It’s a well-known fact that no matter how large your home is your “stuff” expands to fill the space. Clutter and storage are the top two home décor dilemmas. So why not take a page from the French and try these five quick fixes for tricky spaces? We promise: not one of them involves a big plastic bin!
Doing double duty
The best way to loosen up some functional space but stay impeccably stylish is to find furniture and choose accent pieces that do double duty. For instance, if your favorite earthenware pitcher is great for serving lemonade in the summer have it hold cooking utensils in the off-season. You’ll save countertop and storage space.
Our Kerstin Writing Desk is another model multi-tasker. With its French blue finish and glass-enclosed shelves, it serves as a pretty place to stow everything from stamps to curiosities. Now pull out the drawer and flip out the ebony writing surface and it’s a compact but ample desk. Two useful pieces in one.
Go up, not out
No doubt this lovely lingerie chest will be at home in any size bedroom, big or small. Its mirrored surfaces naturally dance light around a room to add glamour, of course, but also create the illusion of space.
We were enchanted when we saw a mirrored chest like this in a home in France. It was positioned in a dining room on a narrow wall between two tall, magnificent windows. You would have thought it was made for the space, but it was simply a clever and unexpected placement. And so handy! The seven, slender stacked drawers on our reproduction are ideal to store linen napkins and rings, silverware, candles and more. And because the piece reaches up not out, it occupies much less space than a wide or deep cabinet or chest.
Minimum footprint, maximum impact
Another aspect to consider in respect to small and tricky spaces is the size of the footprint a piece of furniture covers. An overstuffed or wingback chair might look phenomenal, but use up too much precious floor space in your place. Perhaps an armless chair would be better.
The French have a way of hiding one useful thing under another useful thing to get out of a tight spot. For instance, you’ll often see wicker baskets or trunks under console tables in French entryways. They become instant, secret storage for books, gloves, table linens, and even tennis racquets.
Another trick is to use nesting tables. Our Gilt Indochine Tables are designed with minimum footprint, maximum tabletop in mind. We love the circular shape and hand-applied gilding on these indispensible beauties.
Shallow can be a good thing
Of course we’re not talking about personalities! We’re referring to chests and consoles with long length but shallow depth measurements. Designs like these hug walls in narrow entryways or squeeze in next to beds in smaller boudoirs to dress out the space while adding storage.
Place a furnishing like our Le Havre Chest in the area right outside your bath for a surprising twist. It’s narrow enough to fit in the space, but long enough to house anything from towels and sheets to soap and shampoo in its drawers. We love that it does the trick without “taking over” like an armoire might do.
Chic to be square
When you picture the French country kitchen or dining area in your mind, you instantly think of a big rectangular farmhouse table. But the French know there’s something just as special about the simplicity and symmetry of a square table, especially in a small home. It can be a comfortable spot for a card game or an intimate setting for a small meal. Our Dauphine Table with Bergere Chairs is just that. We adore the curve of its legs, the carvings on the sides, and the antique patina.
No matter the size of your dwelling, space is almost always at a premium. So take a few tips from the French: keep utility and aesthetics in mind and you’ll have a happy and comfortable place to hang your hat.