I love my Ella's Kitchen Company shelf cabinet!
Shelves make walls work that bit harder. Everyone has at least one wall in their home that can take a shelf and it doesn't have to be a boring old plank of wood either. It can be a work of art in itself, even a bit tongue in cheek, such as this floating cloud shelf from the always innovative Out There Interiors.
This one's really clever. The bottom book is actually a shelf made to look like a book, stack it with real books and it appears that you have piles of books floating across your wall. It would make a great little bedside perch, or group a few of them across a wall to create a novel feature wall - quite literally!
Shelves are not just made for holding books either. Free up kitchen work surfaces and the top of the sideboard, coffee table and bedside units by repositioning plants, vases, photo frames and other decorative clutter on a shelf. Available in a variety of finishes, the individual pull-down shelves on the Riveli shelving system allow you to create your own configuration.
And, I love this mini balcony fire-escape shelf - it's perfect for kitchen herbs or storing pots of napkins and cutlery. Or keep it by the front door for post and paperwork.
Now read on to discover some great multi-purpose kitchen furniture to look out for here.
I love my Ella's Kitchen Company shelf cabinet!
I'm a big fan of round dining tables, they make a space feel instantly more homely and as you can see everyone sitting at them without turning, they are more sociable than tables with right angles too. But, just how clever is this Mogg Botero table? You can fill up it's base with stuff!
There's room for a good few bottles of wine in there, your dinner service or maybe even a laptop and files so that it can double up as a desk.
It's available in different finishes and in two sizes too. Priced from £3,290.
Now, discover why pedestal dining tables are particularly suited to little rooms here
Did you think you didn't have room in your home for a much needed desk? A place where the children can do their homework and where you can do your work, online shopping or studying. Take a fresh look at every corner of your home and see if you can miraculously turn one of them into a desk.
I transformed a space just off our kitchen into a work station. A hole for cables has been carefully cut into the corner of what is really an extra large shelf in the bookcase that works as a desk. This means that there are no wires dragging across the table top. Whilst I ditched an ugly Tupperware full of crayons and filled up a vase with them instead, which looks much nicer.
To finish it off, an old cane chair that was about to go on a skip has been bought back to work as a desk chair and given a homely contemporary feel with a plump cushion to sit on and a throw that can be wrapped around anyone hard at work into the small hours.
Click here to discover another great way you can make your walls work harder
This post is part of a Tesco Direct promotion, but as usual the views and opinions are our own
Affordable is a subjective term. No where is this more apparent than the art industry, where often anything under £3,000 is deemed 'affordable.' If this makes you splutter on your coffee, you'll be interested to hear that we've unearthed a new site where you really can buy art that is cheaper than your monthly mortgage payments. Original Art Under £100 does exactly as its name suggests.
It is a virtual gallery for emerging and undiscovered artists. There is a diverse mix of works on the site, in a range of genres and mediums from contemporary cityscapes to traditional portraits from charcoal drawings to oil paintings. And, crucially, for small homes, they come in all sizes too. Do ensure that any canvas that you buy doesn't swamp your wall, keep lots of blank wall around it to ensure that your room feels larger.
So, now you can stop dreaming about filling that empty wall with a beautiful painting, you can go ahead and do it. You don't buy via the website, the site acts as a showcase for various artists' work and then invites you to contact the artists direct.
You can ask the artist to send you further close up pics of the art so that you can really get a feel for its quality. And, always check that it will arrived signed. You never know, you could be about to take possession of a piece of art by an artist who is about to hit the big time!
Art is personal, consequently it's a great way of putting your own individual mark on your home, particularly if you live in a rental property. Check out other ways of making your rental property feel like home here
This post is part of an Original Art Under £100 promotion, but as usual the opinions are genuine and our own.
It's always difficult to know how to seat people when you have lots of guests around. It would help if you had a few folding chairs stored away to bring out at such times, but the problem is you don't want them to be cluttering up your broom cupboard or to have to go to the hassle of hiding them under the bed or sofa to keep things looking tidy when they are not in use. Well these ones solve that dilemma for you, they hang as a work of art on the wall!
