stick with whites or light greys for walls and choose light coloured floor coverings. Keep colours consistent throughout the space so that it all flows together. Darker furniture can still work well but in order to maximise space in a small room, it’s best to have a light & neutral base with darker tones in soft furnishings and accessories.”


5. Streamline window coverings

“It’s not an area you immediately think of when trying to create a sense of space in a room, but this really works. By getting rid of oversized, heavy curtains from living areas it can totally open up the space and make it feel so much bigger. If you need window coverings go for something super streamlined like roller blinds and avoid anything that adds bulk to the room.”

“If you don’t need the privacy or light block out, keep your windows free of any covers to make your room feel even more spacious. It’s not a concept Irish people are used to, but I think anything that allows more natural light into a space is a plus in my book.”


6. Lighting 

“Lighting is such an important factor in any space and it often gets overlooked when rooms are being decorated. Having just an overhead light tends to pool light into one area of the room, creating shadows that can make the space seem even smaller than it is. Make use of wall & floor lamps in the main areas of your room to help spread light around and give a sense of space.”

“Lighting from lamps is a gentler and warmer way of lighting than overhead lights and makes a room feel welcoming and cosy. There is unlimited choice these days when it comes to lighting, with all styles and tastes catered for. We recommend Mullan Lighting, IKEA, National Lighting and Hicken Lighting for the best choice.”


“Lighting can fall under three different categories; general, task and accent. It’s important to have a combination of these to complete the look of the overall room, create zones and give a sense of space and cosiness in a space.”

For more interior inspo and design advice, follow Sarah’s Instagram and check out her website. Thanks Sarah!

Jo Linehan



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