This week the remaining House Rules contestants faced their toughest challenge yet – the Charity Apartment round. Dealt with the task of transforming three tired units with three specific design briefs, the teams quickly learned that small doesn’t mean easy. It’s a fine balancing act between the right furniture, colour, storage and layout decisions. If you’re looking for ways to maximise your small living space, check out these tips and clever ideas from the House Rules contestants.
Combine living spaces
A great way to overcome space restrictions is to make versatile furniture choices. Claire and Hagan maximised the space in their kitchen by creating a timber breakfast bar, that could double as a dining table and workbench area. Judge Joe Snell said their clever tabletop would make “a perfect spot for your Cornflakes in the morning”. Likewise, the twins gained points in their kitchen for creating two rooms in one by integrating the laundry. They also knocked down part of a wall to open up space between the living room and kitchen.
Think about size and scale
The size of your furniture needs to be appropriately scaled to the space you’re working with. Too big and the room can look cluttered, while too small can be impractical to use. Claire and Hagan struggled to find the right fit in their room transformations. Their furniture choices in their Manhattan living area were too oversized, creating what the judges criticised as a ‘dolls house’ room. On the other hand, the vanity unit in their bathroom was too small and uncomfortable to use.
Think beyond basic shelves and drawers and embrace innovative storage solutions that don’t take up too much space. In their Manhattan style living room, the team from Victoria created an abstract set of open, wooden boxes to display books and other knick knacks. Being mounted on the wall, the shelves didn’t occupy too much space and added a decorative touch to the room. A similar approach was taken in the Scandinavian Chic living area, where the plasma television was placed on the wall, creating additional storage space below.
Colours that make a difference
This week, there was a clear common colour trend across all three apartments – white and more white. There’s no denying that lighter colours create the illusion of more space in a room, particularly if there’s a lack of windows and natural light. White walls, tiles and cupboards create a clean look and make a good canvas for adding splashes of colour. The Scandinavian Chic apartment embraced this technique, sticking to a predominantly white colour palette mixed with pale wood and elements of blue in their kitchen tiles, wall art and bedding.
If you’re feeling inspired by the House Rules contestants, check out the rest of their apartment transformations for more stylish interior design ideas.