How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger | Interior

Small Apartment Look BiggerHow To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

I recently decided to do a big overhaul in our apartment. Over the years I’ve become pretty good at making the most of the space I have. And gradually with that has come the ability to make a space look bigger than it actually is. It’s something I have naturally picked up living in big cities with small apartments – oh hey Tokyo and London!

But one of my biggest challenges to date has been trying to add new pieces to our home. Well, without chucking out a bunch of stuff I’d really like to keep that is. The items in question? Trinkets we picked up on our travels, as well as gifts from friends. Small items that can so quickly make a small room look cluttered. So after taking on this challenge, I decided to share a few of my own personal tips on how to make a small apartment look bigger.

How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

  1. Colour Scheme/Theme
    • White walls will help make a room look bigger
    • Sticking with a colour/theme will make the room look more put together (i.e not cluttered)
  2.  Storage
    • Make sure you have plenty
    • Built-in storage is heaven sent
    • Storage that doubles as decorative is even better
  3. Lighting
    • Natural lighting is primary – big windows, skylights etc
    • But if you don’t have it, try recessed lighting
  4. Buy a rug
    • Place it under your coffee table/chair to make the room look wider
    • The size of the rug should be based on how big your furniture is/size of your room
    • Light colours and basic patterns will work in most rooms
  5. Be Practical
    • Go minimal with chairs and tables
    • Choose furniture that has several purposes (e.g. hidden storage)

Items in this post:

Don’t forget to check out more of my interior posts.

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How to Create a Hygge Home – In a Nutshell

hygge homeHow to Create a Hygge Home

What is a Hygge Home?

A home that is inviting. Not pretentious, ostentatious, or any other kind of -ious. It’s a place you can come back to and forget all your worries. It may sound silly, but it’s about creating a space where you feel safe and comfortable. Having a space where you are able to drop all of your work and social worries is tough. But I truly believe that your home can be a safe haven from this kind of stress. After a long day at work, I look forward to coming home to a hot chocolate, a comfy sofa, and some good food…with the occasional cuddle thrown in for good measure. That’s hygge.

Interiors and design obviously play a big part in this too though. If you have a home that looks good, you feel good. And no that’s not shallow or fickle. It’s scientifically proven that pretty things make us happy. They can even de-stress us! That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a ton of new stuff, or redecorate your entire home though. I’ve put together some some useful tips,

How to Create a Hygge Home – Tips

  • Functional, but stylish
  • Quality over quantity
  • Good food, good drink, good company
  • Craftsmanship – choose items with a story
  • Lots of plants – bring a little nature into the home
  • Lighting is very important! Keep it soft, and comfortable.
    • Yes, that means lots of candles…
  • Natural fabrics and materials
    • E.g. wood, cotton, stone, glass, wool
  • Soft furnishings
    • Go on, go buy that cosy throw you always wanted

There you have it. My how to create a hygge home…in a nutshell! This is definitely not the be all end all of guides, but it is a handy go-to for those who want to bring a little hygge into their home. Don’t forget though, it’s as much about the ‘feeling’ as any material object. And now is the perfect time of year to invite people over, and spend more time with your loved ones.

Check out the rest of my ‘How to Hygge’

Read more How to Hygge

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hygge home

Flower Arranging with Marks & Spencer

Flower ArrangingFlower Arranging with Marks and Spencer

Flower arranging has always been an enchanting mystery to me. When I was younger my grandmother would always have beautiful bouquets of flowers scattered throughout her house. All of which she had arranged herself. It looked so simple, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t recreate it myself. In more recent years – after moving into my own apartment – the allure of fresh flowers has grown. However without any knowledge of how to arrange flowers, I was at a loss. Enter Marks and Spencer, their flower expert Simon Richards, and a special flower arranging class they set up for an intimate group of bloggers.

Flower Arranging Tip 1: Carnival of Colour

For their stand at Chelsea Flower Show this year, Marks and Spencer created their own carnival of colour. Reflecting on this, Simon’s first tip was all about adding colour to your patio, garden party, bbq, dining table etc. We were shown how to add colourful arrangements to our tables, with flowers such as peonies, sunflowers and more. The great thing about this style of arrangement is that there are no real rules. Pop them into bowls, glasses, onto plates. Scatter them across the table. Basically have your way with them.

