How to decorate a 17m² studio apartment

25 Oct 2016

Living in small quarters doesn't have to mean sacrificing style for drab storage solutions and "it's the only thing that will fit" furniture. It just takes a little creativity. To prove that small spaces can still be stylish, Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory took on the challenge of decorating a 17-square-metre studio apartment. Their ingenious ways of maximising space make quite an impact...

There is no need to paint an entire small apartment bright white; colour can add real drama to small spaces. Here Farrow & Ball's Charlotte's Locks is a bold backdrop to a monochrome scheme. A mirror cleverly mimics a doorway, creating the illusion of a grander space.

Paul Raeside

Get the lookPaint, 'Charlotte's Locks,' £29.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion at . 'Brera Largo' (noir), linen, £55 a metre, at . Lacquered-wood 'Mirror Table,' by Front, for Porro, 207 x 94 x 30.5cm, €1,391, at .

Forgo a cumbersome wardrobe for separate storage crates (Ikea is a one-stop shop) and hanging rails, which can be hidden behind a decorative curtain.

Paul Raeside

Get the lookPlastic-and-steel storage system, 'Antonius', 180 x 124 x 55cm, £107.78 and polyester hanging shelves, 'Skubb', £7.99, both at . Forged iron curtain pole, 'Classic' (matt black), 2.5cm diameter, 19p per centimetre, at . Curtain, 'Sofienburg' (porcelain), linen, £75 a metre at . Laminated-paperboard storage box with steel corner protectors, 'Kassett', by Jon Karlsson, £9.39 for two, at . White and orange storage boxes, 'Inge', £13 each; and black DVD box, as before, all at

The main studio room has been given an injection of personality with a graphic rug and toile wallpaper, as well as a high display shelf, which draws the eye and creates the illusion of height. In the daytime, bedlinen can be hidden away neatly in a trunk; at night, the chairs become a stylish double bed.

Paul Raeside
Paul Raeside

Get the lookWallpaper, 'The Boatman', £54 a 10-metre roll, at . Curtain, 'Brera Fino' (cloud) linen, £55 a metre, at . Wool-and-nylon rug, 'Tess' (black and white), 276 x 220cm, £850 at . Sofa beds, 'Melissa', 85 x 102 x 90cm, £1,690 each, at ; covered in 'Moro' (mango), cotton mix, £71.50 a metre, at .

How to decorate a small living room

A cupboard kitchen takes the place of exposed kitchen units - a practical and good-looking alternative. A drop leaf dining table can be discreetly folded against a wall when not in use.

Paul Raeside

Get the lookPaint, '50N01', £27.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from . Bespoke MDF cupboard, by Ben Lloyd-Ennals, 200 x 104 x 60cm, from £600; painted in 'Railings', £43.50 for 2.5 litres eggshell, at ; with curtains in 'Brera Alta' (chalk), linen, £99 a metre, at .

Paul Raeside

Get the look'Compact Kitchen', including stainless-steel splashback with shelves and worktop with integral sink, drainer and two electric rings, £549 as pictured, at . White, wood-and-MDF drop-leaf table, by Sara Szyber, 74 x 150 x 80cm unfolded, £679.30 at . Polypropylene and reinforced-fibreglass chair, 'Piana', by David Chipperfield, 90 x 46 x 52cm, around £150 at .

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