All the way from Germany, Ambivalenz's Fläpps folding chairs can simply be lifted down when you're ready to use them. You just open them up and hey presto, you have a seat.
They come in different colours too and there's a stool to match!
And this rather funky shelf system.
Read more on other slim chairs here
There are some shops that you tend to visit, only when you have just moved into a new home or have recently finished renovating a room. Because I'm not looking for a new bed, sofa, dining table or sideboard, I hadn't been into Dwell in a while. Arriving at Goodge Street Station early for a meeting last week, however, I popped into their Tottenham Court Road store for a browse. What I discovered is that they're not just there for the big things, they have a lovely range of accessories too and a very strong lighting range this season.
Floor lights are fantastic for creating mood lighting. With the overhead lights off and this sweeping Arc floor light on, you can create a real party atmosphere in the lounge or dining area and it hardly takes up any floor space either. Small home owners should always look for floor lamps that take up a tiny footprint on the floor and that have an elegant narrow stem that doesn't block sight lines into the room beyond.
If you know exactly where you want to position them, wall lights are perfect for little homes. Beside the bed, for example, they free up space on bedside tables and they limit the need for side tables alongside sofas and armchairs. On a plain wall you can treat yourself to something intricate, whilst alongside patterned wallpaper you want something simpler that won't detract from the wall itself.
To see more of the Dwell lighting collection click here
This post is part of a Dwell promotion, but as usual the opinions are genuine and our own.
Read on here for more tips on how to make a small room feel larger
Philippe Starck's now infamous Louis Ghost Chair for Kartell haunts hundreds of restaurants, hotels and homes across the world. This transparent classic works so well because you can see through it further into the room beyond. Consequently, clear furniture and home accessories work particularly well in a small room, enhancing that all important feeling of space. And these Palermo chairs from Tesco Direct can be stacked in group of fours, which is perfect if you don't want them crowding your place when not in use.
This glass-topped coffee table allows you to see the floor below it. Its stylish contemporary base is available in ethically sourced black walnut or oak.
Transparent lighting works just as effectively at creating an illusion of space too.
Like space enhancing tricks? Discover ways to make a small bathroom appear larger here
Need some extra seating from time to time, or just want a talking point for the corner of your living room or student bedroom? Have a look at the inflatable Blow Sofa, another brilliantly big idea for a tiny space. Made from 100% recycled paper, it can hold up to two tons of weight and at 180cm wide it seats two.
Here it is dressed as a single-seater armchair. The chair is available covered in red or grey felt,
And, there's a matching foot stool too. We haven't tried it, but all this furniture claims to be easy to inflate and deflate so it can be packed away when not needed.
Read on here to find out more about choosing a sofa for a small room
When it comes to choosing a good solid chair for sitting at a table or desk go for slimline and see through, rather than chunky and upholstered.
Remember you need to get as many chairs as possible around that table and you want to avoid making the place looking crowded, so opt for designs that have 'holes' in them.
Furniture that you can see through that takes the eye deeper into the room will make a room feel more spacious. And these rules can be find in several styles of furniture.
Read on to find out how raising larger furniture up on legs will also grow your rooms here
I once saw a vintage Vitra Uten.Silo wall storage unit in London's Spitalfields market for £20. I've always regretted not buying it. Now those classic vertical organisers go for ten times that on ebay and cost well over £200 new. Hey ho.
Presumably inspired by the Vitra model, however, the Urbio is a new wall accessories organiser that is actually much more predisposed for 21st century living and is ideal for small spaces.
Crafted from lightweight, hardwearing polypropylene, Urbio is a modular wall storage system that is used with mega strong neodymium magnets to allow containers to be held on any of the magnetised sections of the wall plates. This means that you can change its formation whenever it suites.
It can be used for anything from plants to paintbrushes. The Urbio Happy Family group of components which features two wall-mounted plates with fixings, a string-bean container, a wide mouth container and a shorty container costs £75 from John Lewis
Is it a seat or is it a store? It's both. Stool & Storage is a multi-functional seat, designed by Design Letters & Friends in partnership with Christian Flindt. The Danish collaboration has created a sleek, minimalist seat that also doubles up as a storage bin.
To make a small space feel larger it is very important not to clutter it up with too many legs. Which is why pedestal tables always make a good buy for little properties.
