I love beautiful bijoux living. Cosy room proportions, lower living costs and that wonderful feeling of security are all benefits that I enjoy living in a two-up-two-down Victorian workers cottage. Moving from a much larger home was quite an adjustment and as I work my way through overhauling each space, I’ve discovered three simple ways to create a beautiful bijou home that feels calm and more spacious. In today’s post, I can’t wait to share them with you.
Mirrors are your friend.
Having small expanses of wall can make wall decor choices tricky. Going naked can look stark and creating busy galleries create a cluttered and busy look. Mirrors are always the answer. Not only do mirrors create the illusion of space, they also bounce light around your home. It’s that light that adds a bright and airy feeling that small spaces can lack. You can be creative in your choice of style and size of mirror too:
My upstairs landing is very small and has no natural light of its own, adding a large mirror with a shelf space and hooks created storage space and maximised the light that diffused in through other rooms.
In the bathroom, I’ve used mirrors at opposite ends of the space to reflect the light from the window throughout the room. It also creates lots of opportunity for those preening sessions.
Even, my recent living-room makeover has enjoyed the benefits of using multiple areas of mirrors in the finished look.
It’s all white
Whilst dramatic, moody tones are enjoying a fashion moment in the interiors circuit. I would always recommend adding powerful tones using soft furnishings and accents in bijou abodes. It’s not necessarily that dark colours make a room look small (However, in my experience this is more often than not the case). The issue is light. Darker colours absorb light and in small spaces, the effect can be suffocating. Whilst any pale colour will help reflect the available light. My secret weapon is always matt ‘Brilliant White’. Yup, the stuff you paint your ceilings with. I splash that magical wonder-paint everywhere. I don’t care that it’s not a fashionable brand with a fancy name. It’s the best. Every room of my home is painted in this glorious shade and every room looks different.
It seems that whatever tones you have going on in the room are reflected by the paint, creating the most calm and serene, subtly toned matt shade of your dreams.
Wall shelves forever.
Creating floor space is the key to creating an illusion of a larger, more spacious home. With limited space for built in or freestanding storage, this can be a tricky one. Wall shelves are always my go-to solution. There is not a single room that doesn’t benefit from a few shelves of extra storage space. Use any available alcoves to create a built-in look and create beautiful, eye-catching displays through thoughtful arrangement; Decant kitchen ingredients into kilner jars, use baskets to disguise unsightly bits and bobs and don’t forget to make a feature of your shelf-ware with lights and candles too. Here’s just a sample of the many shelfie opportunities in my home.
There are, of course, many more ways to maximise your available space to create the beautiful bijou interior that would happily grace the squares of Instagram with the best of them but my top three have served me well in the years we’ve lived here.
What are you top tips for small scale living?