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11 Small Space Tricks to Learn From a Swedish Interior Designer's Home

How does a Swedish interior designer and visual merchandiser decorate a small apartment? With style (as you can imagine!) - but also by being incredibly smart! What Erik Josefsson's Gothenburg home lacks in square feet (it's a mere 52 - or 559 sq ft) it sure makes up for in texture, earthy nuances, beautiful vignettes, Scandinavian design, art and plants - all the while feeling calm and de-cluttered!  I went through it with a fine toothcomb and found 10 lessons we can learn to achieve that elusive balance between clutter-free and cosy! I hope you find something you can apply to your own home, I certainly have! 

1. Leave empty space: empty space (or 'negative space') is just as important as occupied space in a home (especially when size is an issue). It helps to focus the eye, create calm and give you room to breath!

2. Work with texture: even though the wall behind the sofa is blank, Erik has used a paint technique that adds texture to the wall which automatically adds interest without adding clutter. 

3. Display the things you love (and use a lot), hide the things you don't! Bit of an obvious one (sorry!) but if you surround yourself with the things you love, you'll feel happier. Store away more unsightly things behind cupboard doors or use nice storage boxes like the one on the floor (Etsy sell similar vintage ones here*). 

4. Tucked away but still at hand: In small spaces, you can find room for storage in the most unexpected places (I first learned that from the clever home of a danish architect).  It took me several goes before I noticed this little wall-mounted shelf by the radiator! 

5. Group art: This goes back to point number 1 (you know, the one about leaving empty space) - if you group art and other objects you then have more scope to leave an empty space elsewhere). Having said that, it's also nice to pick out one piece of art you really love and display it completely on its own. 

I shared a fail safe way to hang art here (Per breathed a total sigh of relief when I discovered that trick!). The Poster Club* sells prints and frames like these (and ships worldwide) 

6.  Think small and smart: some kitchens are so tiny you wonder if it's actually possible to fit in a table! Small, wall mounted tables like this one are perfect for saving space and creating a table for two! I like the Norbo wall mounted table from IKEA which you can paint any colour you like. 

7. Go dark! Painting a small space dark goes against every rule in the decorating book, but actually many have decided against this and in fact, going for a deep hue in small rooms in the bedroom can make a space feel extra warm and cosy. After seeing Erik's bedroom I kind of regret only painting one wall in my stepson's room - time to paint the rest!

8. Use the windowsill as a side table: I know from previous comments that not everyone has a windowsill (in Sweden we're kind of spoilt on this front) but when space is of a premium, if you do have one, a sill can double up as a great bedside table. 

9. Bespoke bedside shelf: No windowsill? Try a small wall mounted shelf cut to size, like the one seen to the left of Erik's bed. Painting it the same colour as the wall will help to keep the look clean and clutter-free. 


10. Lean-to shelves: narrow shelves that lean against the wall are great for saving space.

11. Hooks and more hooks: I can't tell you how handy I find long racks of hooks - I think we have them in every room of our house. This wooden rack in Erik's hallway is ideal for coats etc - but can also be used for decorative items when not in use. 

Source a similar one here

Isn't his home lovely? I love the use of colour too! 

Did you pick up any ideas for your home? I know what I'll be doing this weekend.... painting Albin's room! 

You can see more of Erik's home over at @erinterior and take a peek at his latest projects here. Incidentally Erik was one of the creatives behind this stunning Swedish home I featured last week (I'm still reeling from the tour, how about you? Wonder if anyone has snapped it up yet!).

Other small space inspiration:

10 small space hacks to learn from a Danish apartment
10 ways to turn a pokey top floor flat into a swoon-worthy living space
A tiny cabin and pottery studio in the woods

I see the tiny cabin has just come on the market - Vermont anyone?!

Ha det så fin!

Niki

Photography: Erik Josefsson shared with kind permission
*this post contains affiliate links which means I might make a very, very tiny amount of money if you click on the link and buy the item. 



LATEST COMMENTS:

  1. Wow, I love this home. I have the same candlesticks that are shown in the first photo. Actually I have only 1 in the silver colour - bought back in the 70s, but I've been planning to buy a few more sometime, probably in black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the Stoff candlesticks! Lucky you to have an original piece, I think building on in black would look great and your original piece will stand out too 😊

      Delete

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