✱ Al Huzaifa Funriture’s head of design, Lana Al Awa, strongly recommends in investing in a good sofa bed if you’re in a studio apartment or smaller space. ‘It can be a versatile and extremely useful when visitors come over.’ And her list of must-have investment pieces are a full-length mirror that, ‘doubles up as a décor piece, a medial console that can stock books, magazines and hold your TV and bar stools over dining sets for small spaces.’
✱ Manu Mulchandani, COO of Daiso Japan advises making your furniture do all the hard work for you with pieces like dressers that come with a removable table top mirror so you can use the dresser as a table or console and place the mirror as an individual item.
✱ Make your space work for you with clever and strategic furnishing. Cities’ founder Hazem Aljesr says, ‘Hanging curtains higher gives the illusion of height and in the right colours it can make your home warm and inviting.’
✱ There’s a certain freedom living alone brings to you – your house, your rules, which means you’re free to style it however you want. ‘Avoid gender stereotypes when decorating your space and do what you like,’ says ID Design’s Mei Al Hakim. So, whether you want to paint your bachelor pad in millennial pink or add a leather recliner to you single girl apartment, anything goes.
✱ Ikea’s regional interior designer manager, Lemya Osman, agrees that there are no rules or rights and wrongs. Your home should reflect your personality. Lemya also recommends pulling the rugs out to create a cohesive feel when you mix and match old and new furniture: ‘they keep furniture groupings together and textiles make floors softer and it’s a great way to refresh the look of your home.’
✱ Western Furniture’s Gayatri Dongre cautions to pay heed to the shape of the furniture you invest in. ‘Having the right type of furniture for your living spaces can mean the distinction between an excellent, functional room that addresses all your needs with the least amount of objects.’ She also makes a strong case for accent chairs: ‘a statement chair in the living room adds instant feeling of ampleness.’
✱ Nadia Sallustio, interior designer and founder of design boutique The Den swears by the power of great lighting to transform a home: ‘lighting is fundamental and gives attitude and soul to a room, sculpting the space according to the intensity and colour of the light.’
✱ Villeroy and Boch’s product management head, Sarah Ehlen advises to find out where natural light shines into your apartment. ‘Positioning accessories like jugs, vases and mirrors next to a source of natural light brings them to life and adds personality to a nook.
✱ Danube Group’s director Adel Sajan suggests opting for light, minimalist furniture that will give your space an uncluttered feel and use neutrals like white and pastels as your colour palette. ‘Build it up with layers or offset with dark furniture accents,’ he adds.
The Coloruim Sofa Bed adds some pizzaz to living rooms with it’s tropical upholstery and when the time comes, it also opens up to become a lounger or a bed. Fatboy Concrete Seat is versatile piece that works wonders in a new home – use it as a table to store your knick-knacks and books or as an extra seat.
Turn up the lights
Quirky lighting fixtures add a funky element to spaces. Play around with shapes and colours like with the floor lamps below. The Flyte lamp features a single bulb that illuminates, spins, and floats over a wooden base. Its energy efficient LED promises 50,000 hours of lighting.
Grab a seat
A stylish statement chair can bring rooms to life and turn into your cosy corner – the space you unwind in after a long day, read a book or watch TV. Choose from armchairs, chairs or beanbags to the layout of your living room. They’re also an investment piece you can carry forward to your next rental.
Incorporate eclectic glassware and decor into the home to add colour and character. A quirky bowl or this vase from Villeroy and Boch’s Jolie Claire collection will give your space a designer feel without having to spend a lot.
Buy small pieces of furniture that you can move easily in future and that are not bulky such as these metallic plant pots from Max Fashion.
‘Do not be afraid to use mirrors because they are an ally of light, night and day, and naturally enlarge a room,’ says Nadia Sallustio of The Den.
Hang them on your walls, prop them on dressers or tables and use a full-length, standing mirror to help you look your best.
Snug in a rug
Sweep away tacky floorings or tiles under colourful rugs. They add softness to hardwood or tiled floor and create a more inviting atmosphere, says Carol Sukkar, founder of Home and Soul.