"More Australians than ever are taking up apartment living, whether out of preference, convenience, or for other reasons. There is now around one occupied apartment for every five occupied separate houses in Australia - compared with one to every seven back in 1991. Over the past 25 years, the number of occupied apartments in Australia has increased by 78%." ABS
These figures don't consider people simply living in smaller houses. Homes like the single-fronted terraces of Paddington and Fitzroy, the townhouses and units scattered throughout suburbia or the beach shacks and country cabins we're lucky, or perhaps plan, to live in one day. BIGGER isn't necessarily better, and often, it's preferable. A petite space may require extra thought when furniture and design come into play, but you know- a tight brief can also spur on the most ingenious ideas.
Early on in Cooper Robinson Interior’s story, it became evident a specialist team was required to take on the large number of apartments entering the market. The Apartment Brief was born, headed up by Senior Stylist Caitlin Ogilvie. She echoes the small-scale is the prize sentiment, "Luxe hotel rooms are an amazing source of inspiration to me. Places like Brisbane's Calile Hotel, Victoria's Mitchelton and Sydney's newly opened Ace Hotel. One thing they all have in common is you know each item in a room or suite has been considered to the nth degree before being given the green light. This is the best way to approach designing smaller homes. When I'm styling, I'm conscious that nothing looks abrupt; flow is essential, especially when combining a living and dining space."
And how do you balance statement pieces with function?
"A great 'trick' is to use a statement rug, like Cachet's Legacy; it adds interest and a bold element below your eye level, grounding a room but not overwhelming it. Feature lighting, such as the Sarlot floor lamp, is another great tool, standing in for artwork, but providing a much-needed function."
Any other small room design tips?
"Curves are your best friend. Tapered and rounded shapes diminish the bulk of an armchair, sofa or table. They're just more versatile. The Sunday or Tucker armchairs, Zander or Vance Coffee Table, and any of Cachet's round side tables are practically tailor-made for apartment living. I've been so lucky to be able to style with them." Caitlin concludes.
Inspired and charged with a love of small spaces, we've created a list of hand-picked ideas to broaden your experience of edited living and open you up to even more style opportunities.
Choose quality over quantity
/ Invest in a few statement pieces.
/ Finishes such as marble, bouclé and velvet add a sense of elevation.
/ Luxe towels, linen and beautiful details create an overall feeling of luxury living.
/ Ottomans like Greta can sit at a desk, dressing or dining table, and used as a stand-alone piece
Scale your design
/ Curves provide updated style with a smaller footprint.
/ Leave room for negative space.
/ A large rug expands a room.
Reframe Your Thinking
Creating a small, bespoke, and beautifully styled home is an exciting opportunity. There are aspects of living in a reduced space that aid expansion in other areas of your life. Less time decluttering and cleaning allows you more time to pursue your passions. Being creative about entertaining, like opting for a cocktail party over a dinner party, means fewer dishes and more time playing DJ. Overall, the joy of a small space is immense.