Not only do pedestal dining tables ensure that no one's knees get knocked by a table leg, they also enable more of the room surrounding them to be seen. And the further that you can see into the room, the larger the space will feel.
Look for pedestal style console tables, coffee tables, side tables, garden tables and bedside tables too.
And, just because, it's on a pedestal post, doesn't mean it can't extend. There are several extending pedestal dining tables out there at all price points.
To read more about extending dining tables, click here
If you work from home or spend a lot of time on the computer catching up on work, or doing all that other stuff that we seemed to do a lot of online: searching for holidays, houses, hats, hobby horses and honey, it's very easy for your lap to become your study. Very bad for your back and all the bits of you linked to it though.
You need to get your kitchen or dining table multi-tasking as a desk, or you need to squeeze a little bureau in somewhere. And with some of the latest models on the market, this isn't as hard as it sounds. I rather like this Calligaris Spacebar wall mounted folding table with useful pigeon holes. It could double up as a kitchen table or it could hang out on a landing, bedroom wall or even under the stairs.
Or this slightly more formal Morph White Bookcase Workstation could be backed up against a wall somewhere. Filled with books and knick knacks it will look like a stylish display shelf unit when not in use. And when you do need to sit at it just pull down the hinged desktop to find your laptop and paperwork hidden within. It also includes a cut out for cable management, a useful add on to look out for.
Here's another functional option. Console tables tend to be beautiful, but pointless, pieces of furniture for dumping handbags and post on. So, if you're going to get one, make it work a bit harder. This one doubles up as a desk. With a pull-out work surface it has plenty of room inside for a laptop and paperwork.
Alternatively, hunt out a piece of history from ebay, charity shops, car boot sales or auction houses. Check out my piece on how to find a second-hand treasure here. One of my favourite craft companies right now is Out of the Dark, they take up-cycling to a new level, check out the little bureau they transformed here. This has been sold, but there is always another one-off gem where that came from.
Whilst this Tessera desk shelving unit is perfect for a child's room, but would work well in a hallway too.
If you found this piece useful , you might also like the feature on extending tables, here
Is it an ultra-cool dolls' house or is it a coffee table? Well, actually it's both. A dolls house is one of those bulky, often expensive, toys that take up floor space and have limited play life. Amy Whitworth designed the QUBIS Haus to have a dual purpose as a coffee table and a dolls house. The ingenuity of the concept combined with the sophisticated architectural quality of the design is what makes it a brilliantly big idea for a tiny space.
With its slots for removable walls and various additional room sets, budding architects can spend hours putting together their individual schemes and then helping the little dolls move in to their new house.
Magnetic oak blocks click together to make the furniture. Once play time is over, the mini furniture pieces can be removed and the unit is ready to be used as a standard coffee table again. It looks so lovely fully furnished, however, that many people choose to use it as a coffee table whilst the dolls get on with their lives underneath!
Love the coffee table house? See the multifunctional sofa that would work really well alongside it here
If you believe you have spotted a piece of furniture or equipment that is a brilliantly big idea for a tiny space, do tell us about it.
Every week on Don't Cramp Our Style we will be highlighting brilliantly big design ideas for tiny spaces and starting out in pole position is Made.com with it's Lovebird sofa.
Designer Je-Uk Kim won a competition run by the Design Museum and Made.com to design an innovative and compact two-seater sofa. The Lovebird sofa, inspired by the colour of lovebirds, is the result.
It's easy to see why it won. Underneath the sofa there's a pull-out coffee table, the inside of which is hollowed out for storage, and a poufe. And, if you put the poufe at the end of the sofa it transforms into a single bed.
It's the must have piece of furniture for a studio apartment or bedsit and perfect for tiny living rooms too. I reckon you can stretch it to fit more than two bums when you've a crowd around; and there's that extra space on the poufe too.
It's not cheap at £1,999, but having been displayed as part of the Design Museum's Future is Here exhibition it's well on its way to becoming a design icon and should at least hold its value. I'd go for the orange colourway.
Do you know of another brilliantly big idea for a tiny space? Perhaps one that can even tip Made.com off the top spot? Do tell