Making space: 5 tips for small rooms

A modern bedroom with lots of storage. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

A modern bedroom with lots of storage. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos - Credit: Archant

Don’t let a small room cramp your style. Here are five small changes you can make for a big difference in space

1. In small bedrooms, storage is all-important. Fitted wardrobes provide floor-to-ceiling storage and are most useful if built in what might otherwise be wasted space, such as the alcoves next to a chimney breast. Fitted wardrobes aren’t expensive if you make them out of MDF (or get a carpenter to), and can be customised for your storage needs. A bed with built-in storage may also be a good investment.

2. To make a small bathroom work well, think about re-jigging the layout - would there be more space with a corner toilet, shower cubicle or basin, for example? Also consider the depth of the toilet - some are a lot shorter than others, giving you more useable floor space. If you don’t use the bath, could you save space by replacing it with a shower cubicle? This may put off some buyers when you come to sell, but may be worth it if it improves the bathroom for you. If you want to keep the bath, there may be a better bath for the room, such as a shorter, narrower or tapered one.

3. Fitting everything in a small kitchen can be a challenge. Consider moving the washing machine to the bathroom or under-stairs cupboard, for example, and fitting smaller appliances, such as a two-burner hob. Clever kitchen designs make more of limited space - try a pullout worktop and wall-hung table that folds down. Tall wall units, if the ceiling’s high enough, give you more storage by using otherwise wasted space.

4. A small boiler will free up space. Dated properties often have a big, floor-standing boiler with a hot-water cylinder, plus tanks in the loft. In smaller properties, this takes up valuable space and is unnecessary because a combi boiler (no cylinder or tank needed) will usually suffice (ask a heating engineer if in doubt), some combis are especially compact.

5. In some rooms, it’s hard to find wall space for a radiator without putting furniture in front of it, which is pointless. Solve the problem with slimline vertical radiators - they’re ideal when wall space is limited and are handy for drying big things like sheets. Most vertical radiators are only one or two columns deep, which limits the heat output. As well as being a practical solution for small rooms, these radiators are the perfect combination of period elegance and contemporary style, and a nice feature in their own right.