Simon Says- have fun with colour, and be spontaneous!

Flower Arranging Tip 2: Roses/Bouquets

Next, Simon gave us tips on how to arrange the perfect hand-tied bouquet, and he did so with everyone’s favourite – the rose. Roses are a classic. No one can turn their noses up at a well groomed bouquet of roses, right? I’d had my eye on the cream and dusky pink roses all evening, so I was very excited for this tutorial. We were shown how to create an even bouquet. Starting with one flower in the middle, hold the stems around 1/3 of the way down with one hand, and gradually add flower-by-flower in a “fanning” technique; slowly rotating them as you go. Afterwards, simply wrap your ribbon/twine around the bouquet – whilst still holding it in the same place – and secure.

You can find some of the roses we used for our arranging here.

Simon Says – fan out/rotate your flowers as your add them to the bunch!

Flower Arranging Tip 3: At Home

Of course what we all want to know is how do we integrate this into our homes. They key thing here is to find a fitting vase. This could be any shape or size, as long as it fits into your interior. That said, different flowers will often look better in different types of vase. Tall, thin vases work better with a minimal amount of flowers. Whereas wider lipped vases look much nicer with large bouquets, and big blooms. I myself prefer a shorter, wider vase, which works with a variety of flowers.

Simon Says – for a contemporary look, choose a short, round vase!

Check out more photos from the event, and my attempts at flower arranging at home below.

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This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer however all views, photos and words are my own.

 

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A Minimalist Home, with Amara

Minimalist HomeA Minimalist Home, with Amara

It’s been exactly one year since we moved into our new bigger and brighter apartment. It’s fair to say that not only has my housing situation changed, but so has my mentality. My old apartment left little room for furniture, let alone imagination. So we made a pact. We would furnish it how we wanted, and turn this new apartment into a home.

Of course it isn’t easy, nor cheap to furnish an apartment so we have taken our time and bought pieces throughout the year. It’s fair to say that we’re at a stage where we’re around 90% happy. Ben wants more plants, and I’m after some more stylised kitchenware. However recently we thought about the addition of some practical, design items to our shelves. That’s where Amara came in!

Purchases for a Minimalist Home

The process of ordering with Amara was an easy one. The hard part was deciding on what items to buy. We definitely knew that we wanted a new clock (after ours suffered a slight injury), and bookends. However the rest just “fell” in my basket. The speaker was a logical purchase; I love my bluetooth headphones from Kreafunk, so I knew their speakers would be good quality…as well as effortlessly stylish. As for the trays, well I’ve been eyeing up the apricot and grey HAY trays since my trip to Berlin. They concept of the trays is simple: they work as an interlocking puzzle, made up of five different colour ways and shapes. Whichever you buy, they will fit into one another. It makes for a great bit of design.

I’m really happy with all of our purchases from Amara. Thanks to the “shop by room” feature it was easy to find what I wanted…and those little extras I didn’t know I wanted until I found them. Amara doesn’t only offer accessories for the home though, they have pretty much everything ranging from furniture, to kitchenware and technology. The range of prices is fair, and the variety of designers and brands is enough to suit anyone’s tastes. I hope to make space for an office of some sorts soon, and when I do, I know where my first stop will be!

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This post is in collaboration with Amara however all views, photos and words are my own.
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In The Window with Waffle Design | Lifestyle

waffle designIn The Window with Waffle Design, at Sugarhouse Studios

As soon as I stepped in front of Sugarhouse Studios, I knew I was in for a creative evening. The space houses a variety of designers and artists. However on this particular evening I was there to see Waffle Design, courtesy of In The Window. You may remember my previous visit to Daniel Heath’s studios, where I screen printed my own wallpaper. I enjoyed the insight into the designer’s world so much that I knew I had to attend the next event. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long.

Who and What…?

Founded by Ciara, Waffle is a fresh range of organic cotton, home interior accessories using a tactile waffle weave. Using a non-trend orientated colour palette, Ciara aims to create timeless pieces that will fit into anyone’s home. Her creations are simplistic, but never basic.

The Creative Process…

After catching up with my fellow bloggers over some delicious snacks, we were given a tour of the studio by Ciara herself. She talked to us about her design process, and what inspired her to start the company. I was inspired by not only her technique, but her impressive use of colour. One other thing I picked up on whilst wandering around her studio, was that all of her designs seem so effortless. Even so, I could tell that a lot of hard work and love had gone into each piece.

