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By Kenza van Lerberghe for IROCO Design.


As most of us know in HK, our smaller-than-usual sized homes lend to an outdoor oriented lifestyle; that doesn't mean however that we don’t wish to make the best out of our ‘cozy’ spaces. But of course there are certain challenges - storage spaces, how to accommodate extra guests, feeling comfortable in your home and so on. Sounds familiar? 
For this week’s blog, we thought it would be fun to give you inspirational ideas of how to make your small apartment seem and feel bigger than it really is… Whether you’re living in any of the Asian hubs, these tips will come in handy… see which one would work best for your home…


  • Use neutral colours

Use light colors on the walls and the floor. While darker colors make a room seem cozy, they also absorb light instead of reflecting it, making the space feel smaller. Opt for lighter colored flooring as well as wall colors to make the room feel airy.

Or go monochromatic with light hues - paint your walls, trim, and detailing in different shades of one color, such as white, off-white, and beige to expand a room. You can also try pairing gallery white walls with a very pale gray on trim and detailing for an open-air French-inspired room.


light colours1 light colours

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  • Make use of hidden storage and multi-purpose pieces

Investing in furniture that serves many functions is a simple way to streamline a room. Try a vintage steamer trunk or an ottoman with built-in storage to tuck away blankets and books for a clean look. Place a wooden table top on the ottoman to create a table. And make use of the storage space under the bed.


hidden storage

hidden storage3

hidden storage1  



  • Use stripes to elongate the space - or place rugs to separate one room into smaller spaces

Just like vertical stripes on clothing a striped rug will make your room appear longer. Orient the stripes to run parallel to the longest side of the room for optimal effect.







  • Choose statement furniture that fills the room. Use a dramatic art piece to make a room feel more expansive. Or Place several frames together on one wall

It’s easy to assume that you should decorate a small space with small furniture, right? But one prominent furniture piece such as a statement armchair will keep the space uncluttered and open.


statement 1





  • Try to minimize ceiling lights and go for a combination of Floor and Table lamps

Harsh, top-down lighting pools all the light in one space. Instead, use a few smaller lamps to spread the light  and therefore draw the eye around the room.






  • Mirrors, mirrors and mirrors

Place mirrors strategically to create the illusion of more space. Placing a mirror across from a window is the best way to reflect light and make the room feel larger. Another trick is to place a large window behind a chest or end table for a glamorous trompe-l’œil that makes it look like a whole new space is tucked behind it. Or whilst you may not want wall-to-wall mirrors leaning an oversized full-length mirror against a key wall or hanging several salon style can create a statement wall.








  • Furniture with exposed legs or made of transparent material

We all know that furniture that’s too large for a space can make it feel smaller, but how about making your furniture look as though it wasn't  there at all? Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but clear furniture is a great way to add a needed coffee table or chair in an already cramped space without making it feel even more visually cluttered.


legs legs1

legs3   legs2



  • Space It Out

Shoving furniture against the wall doesn’t guarantee a larger room. Try angling your bed, or - our favorite trick - try floating the sofa in the living room with a skinny console behind it. Breathing room around your furniture lends the appearance of more space.






Feeling inspired? If you have the urge to go to shop, head out to the best stores in town - Lane Crawford, Casa Capriz, General Store, The World Beyond, Eclectic, Amelie&Tulips, seventhirtyam, Inside, Aluminium, Homeless… and finally...  


IROCO Design is hosting a fantastic ex-showroom Christmas sale of all their original European designer furniture. Visit to view the full offer!


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Blogger Detail

Blogger Name:     Zaza VL
Full Name:     Kenza van Lerberghe
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Biographical Info:    Born and raised in Africa, and with a career that has spanned several continents, Kenza van Lerberghe has spent the last six years in the world of designer furniture in Latin America and Asia. Her extensive travels have brought her a vast appreciation of design from all corners of the globe. Now based in HK, she launched her own business offering a one-stop-shop destination for interior designers and retailers across Asia. For Style by Asia, Kenza brings you the latest trends in Asian design and products, and the goings on in the world of interiors and architecture.
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