USE LIGHTING Even if you are only able to use the lighting outlets that are already fitted in your apartment, you can use your lights to make a difference. Pick statement lampshades and, like Andreia and Pedro, think about how you position them in the room – hanging their ceiling light low over the dining table makes eating feel more intimate.
USE THE WALLS You might not be able to put in a new kitchen, but you can refresh what’s already there. Turn a windowsill into a herb garden, add textiles where you can, and turn any open storage – from a shelf to the top of a cupboard – into a useful display. Whether it’s the spices you use everyday stored in nice jars, or your favourite mugs, let them be seen.
USE WHAT FITS In Andreia and Pedro’s bedroom, floorspace is precious, so they’ve picked pieces that save on space. Wallmounted bedside lights free up the surface of their compact bedside table, while a rail of hooks keeps accessories neatly hung up and off the floor.
USE A WINDOW AS A WORKSPACE You don’t need a spare room to have a home office – placing a desk in front of a window creates a workspace that feels much bigger than it is. Andreia did this and turned part of the apartment’s hallway into her weaving studio. To make the most of the space, she uses an extendable dining table as her desk. Day-to-day, it means the area isn’t cramped but, when she works on big projects, she can open up the table and spread out.
USE YOUR BALCONY Treat your outdoor space as an extra room, however big or small. Think about the things that make an indoor room feel comfortable – soft seating, nice lighting – and bring them to your outdoor space. If you’re renting, pick foldable, portable pieces you can take with you!
A HOME FOR NOW ’I’m not sure if we’ll ever find the “perfect” home,’ says Pedro. ‘To us, the perfect home is where we are now, in this moment. We try and appreciate the little moments – if you’re always searching for something, for happiness, you might not be enjoying the present.’
EMBRACE RENTAL LIVING Andreia and Pedro love rental living and find that it encourages them to live tidily. ‘With a home that you own, it’s easy to end up having junk rooms that you don’t use. We don’t have space for junk, so we use the rooms we do have really well.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.
Interior stylist: Abigail Edwards
Photographer: Penny Wincer