How to

How you can make the most of a small awkward space

Have you got an awkward space you don’t know what to do with? Alex Walls says a slimline settee sitting area might just be the answer

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How you can make the most of a small awkward space

People often ask me for advice on what to do with small or awkwardly sized spaces in their homes. When I see some of them, I have to admit they are quite a challenge to make beautiful or, at the very least, useful.

This month’s room reveal shines a spotlight on a handy treatment for one of these problem areas: why not turn your tricky space into a settee sitting area? The name might sound like something from the Edwardian era, but it could just be the answer to your spatial design dilemma.

A settee is a small sofa that can accommodate one or two people with ease and takes up far less room than a sofa or bulky armchairs. Nowadays, with our smaller living spaces, creating a settee sitting area is a great way to make your home feel more comfortable, functional and even a little bigger; this slimline piece of furniture won’t dominate a space or make it feel over-full.

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Here I’ve tackled an awkward entryway by painting the walls in Dulux ‘Okarito’ (one of my favourite shades for interiors) and adding a beautiful settee as the hero piece. I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous Douglas and Bec design in moss velvet and it’s the perfect size for a hallway, main bedroom, lounge or office.

As the first area guests see when they enter your home, an entryway deserves some styling love so I’ve added just a few accessories: a beautiful artwork, a rug and a cushion, all in warm camel tones. In a slender spot it is always good to make use of vertical space; in this case, a cane screen paired with a vintage camera does the trick, drawing the eye upwards. This combo again ties in with the colour scheme and also hints at adventure and exciting things to come, which is always a good thing!

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Here are a few styling tips for your own settee area:

+ Keep it simple
Don’t overdo the styling with too many cushions or accessories; it will only make the seat feel smaller. One well-chosen throw and a single cushion should do the trick.

+ Frame the space
Hang a piece of artwork on the wall above your settee, or place a rug under it, to help set the boundaries for this area. Hanging plants work well here, too.

+ Store it away 
Slide some stylish shallow baskets underneath to create added storage for shoes, umbrellas and other out-the-door essentials that could otherwise clog up the floor space.

Styling by: Alex Walls. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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