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Creative Storage Solutions for Small Apartment Living


Small is beautiful, as the saying goes, and often an unavoidable feature of city living. But with a bit of planning and insider knowledge of where to find the right storage solutions, even the smallest apartment can appear stylish, bright, and downright sophisticated. Find a place for everything you need and more, with these tips and tricks, courtesy of Australia’s leading interior designers and furniture retailers.

Carmen Parker Styling


Who they are: Sydney-based interior stylist and colour consultant, Carmen Parker, works closely with clients to create spaces that balance the demands of daily life with the need for a much-needed retreat from this busy world. Carmen believes that function and practicality can equate to beauty and style. Be space efficient, says Carmen, keep only the things you need, and assign everything its own place.

Tips for storing with style: Carmen advises that you choose multi-purpose furnishings to declutter your small space. Pick an ottoman with storage inside that can also be used as a coffee table. A wall or shelving unit is invaluable to store all sorts of miscellaneous items that can make a home look messy. Shelve those books, toys, and glassware and store linens in baskets. Do whatever you can to keep your small home tidy!

Planet 

Who they are: Australian furniture and homeware designer and retailer, Planet, specialises in creating customised pieces for their clients. Pioneers of handcrafting solid Australian hardwood into quality furniture, their collection is the epitome of sustainability and integrity. Their showrooms also display world textiles, vintage Japanese items, and Australian studio ceramics, among other wonderfully quirky items.

Tips for storing with style: Planet recommends giving some thought to your personal priorities, when furnishing a small apartment. Consider what’s more important to you, a king-size bed or a space for yoga? Pick your favourite items first and arrange your room around them. You should also have a table height surface for daily items, so clutter doesn’t build up on the floor. Try Planet’s splay-leg elliptical dining table. As a bonus, its organic shape looks great in odd shaped corners.

Inspired Spaces

Who they are: Inspired Spaces provide residential and commercial interior design solutions. They strongly believe good design can be inspiring and have a positive impact on your emotional and physical well-being. Their experience in commercial design provides them with in-depth insights into combining functionality with style.

Tips for storing with style: The design experts at Inspired Spaces recommend incorporating storage as part of the overall aesthetic, rather than choosing stand-alone features. If you are building a new kitchen, drawers win over deep cupboards. You can also look at creating storage in the kick boards, which work perfectly for small items like baking trays. They encourage you to consider custom-made furniture for small or awkward spaces, it may not be as expensive as you think.

Ioanna Lennox Interiors

Who they are: Ioanna Lennox Interiors’ high-quality design is responsible for home interiors that are both functional and beautiful. The functionality and liveability of a space is as embedded in their ethos as is the overall aesthetic, resulting in timeless, sophisticated spaces.

Tips for storing with style: Think outside the box and consider the space you have vertically as well as horizontally, says Ioanna Lennox. To replicate Lennox’s fresh signature look, she recommends using an étagère as a bookcase or display cabinet. This tall, versatile and multi-functional piece looks great when placed against a wall or in the middle of a room. Use it as a divider, showcasing some of your favourite knick-knacks and collectables.

Gallop Lifestyle

Who they are: Gallop Lifestyle started out as an online homewares store in 2010 and is now a fully-fledged interior decorating and design service, offering everything from complete renovation to furniture sourcing. Founder Annie Bowen also regularly partners with Christine McCoy at Sydney-based Colour Interior Exterior as one half of a dynamic creative partnership.

Tips for storing with style: Bowen suggests you start by creating a mood board of the overall look you’re aspiring to. Consider the floor, paint, and joinery colours and get these right first. Then add storage, taking care not to overcrowd each room. As a final touch, add decorative pieces only if they are really needed, rather than over-ordering items in excitement of the moment. This will reduce your overall need for storage in the first place. Remember that pushing furniture up against the wall is not always the answer and, in fact, sometimes moving a piece away altogether is a much better idea.

Emma Blomfield

Who they are: Co-founder of The Decorating School, Emma Blomfield is passionate about sharing her in-depth knowledge of home styling and decorating. The Decorating School teaches homeowners the principles of decorating, educating them on design techniques to create a home they love. Her ethos of encouraging each client and pupil to contribute their personality to the design, results in a diverse portfolio of unique spaces.

Tips for storing with style: Be ruthless about what you keep in a room when it comes to choosing homewares and accessories. Only buy things that you really love and will want to keep in your home for years to come and be true to your style and taste. Blomfield’s favourite piece for a small space is a buffet from West Elm made from reclaimed pine timber. Not only does it add character to a room, it is useful for storage in the dining or living room.

DOMO

Who they are: With showrooms across Australia, DOMO sells a carefully curated selection of Europe’s most prestigious and sought after furniture brands. Committed to quality and craftsmanship, the meticulous showrooms feature pieces that are classically beautiful and stylish in their own right. When selecting furniture for its exclusive clientele of private buyers and members of the design community, they also look for pieces that exhibit practicality, originality and vision.

Tips for storing with style: “We often say that ‘luxury’ is about the absence of problems, rather than the addition of flashy features,” says Francesco Novembre, founder and managing director of DOMO. Australians are increasingly adopting trends from Europe where people are accustomed to much smaller spaces. Save on space by combining form with function with pieces like the Ligne Roset Ploum Sofa by renowned French designer, R. E. Bouroullec. The statuesque sofa is perfectly proportioned to fit smaller apartment spaces.

Cordony Designs

Who they are: The interior experts at Cordony Designs turn their skilled hands to all things from design to home improvement. They take particular joy in commissions for small homes, converting them into more liveable and efficient spaces.

Tips for storing with style: “Small apartment living doesn’t mean you need to pick between cramped or cosy.” say the designers at Cordony Design. Choose a lounge that is designed with extra storage in its base and avoid oversized sofas with rolled arms. Even consider losing one of the arms altogether with a chaise lounge.

They also advise to install shelves high up to make use of wall space and ceiling height. This not only maximises storage, but also makes your walls feel taller.

Vavoom

Who they are: This eclectic emporium of Australian furniture and homewares showcases a range of styles, with everything from rustic leather benches, to carved wooden mirrors to golden pineapple chandeliers. A love of all things interior and decorative shines through an impressive collection available online and in their brick-and-mortar store.

Tips for storing with style: To help create a feeling of airiness, create a flow through your apartment with a minimum amount of solid colour. This applies to your furniture and storage solutions as well. The style gurus at Vavoom recommend Takke's Log Side Table in white, for multiple uses. It functions as a dining chair, outdoor stool, or a bedside table all rolled into one, simply move it around your home as needed.

If living in your small apartment has you constantly moving items from one surface to another, you could be in need of some space-optimising storage solutions. Just because you live in a small apartment, doesn't mean you have to live small. Turn your tiny slice of the world into a show piece, with these space-saving designer tips from Australia’s leading interior experts.