5 simple design tips for small spaces
For most of us in Dubai, apartment living is the norm. As such, finding yourself cramped in a small space, more often than not with a flat-mate you may or may not even like, is simply one of the realities of life in the emirate. A stark contrast from the sprawling villas inhabited by your more well-to-do friends with their “kids” and “stable income”, Middle Eastern apartment living often leaves those of us who call flats home with less floor space to work with and a whole lot more to be desired. Combine this restricted working space with the cookie-cutter designs they usually come packaged in, it can be an ongoing struggle to inject a true sense feeling of "home" into your flat, regardless of that lovely HOVNÄS you went and bought from Ikea.
If you are an apartment dweller looking to enrich the style of your small space and enhance your miniature home on a budget, here are five simple interior design tips from Medy Navani, Creative Director of Design Haus Medy, to help liven up your limited living space.
1. Liven Up The Walls
“Thankfully when it comes to walls, we have a great variety of upgrade opportunities, such as paint, art work, shelving units, wall panels, and other decorative elements at the ready. Walls can make or break your space, but luckily the solutions are cost effective, easy to apply, and can completely revamp a dull, emotionless room. My favourite technique is to install 3D pattern wallpapers, they bring your walls to life and can make your room appear extremely interesting and full of character. The best thing is that they are also super quick easy to install, with various reputable suppliers offering this service in Dubai.”
2. Fix Your Flooring
“Flooring is the foundation of any space. The right floor can make furnishing a room an absolute pleasure. Most people don’t want to go through the hassle of completely changing the floor (considering the time, effort, and cost it will take). However, for a fantastic quick fix I always recommend installing light oak laminate flooring on top of the existing floor. For a cost of about Dhs 7500 you could have 100sqm floor area covered, which is incredibly cost effective and probably cheaper than many quality rugs you would consider purchasing to hide the existing flooring. The floating oak laminate makes the space cozy, clean and easy to decorate.”
3. Buy The Right Sized Furniture
“It doesn’t really matter what furniture you select, that's completely up to your own tastes, just make sure that the proportions are correct. Nothing is worse than having bulky furniture taking up all the space in a small room. A tip is to try to select furniture with high legs and wall mounted elements, as the more we see from the floor the bigger the space feels.”
4. Utilise Storage Space
“Select intelligent furniture with integrated storage space. One of the biggest challenges we face in small spaces is how to store the "necessities" of life without actually having them seen - it doesn't take a hoarder to accumulate boxes of additional belongings which, for one reason or another, cannot simply be discarded. Think beach chairs, suitcases, cooler boxes and recreational toys! A great storage solution for smaller spaces is a centre table or a bed with bottom storage compartment, simply whisk everything underneath your sleeping pod in complete stylish disguise. I’d also recommend making use of the walls with cabinets and floating shelves, as so much space can be earned from exploiting this opportunity."
5. Have A Consistent Colour Scheme
"In small apartments it's important to find one colour scheme and to implement it throughout every part of the flat, from the curtains to the towels. Personally, I’d keep a clean base colour like white, champagne, light grey and select one wood (like a white oak), one metal (like polished brass), one stone colour (like white marble), and one strong pinch of colour (like a royal green or navy blue). That should tie everything together quite nicely."