6 ways to make your home look bigger on a budget

Anyone who’s even slightly obsessed with homeware will think that Laura Keighley has the best job, EVER. As the home buyer at Urban Outfitters – the go-to place for amazing and affordable homeware FYI – she’s the person who effectively decides what we’re all going to be buying before we buy it.

We visited her two-bedroom apartment in London to see how she styles her space – get ready for proof that you don’t need a huge house, or loads of money, to have a showroom-worthy home. Here she gives us the inside scoop on what’s hot in homeware now, and shares her top, bargain-friendly style ideas for small spaces…

I’d describe my interiors style as…

Modern-eclectic. I try to be modern and minimal, but actually, I just really love collecting things. I’m always in vintage shops and charity shops picking up vases and little trinkets. I now have to work to a one-in, one-out rule, otherwise it gets too much!

The biggest interiors trends to know now are...

This year we’ve seen the colour pink become more and more popular, but the colour to watch for spring / summer 2017 is lavender – think gorgeous lilac shades that look great with grey and white.

Textures are a big hit too – we’re seeing lots of moroccan-feel cushions and rugs coming through. And while copper is still a big trend, gold is the new copper now. You’ll find it goes with more and gives a more sophisticated, luxurious feel.

My tips for styling a bookshelf are…

Don’t over-clutter the shelves with books, leave room for decorative bits and pieces – otherwise it can look a bit boring. The key is to find a balance between getting all your books on there and showcasing cool, decorative items. Organising the bookshelf in a zigzag formation can create quite a cool effect, as can organising the books according to a rough colour scheme.

The best way to revamp a room on a budget is…

To buy plants. Lots of plants! Everything from big palm leaf plants to little cactuses can turn a basic room into something quite cosy and stylish. You can also get amazing wall art from most places for £15-20, and it really does make the room look more interesting. We work with a company called East End Prints, who do really great poster prints for just £20.

I love bargain hunting. I got the pink vases on my bookshelf from a charity shop when I was on holiday in Tampa in Florida for like a dollar. I’m also obsessed with Oxfam. Everyone at work laughs at me because I’m always getting parcel sent to work from things I’ve bought from their website.

When it comes to homeware, it’s worth investing in…

A good sofa. If you buy a good quality one in a nice grey or neutral colour it will last a really long time. You should also spend more on rugs. Often we’ll scrimp on these but they make such a big statement in any room. A rug has the same impact as – if not more than – a piece of furniture so align your expenditure to that.

My top insider hacks for making your home look bigger are...

Statement mirrors. Put them wherever you have dark spaces to bring light into the room and make it look bigger. Also go for the biggest rug you can: you want it to fill the room. And place all of your interesting pieces and furniture in the corners of the room, so you have lots of space in the middle of the room.

You also need clever storage. I bought a vintage HEALs dining sideboard from eBay for £160 (they usually cost a lot more) and I use it as a TV unit – then inside I’ve created my own little bar! I also have a footstool instead of a coffee table as it takes up less space – and I can put my feet on it!

Image credit: Sharj Photography (@sharj_photography)

 
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