Book Review : Small Space Style

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book by the publisher.

Image from Small Space Style by Sara Emslie and published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Rachel Whiting.

he housing market is a funny old thing. I myself am obsessed with monitoring the property portals, even though I have absolutely no intention of moving any time soon. I just like to see what’s out there and what you can get for your money. It’s quite sad to see that in some parts of the country, your money really won’t stretch that far. Even the smallest homes can cost an arm and a leg.

According to an analysis by LABC Warranty, between the 1930s and 1970s the size of British homes grew with each new decade. However, from the 1980s to the present day, the size of our homes has been steadily in decline. The size of individual rooms has decreased, as has the number of bedrooms. Luckily, it’s not all about high ceilings and square footage. There are many innovative and interesting uses of space that make smaller homes not only more appealing, but actually desirable.

Small Space Style published by Ryland Peters & Small

Small Space Style, the new book from London-based interiors stylist Sara Emslie is the practical guide to bringing the finer points of style to even the smallest of spaces.  I’ve always had a soft spot for tiny houses and the miracle of a mezzanine level and this book, published by Ryland Peters & Small, shows how to make more compact spaces completely accessible.

The first section of the book tackles how to plan your small space, whether it be a one-bed flat in the city centre, a houseboat or a mobile home, and her ideas about effectively utilising limited space are inspiring and demonstrate the finest practical planning techniques to turn your small space into something you can call home.

Next, she delves into the practical and shows the decorative and inspirational style she is known for from her design and writing career and from her previous book, Urban Pioneer.  She deftly comments on colour and theme, explores the best use of storage, assesses extensions and shifts the mindset of limitation within a smaller space.

Image from Small Space Style by Sara Emslie and published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Rachel Whiting.

Finally, amidst the carefully curated photography, she explores examples of the best uses of small space in the real-world: terraced two-up-two-downs, pieds-a-terre and my favourite, the studio with the elevated mezzanine.  Colour photography and floor plans throughout, Small Space Style is the bible for the bijou, a must-have read for the compact and the condensed and a perfect addition to any interior enthusiasts collection.

As someone who lives fairly compact myself, I have found Small Space Style to be an exceptional read and it has given me plenty of ideas on how to better use the space in my own flat. 

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