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These Affordable Small Space Interior Design Hacks Are A Millennial Renter’s Dream

Image by: La Redoute

Small space? Renting? No problem - courtesy of La Redoute, here are 15 tips for designing a home for working, dining and relaxing.

When it comes to small space living and decorating a rented home, it can often feel like you’re in a battle - constantly toeing the line of what fits and what your landlord will allow. Instagram may have us fantasising about huge converted warehouse loft flats and sunny studios with 2000 square feet, but in reality many of us are squeezed into tiny flats; no room to swing a cat, let alone fit in that crushed velvet three-seat sofa of dreams. Factor in also all the roles our small spaces then have to play - bedroom, living room, dining room, and now, for many, home office - and it can feel exhausting trying to juggle it all, manage the clutter and create an inviting, relaxing space. 

Luckily, the interiors industry is taking note. The most exciting? La Redoute, who have everything you could need for creating a cosy, inviting home that just works, whether that be for living, dining or relaxing (plus, a mega spring sale with up to 40% off the new in spring collection and an extra 10% off on pieces already in the sale, from April 15th to May 6th). With some of their best space saving furniture, some creative thinking and both style and functionality in mind, here are our top tips for designing the home of your dreams, no matter how small.

1. Working

Designing the ultimate home office is all about creating a space that inspires productivity, but doesn’t infringe on my after-hours sense of calm either. Key is establishing clear boundaries between your work-self and home-self, finding clever storage solutions to hide work paraphernalia and ensuring that you have a good work surface and comfortable chair.

Find your perfect small-space friendly desk and chair

First things first, you need a good, solid desk area. Forget working from your bed or sofa - working from a space that you use to relax, binge Netflix and sleep is only going to unsettle you and your working habits. Before you know it, you’ll be crouching over your laptop in your pyjamas, spilling tea on your bed sheets and doing your back no favours.

For a small space, look for furniture that takes up minimal floor space, is elevated and is in lighter colour. La Redoute’s Jimi Scandi-Style Child's Desk balances on slim peg-legs, meaning that though it has plenty of desk space, it feels light and airy (compared to heavy, clunky and dark desks) and won’t feel like it’s crowding your room. You can then use all the space underneath for extra storage if you wish.

If storage is an issue for you, consider a ladder desk like the Domeno - it fits snugly against the wall, taking up minimal floor space, but offers additional shelving. Perfect for those who struggle installing shelves in rented accommodation.

Space-wise, La Redoute also has even more compact options. The retro-style Grimsby Console Desk fits snugly in odd, empty corners, the Trigala Wall-Mounted Bureau attaches to the wall, so no space is taken up by desk-legs, and - the ultimate space saver - the Elori, a wall-mounted desk, folds away completely; hiding all and any signs of work when you’re relaxing.

When it comes to seating, we love stools like the Biface and Sabil designs as they are easily tucked away at the end of the day under the desk and can double up as a footrest or side table on the weekend. If you need the back support though, the smooth, ‘50s style of the Gurwan Retro Office Chair means that we wouldn’t be ashamed doubling it up as a dining chair.

Set up next to a window

There’s a lot to say about working next to a window or with plenty of natural light, especially with all of us staying inside for the foreseeable future; it boosts your mood and productivity levels, allows in all important Vitamin D and fresh air and can spark creativity during that tricky, mid-afternoon slump. 

Make sure you have plenty of artificial light too

Sure, natural light is super important, but if your space doesn’t allow for it, instead ensure that you have a good quality desk light so your eyes aren’t working over time.

Organise any work-related clutter

When you’re relaxing at the weekend or in the evenings, the last thing you want to deal with is all your work paraphernalia - papers, notebooks, stationery and wires and cables. Installing open shelving over your desk and placing some storage baskets, paper trays or file organisers is a simple option. If your landlord or security deposit won't allow you to make any holes in your walls though, try stackable shelves or stackable metal storage boxes

Surround yourself with the things that make you happy

With your desk set up and storage organised, all you need to do now is add life and personality to your work area. This means filling it with the things that make you happy, whether that be photos of friends and family, house plants, a soothing candle or inspiring artwork.

Find more home office essentials here

2. Dining

When it comes to making your living room double up as a dining room, you need to be extra inventive with furniture. It’s all about using decor to do all the hard work for you - drawing those lines between eating and chilling out - and finding furniture that fits into even the trickiest, oddly shaped corners.

Yes - even in a small space, you can have a dining table

It’s a bit of a small living myth, that you’ll never have space for a true dining table. Sure, you probably won’t be able to fit in a traditional, oak wood, six-seater table and chair set, but as La Redoute proves there are plenty alternatives out there; whether that be a fold up table that can be used inside or out, asymmetric three-seater that can slide into corners, or a bistro or bar-style table that can be pushed against the wall or also be used as a kitchen island.  

Add compact chairs

Chair-wise, look for seating that slides neatly away (stools are especially great for high bar-style tables) or folds up when not in use.

If you can, try setting up your dining space in a corner

Corners can be great for fitting in a dining set up. Often, they’re not being used because their shape means fitting furniture in is tricky. Instead, slot benches in as seating - we love the Compo 2 Door and Agama Sideboard benches because they also offer hidden storage - and offset the sharp angles with a small round table.

Use furniture and decorations to separate your dining space from your kitchen or living room

An easy, simple and landlord friendly way to carve out your dining space is to use decor: a bold rug underneath and a statement pendant light over top of the table, a specific colour palette, accents of a specific metal, a mirror or artwork all work to create visual separations.

If you have the space, factor in furniture that signals that this is a dining area

Specific dining furniture like a bar cart or sideboard for your crockery, cutlery and glassware are other useful visual signifiers.

Discover more dining room decor ideas here

3. Relaxing

When designing the ultimate living room, the key words are comfort, cosiness and calming. By this we mean organising any clutter so it’s out of sight and you can truly relax, setting the mood with soft, warm lighting and inviting scents, and filling the space with soft, tactile textures, natural materials and warm, earthy colours.

Hide any clutter

A disorganised space can inspire a disorganised mind - not what you want when relaxing for an evening on the sofa. We love baskets for organising and hiding our clutter in an aesthetic way and for adding a touch of boho to our home.

Add inviting textures...

Hand-woven wall hangings, fringe and tassel cushions, thick, soft rugs, and embroidered throws - anything with texture adds to that sense of boho cosiness, especially when layered with each other.

… And plenty of natural materials 

Natural materials like wood, cork, bamboo and raffia add a warm, tactile atmosphere to a home.

Set the mood with lighting…

Create a warm, cosy atmosphere with multiple light sources rather than the one overhead light, which tends to offer fairly harsh light. We especially love floor lamps for this.

… And with comforting scents

If there is one thing guaranteed to make a space more relaxing, it’s candlelight and inviting aromatherapy scents.

Click here for more cosy decor from La Redoute

Make sure you check out La Redoute's mega spring sale for up to 40% off the new in spring collection and an extra 10% off on pieces already in the sale; running from April 15th to May 6th.