The Idealist

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

As the saying goes, modernity has made the world smaller – and– by the same token, has seemed to have done the much the same to urban homes.

With countless numbers flocking to the major cities by the year, space has become as much a premium as it has ever been – and it’s just as well, because recently, there has been something of a culture that has formed around getting the most out of that valuable square-footage.

Buzzwords like ‘flexible living’, ‘adaptive design’ and ‘multi-functional’ keep the beat for modern metropolitan living, inspiring new and ever-innovative solutions to negotiating tighter living areas. This said, the smallest touches can make the biggest difference, so it’s vital that we think outside the drab, uninspired plastic storage box.

Certainly, compromising spaces doesn’t equate with compromising your home’s personality and character. We’ve picked out a few pieces that we’ve slightly fallen in love with, pairing them with ideas and concepts really get the most out of compact living spaces.

Take to the walls

Working on the same logic that has built some of the world’s greatest super cities, when the all space is spent – look upwards. Shelves are a great choice for organising your home while saving on that much desired floor space.

The Darren wall shelf unit from Maisons Du Monde is something we’re all a little infatuated with. The quirky piece draws its inspiration from the fire escapes typically found on high rise buildings of New York.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

The piece’s charm lies in the meticulousness of its recreation, capturing the look of the iconic staircases down to the smallest detail. This makes the piece multifunctional, as wall decoration in addition to a storage option.

All metal and finished in a silhouette-like, jet black, the Darren shelf would look fantastic set against any lightly coloured wall. £91.99.

The Madison metal wall shelf, also from Maisons Du Monde, is another fantastic option for maximising a compact living space through use of walls.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

Packing an industrial charm with its wooden shelf and black metal structure, the Madison shelf is equally at home supporting your kitchen crockery or hallway accessories.

Its hooks make it tremendously versatile while also adorning the design to further evoke the factories of bygone eras. £103.50.

Jack of all trades

One piece, multiple functions. It’s a formula that guarantees an efficient and functional living space. The following pieces pack bags of style and are a sure fire way to score the home run for a stylishly compact living space.

The Laoenan trunk from Maisons Du Monde packs a certain, golden age Hollywood nostalgia. Its entirely metal construction, which is finished in a jet black and decoratively serial numbered, gives the piece the look of the utility boxes from the film sets of yesteryear.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

The trunk’s charm is that it serves the purpose of a trunk, while also being equally at home when being used as an occasional table. £161.00.

Habitat’s Bobbly floor lamp is a spunky and youthful reimagining of the classic floor lamp, and is a great choice for compact living spaces. Its double-jointed, slim stem means that the light can be contorted and reshaped for a variety of uses from reading to creating ambient settings.

Finished in a powder-coated metal, this lamp is robust and effortlessly cool. £65.00.

Out of sight, out of mind

Few things open up a space more than decluttering it. In that sense, intelligent space management and storage choices can do wonders in opening up your home and giving the illusion of a space as being larger than it actually is, while also ensuring your living space is as functional as it can be.

The Newport three panel folding screen from Maisons Du Monde is a great choice for sectioning off different areas in an open-planned living space.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

Crafted in the colonial style typical of heritage homes of the American east coast, the divider is an elegant appointment to any home. Its neutral trans-white finish means it is a comfortable fit both many modern and classically styled homes.

The grain still pops through, and the nitro-cellulose finish means that the Newport screen will age and attain a weathered look in the vein of antique pieces over its life. £239.00.

The Kubrik cupboard makes for a potent pairing with the Newport panel, also finished in an off-white. Italian made, tall and slender, its narrow 35 cm-wide frame makes it a great storage option for compact living spaces as it can unobtrusively be tucked away in any corner of your home. £350.00.

The Daxton five level shoe storage from Habitat is a fantastic space-saving alternative to the conventional shoe rack. Capable of organising ten to fifteen pairs in its five tiers, it declutters and saves appreciable amounts of real estate your hallway.

Finished in a brilliant white, its simple but elegant design means it can work with a variety of home designs. £95.00. A shorter, three tier version is also available for more compact spaces at £70.00.

Modular thinking

Modular furniture is a great option for finding a perfect fit without going the boutique or bespoke routes. Maisons Du Monde’s Terrence Range is a prime example of this.

Made in France, the range exudes an understated classiness with a simple yet elegant silhouette and neutral shades. Constructed form a solid pine frame, and finished in Monet fabric, the range is sturdy and easily shrugs off the wear and tear that comes with a metropolitan-paced life. Its beauty lies in the details.

The legs are formed out of a Wenge-stained beech, the dark tone of which gorgeously foils the shade of the upholstery. Finished in a lush white, taupe, putty-colour, and all light, slate and charcoal shades of grey, the entire range has the capacity to match a variety of interior-styles.

The largest module of the Terence range is the sofa-bed, here shown in Maisons Du Monde’s striking Charcoal Black finish.

Forming a sofa when stowed away, the base can be projected forward to form a comfortable, single bed. £734.00.

The Terence Monet linen chaise is made to the identical colour and material specification as the Terence sofa-bed, and pairs with it to make a striking corner sofa. £524.00.

Compact Living: Maximising Space & Style in Your Home.

Combining these with other elements from Maisons Du Monde’s Terence range, such as the armless fabric two-seater (£419.00) or the Terence modular pouffe (£262.50) allows you to own a sofa that is tailor-made for your compact living space.

Maisons Du Monde’s Terence range is thorough, and has pieces with armrests on either the left or right side, so that whatever combination you chose, it fits perfectly with your home.

You might also like: Planning a Small-Space Living Room

There’s no denying that a small space can be difficult to negotiate. Often, a focus of functionality often means that style and artistic aspects are often compromised.

The pieces from Maisons Du Monde and Habitat show that this simply does not have to be the case, championing the idea that pieces can still be functional, maximise space, while still being tremendously easy on the eye.

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  • Nigel is a writer and journalist living in London. He loves music, literature and architecture. Since moving to London to study, he’s yet to kick his honeymoon phase with the city, and when not working, can consequently be found making the most of what London has to offer. He maintains that Billy Joel is one of the greatest and most critically misunderstood singer-songwriters of our time. So far, he has found 3 other people that agree with him.

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