One room living can be very interesting. However most one roomed flats or studio apartments are box-like spaces with little to commend them in the way of interesting detail or character. And generally they are small.
Since they are going to be not just living room but bedroom and dining room, this means that every inch of space has to play its part, every piece of furniture has to be dual-purpose if not multi-functional, and every activity has to be properly catered for. To work efficiently this sort of room needs discipline, neatness and above all imagination. Successful one room living is more an attitude of mind than anything else. If the room is not to look a complete jumble, you have to try to create distinct areas for relaxing, sleeping and eating. Since you very often cannot physically divide the space, you have to divide the ‘look’ with different lighting or rugs or color to make separate visual areas.
Weigh your selections along with the lighting in your room. A room with limited light can seem somber when dark colors dominate. If maroon or brown are among your favorite colors but you want a well-lit, bright atmosphere, use those hues in toss pillows, vases, lamp bases, candles and other accents.
02. Pastel colors
Enlarge the look of a room with soft shades of yellow paint or small wallpaper prints in soft colors. Use pastel colors to create a light, airy feeling in narrow hallways, tiny bathrooms and small bedrooms.
Small is beautiful and even comfortable if you’re a shrewd decorator. Furnishings must work harder; clever storage is essential.
04. Disguising the bed
When living in a single room, you don’t want visitors to feel like they’ve walked into your bedroom. There are several clever ways to disguise a bed. If you intend to keep your regular double bed, it is wise to invest in a screen to disguise it. You can get ready-made screens from Chinese, Indian and Pakistan furniture shops or you can ask your local fundi to make one for you. You can also pile lots of cushions on your bed during the day to make it look like a large sofa.
05. Day Bed
On the other hand you can invest in day bed. This is the fold up bed that turns into a bed at night and into a sofa during the day. This way no one will ever know where you sleep as you simply fold up the bed in the morning. Avoid using bed sheets or partitions to disguise your bed. You end up clattering your space and it looks downright tacky.
Hang attractive artwork or pictures on your walls. You can change wall colors. If you can’t afford to buy much, try just painting the trims (base or skirting boards, door and window frames and any moldings) with a contrast color in semi-gloss. It will give an immediate lift to the room.
07. More Lighting
Invest in some up lights and stick them in corners, behind plants and pieces of furniture, or behind a sofa. The difference in light and shade and subtlety will be enormous. Invest too, in a small spotlight to pinpoint anything interesting you have, even a plant. Use a soft even light and eliminate shadows, which tend to slice a room up into smaller spaces. Avoid ceiling lighting this will visually lower your ceiling.
Do not underestimate the change plants can make to a room. Buy the fullest and best shapes you can afford and let them make a bold definite statement. Put them in corners, lit from behind with up lights or spots; mass them on windowsills, add them to arrangements of any kind of collection you may have. The fresh green of well-kept foliage will brighten the dullest of studio apartment and your spirits into the bargain.
Add throw or scatter cushions wherever you can, but cushions in well-chosen colors and designs can add immediate zing, warmth and personality, injecting dashes of vitality where none existed before, as well as covering shabby and stained patches in upholstery.
A carpet can make a difference to how your one room flat looks. As part of a room’s background, carpet color can do remarkable things. A carpet the same color as the walls or lighter can make the room seem larger. A sharply contrasting color concentrates attention on the furniture and lessens focus on the walls. For a one room flat, a patterned wall-to-wall carpet and a co-ordinate patterned paper on the walls and ceiling can, amazingly make the space seem much larger. If you have patterned wallpaper, lots of pictures on the walls or collections on shelves, avoid a patterned floor covering.