Petit Paris: A Guide To Small Space Living

Chic, stylish and sophisticated France is home to some of the most sought-after real estate in the world. Yet with prices at a premium, Parisian apartments are also well known for something else: their snug scale. At Love Home Swap we don't believe...

Chic, stylish and sophisticated France is home to some of the most sought-after real estate in the world. Yet with prices at a premium, Parisian apartments are also well known for something else: their snug scale.

At Love Home Swap we don't believe compact floor plans need to mean less elegant interiors.

Taking tips from the capital's most inspiring properties, here are some of the best techniques for transformin a petit Parisian apartment into a vibrant and functional living space.

1: Style Not Size

Just because your apartment is low on square metres, it doesn't need to feel cramped. Clever lighting, colour and design are some of the simplest ways to create the impression of more space.

Tips:

1. Instead of bulky lights and lamps, which take up room, use the latest tiles that come with built-in LED lighting to brighten up a cramped bathroom. Position mirrors across from windows to reflect natural light back into the room, for an open and airy feel.

2. Give small spaces a sense of character and individuality, with ornate and embellished detailing. Chandeliers, canopy-style beds and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves can all create a sense of grandeur and scale - even in the littlest rooms.

2: Smarter Storage

As any small space guru will advise, clutter is your worst enemy in a petit living area. Not only do you need to be ruthless during your annual spring clean, but you also need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to new storage options.

Tips:

1. Instead of bulky lights and lamps, which take up room, use the latest tiles that come with built-in LED lighting to brighten up a cramped bathroom. Position mirrors across from windows to reflect natural light back into the room, for an open and airy feel.

2. Give small spaces a sense of character and individuality, with ornate and embellished detailing. Chandeliers, canopy-style beds and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves can all create a sense of grandeur and scale - even in the littlest rooms.

3: Secluded Spaces

Even the smallest studio apartments can give the impression of distinct living spaces. It's important to always use divisions that feel natural and don't add unwanted clutter.

Tips:

1. Furniture can create a division between the zones of a room. For instance, placing the sofa in the middle of a room can separate the TV space from a dining area.

2. Don't forget to think vertically! If you run out of space, consider a loft-style bedroom. Many apartments in Paris build up instead of out, to make the most of the space available.

4: Fashionable Furnishings

One of the most common errors when furnishing a small room is to instinctively try to 'match it' with small pieces of furniture.

Small items bring a cluttered, busy feel to a space. Forget size and select a few eye-catching pieces that command attention.

Tips:

1. When living in a small space, every inch counts - so only select furniture that can serve multiple functions.

A coffee table can rise up into a workspace, or extend to become a dining surface. A bed platform could fold flat against the wall, or even transform into a desk.

2. Select furniture that can also double as storage space, like an ottoman footstool storing DVDs and TV remotes. Stairs are other frequently wasted spaces. Keep an eye out for stair designs with a drawer-style storage component in each step.

5: Outside Options

Little apartments can feel cut off from the outside world. But with a creative approach you can enjoy some of the best big-house perks, like a garden and a balcony.

Tips:

1. Gardens mean natural light and the fragrance of fresh herbs - great things for a stuffy, small high-rise. Individual pots can be easily added to a windowpane with magnets. Herb gardens are available to install with a rope and pulley system - a perfect solution for people with green fingers but no space.

2. Adding a deck might not be an option, but a personalised balcony could be. The Bloomframe is a design of windows that can be electronically extended to form a mini balcony space to enjoy the nice weather.

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