After our tour we were given the chance to create our own woven pouch, using Ciara’s method of choice. I chose a colour palette of dusky pinks and greys, something I felt reflected Waffle design and my own personal taste. Ciara was such a good teacher, that I barely needed to ask for advice. It took us around 30-40 minutes to finish our designs; clearly we weren’t experts yet. Even so time flew by as we relaxed and focused on our pieces. Afterwards Ciara finished off our pouches for us and added her signature tag.

Thanks to Waffle Design and In The Window

I learnt a new skill, whilst getting to know one of my favourite designers from In The Window. I was inspired by Ciara’s work, and her approach to design. I never really think of myself as a creative person, but meeting designers and finding out more about their pieces is incredibly inspiring to me. It pushes me to find out more about the products I buy, and the story behind them. Not only that, but it inspires me to be more productive in my own work.

You can find out more about Waffle Design, at In The Window.
Follow #LiveTheStory on Twitter and Instagram to find out more.

(Photos of me are courtesy of In The Window)

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2 Lovely Gays x Secret Linen Store Collection

2 lovely gays2 Lovely Gays Collaboration with Secret Linen Store

I love when I get an invitation to a press event that’s a little out of the ordinary. A slumber party…in an interior designers house? Where do I sign up?! Ok so the “slumber party” was more of a concept, than an actual sleep over. I knew that. I totally didn’t re-read the email 3 times and remove my silky pyjamas from my bag…

In all honesty though, I was pretty excited to be invited to the release of 2 Lovely Gays (2LG for short) new bed linen collection, in collaboration with the Secret Linen Store. The fact that the event was at their house was even cooler. I’ve always loved diving into magazines and seeing what interior designers homes look like. I mean if someone is gonna get it right, it’s gonna be them, yeah? Well I was right, because as soon as I stepped into the 2LG’s home, I was in awe of the sheer style that played out in front of me. Everything was effortlessly arranged, and there was a flow that moved throughout the house, linking each room to the other. Basically I wanted to move in straight away!

But what about the 2 Lovely Gays x Secret Linen Store Collection?

There are 3 sets in the collection:

All of the sets look gorgeous and feel lovely – these would be so wonderful to cuddle up in on a cold Sunday morning. Each set has a story behind the design, which makes them feel that little bit more special. My personal favourite story was about a sweet old lady called Mary – who used to live in 2LG’s house – and is now the namesake for one of the sets. It makes the sets feel like you own something personal, and unique. A nice touch.

However stories aside, the Moon Bed Set is my favourite by far. It’s everything I look for in a duvet set: a high thread count (260), quality cotton (50% Egyptian), affordability, and a contemporary-minimalist design. I plan to buy the set when I get back from my travels next month, because I just can’t stop thinking about it.

You can check out the full collection online, at Secret Linen Store.

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A Minimalist Haven at Home

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Moving home means many things, but probably the most exciting is making a fresh start. I’ve always loved bright open rooms, but unfortunately our last apartment was small and dark. So when we were looking for a new apartment we kept this in mind. Luckily for us we found something pretty special. That meant I was finally able to decorate with one particular item that I’d always wanted, but never been able to justify – a ladder shelf. I’ve always loved how chic and minimalist ladder shelves are. They offer a space to display some of your more decorative pieces, without making things look cluttered.

Being able to see something in-store is far better than viewing it online, obviously. So I popped by Dwell’s Westfield store to see the shelf, and a few other items:

I picked up the lamp, vase and espresso cups in-store, although I was told I would have to wait for the shelf unit, as they are kept at the warehouse. The ordering process with Dwell was pretty easy. I did it right there and then in-store, and arranged to have it delivered to the same location that week (home delivery is also available). When the delivery day came I received a call stating that there were problems with the truck, and that it would be in by the end of the week instead. Sure enough I received a phone call on Friday evening to say it was ready for collection.Even with the small hiccup, everything went smoothly. I’m incredibly happy with our new space, and we’ve had so many compliments on it from friends and family. Slowly and surely our apartment is turning into the minimalist haven I have always dreamt of.

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This post is in collaboration with Dwell but all views, photos and words are my own.

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