If, like me, you’re located in London and your lottery numbers have yet to come up chances are you live in a home that’s a tad on the small side. There’s barely room to swing an IKEA catalogue in my flat, let alone a cat, so I spend a lot of my time trying to come up with ideas to make the most of the space. In my opinion clever utilisation of the square footage you have available extends beyond storage solutions. Making the most of a small space is about recognising that small can still be beautiful and doesn’t need to limit you in creating interiors that pack a punch in the swoonworthy stakes.
Now, a cafe may seem an odd choice on which to base a post about teeny interiors but The Yard caught my eye for exactly that reason. Both branches are undeniably compact and yet they’re beautifully designed examples of how to make a little go a long way. These small but perfectly formed retreats are nestled just inside the train station at Alexandra Palace and Palmers Green and offer a welcome escape from the hubbub of London life.
The cafe in Palmers Green is the larger of the two and features a breakfast bar below the window, benching in front of the counter and several strategically positioned tables. But it’s not about the layout. What caught my eye about these cafes is their unashamed appreciation of all things glamorous, things you might imagine would dominate and swallow a small space but instead only enhance it. We’re talking statement chandeliers, elegant candelabras, huge prints and ornate bowls heaped with fresh fruit.
Additionally, original features are celebrated; the reclaimed wooden floorboards and sash windows are left to speak for themselves against a colour pallet of fresh creams, deep navies and storm greys, whilst splashes of mosaics add an element of interest. The addition of 1920’s jazz music and the scent of fresh blooms and herbs are reminders that welcoming interiors combine a range of elements beyond the visual.
I love the period feel in the cafes, particularly the one at Alexandra Palace where I can almost imagine a Victorian child pressing their nose up again the window and feasting their eyes on all the goodies. It’s clear that a huge amount of thought has gone into the interior design and it’s really paid off. From the scrubbed pine table tops to the tiny jars of jam for sale, every detail plays a role in creating a homely feel and makes the cafes the kind of place you want to visit again and again.
In addition to the lovely interiors both cafes serve an assortment of sweet and savoury treats and their coffee is pretty good too. And come on, we all know a house is not a home without coffee and cake (and prosecco – obviously).
So if you’re looking to maximize your space, perhaps try thinking beyond storage and instead focus on smaller details; lighting and colour, accessories and features, scents and sounds. You can live in the tidiest small space in the world but it’s these elements that create character and make a house feel welcoming.
Do you live in a small space? I’d love to hear about how you make the most of it.