I am quite familiar with both the charm and challenges of small spaces. When done well, they are cosy, comfortable and satisfying.
As a former Mumbaikar, and having stayed in different parts of Mumbai, I feel like I can shed a lot of light on this topic.
The key to an enjoyable small-space living might be easier than one would think. All it takes is a little extra effort and tricking the eye into perceiving more space with three major parameters: scale, light, and movement.
1. Scale it down
My previous apartment at Andheri (W), which was a 2 BHK, was really spacious and the living room was sea-facing. Here, at my new place in Malad (W), all the furniture, even the bedding is downsized to fit the smaller living space. The place may be compact in size but the use of bunk beds and other modular twists trick the eye into thinking it's a bigger place..
Change only the position of the way the bedding or seating arrangement is. In order to create the feeling of a bigger room, leave a minute gap between furniture and walls. For example, a sleek sofa or an armrest chair will add a glamorous quotient, yet not gobble up the space.
2. Keep a low profile.
Use dark and light hues to compliment each other. Furniture that is lower to the ground, adds to the vibrancy and feel of a larger surface area, when actually the area available is less. In the bedroom, a bunk bed or even a sofa cum bed is a great idea. Alternatively, if your tastes run more toward the colourful or sporty side, go for brighter and warmer accents on your furniture, tiles or paintings. Positioning your art decals and décor, in the lower half of the room helps too.
3. Mirror, mirror on the wall…
If you hang the mirrors low, it creates an illusion of a big space. Mirrors can be cleverly positioned that they actually look like another window. Creative utilization of spaces should be done with interior decorators.
4. Ditch the drapes and rugs
Unclutter your space by ditching the drapes and the rug. Go for blinds and sheer curtain instead.
5. White it out
You can go colorless. The reflective power of white floors coupled with breezy, lightweight fabrics can work wonders. If possible, avoid heavy materials and fabrics that absorb light and weigh your room down. Linen is a perfect example of a lightweight material that will increase the sense of airiness in the room.
7. Keep it simple
If a lot of decor is present in the room, it can feel claustrophobic, and more cluttered. If you go for a wallpaper accent for the wall, then keep the rest of the room simple. If you need that huge oil painting in your living room, try to ensure that it is the only art in the room. Focus on just one decorative item.
The key here is ensure that less is more. Have fun decorating your little haven!