As  co-founder of home mecca Maison Merci and in-demand interior designer for many of the country’s most stylish  celebrities, Jade Yarbrough has experience with projects utilising huge swathes of space... and even larger budgets. Thankfully for the non-celebs among us, her training and innate sense of balance and style means she also has a great eye for getting the most out of small spaces and limited budgets. Here, she shares with us her favourite easy, practical tips for improving any room (whether or not it happens to be in your dream home).

TIP 1 – One piece, many ways

“Things like day beds are really useful pieces, as they serve multiple purposes, which is especially key in small rooms. You can use it as a guest bed, a workspace or to lounge on.

Ottomans are great little statement piece too, and work in almost any room. You can style one with lamps and books, or simply leave as is and prop in a corner alone or with a statement chair.

If you are limited on space for your dining area or table, a great trick is to incorporate stools that tuck underneath the table. We  have recently launched our own small sculptural wooden stools that double as dining or meeting table stools, feature chairs or side tables. We had so many of our clients asking us for solutions for chairs and stools for small spaces and now more than ever it is super important we think about multipurpose pieces of furniture.

TIP 2 – Colour can make all the difference

We recently re-upholstered a couch and day bed for a client in a fresh, creamy white linen, and it absolutely transformed the space!

Even subtle shifts of colour can be really impactful, whether your space is big or small.

TIP 3 – Add a statement piece… but don’t overstyle it

I am a big lover of bar carts, which can really spice up an empty room or corner.

There are so many beautiful options out there – modern, vintage, colourful, textured, wood, metal… your choices are endless. Keep the styling minimal and stock it only with the essentials, as you can run the risk of these little beauties looking cluttered.

TIP 4 – Mirror, mirror

There are plenty of tricks that can make any space feel larger, and ways to make sure that a small space is beautiful and functional.

Mirrors are magical shape shifters, giving any room light and depth. Either pop two large floor mirrors next to each other, or place them at either end of a room. Floor to ceiling mirrors are also a game-changing addition to any room.

We recently installed two of our Alexia Mirrors above a headboard in a bedroom for a client, which was a really great way to open up the space, and also to allow some more natural light into this room.

TIP 5 – Make the most of the space you’ve got

I love to custom-make pieces to fit perfectly into existing architecture, little nooks or pokey corners.

I recently designed a piece for a client who wanted a marble console in her small bedroom, which was proving difficult as it would really close in the space and not allow for free-flowing walking. So, we took advantage of the architecture and layout of the room and instead created a small angular marble plinth to occupy an obscure corner of the room, which made the room feel much larger and didn’t take up any already limited space.

To avoid chaos and clutter, always look for ways to hide your storage. My storage hack for a small bedroom is bed bases that contain drawers. You can get some really great reasonably priced ones now, and you can even give them a fresh lick of paint if they’re not quite to your taste fresh out of the box (or if you have the budget to do so, get something built to suit).

TIP 6 – Keep it fresh

Re-organise and redecorate as much as you can! I think it is important to invest some quality time in doing this, as it truly revitalises a space.

Move your current pieces around: you can create a whole new energy in the room without even spending any money. If you’re finding yourself working at home, take the time to rethink what lives wear. You could try popping the couch into a new spot against a window for sunlight and fresh air, or if you aren’t using an armchair that’s in your living area, move it into your bedroom to create a cosier space in there when work is done for the day.”

Story by Zoe Briggs. Images supplied by Merci Maison.

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