How to be creative with limited space – a mini tour of our 65m apartment

bouidoir new
The dressing table area of our bedroom. I stored the hair flowers clipped to a piece of wire around the mirror so there was more room on the surface.

I’m absolutely obsessed with making my living space look pretty.  I’m such a homebody and it really matters to me what my surroundings look like.  I’ve always been like it since I was little.  I remember when I was 9 or 10 years old waking up at about 2 in the morning with a vision of what my bedroom should look like, and got up then and started – probably with quite a lot of noise – shifting the wardrobes and whatnots arround accordingly; tolerant parents luckily not minding!

I would also spend hours making arty arrangements on the windowsill with various ornaments (or as I like to think of them, objets d’art.)  Literally hours.  I would stand back to admire my work then decide a photo frame or glass pear (!! I loved that glass pear.  It had a white flower displayed inside and my friend had a glass apple with a pink flower inside.  Oh 10 year old self!) needed to be shifted slightly to the right, or be placed at a more jaunty angle.  Then there were the Athena posters and postcards to be arranged in various formations on the walls.  The melting telephones!  The stilettoes and cocktail glasses and seascapes with palm trees! Bliss!

Anyway back to the present….I thought you might like to see pictures of what our old little apartment we’ve just moved from used to look like. I think we used the space well, considering its size of 65 square metres, and we have a lot of stuff, despite my constant quests for liberating object purges and culls.  It was fine when there were just the two of us living there; we had our bedroom and used the second room as my art room/boudoir (I just like saying the word boudoir, it wasn’t really a boudoir, whatever that means anyway!!) but we gradually started feeling a bit cramped after the arrival of Jamie.

jamie name
Wooden letters on Jamie’s bedroom door. I left them white despite thinking they could look pretty collaged with different colours and papers. As they were on the outside of his bedroom door and seen from the living room I think they would have looked too ‘busy’ in our already filled-to-the-brim space!
jamie room
One of the walls in Jamie’s room. I made the bunting really easily out of lovely fabric scraps bought from a beautiful Japanese fabric shop in Barcelona. I literally cut out triangles and stitched them onto a large ribbon I had in my sewing box. Didn’t even hem the triangles! So easy and pretty! The mirror is from a friend of mine who customised a plain one from Ikea. I love the homemade touches!

Despite being a bit squashed when we became three, I think we made good use of the space, mainly down to the fact we had designated distinct and separate areas (as opposed to actual rooms, as there were really only two main rooms) for different parts and uses of the flat. After Jamie came along and I was rudely shifted out of my boudoir/art studio, we assigned my art stuff to a corner of our bedroom and sectioned it off from the rest of the bedroom with a screen.

my desk

You can’t see the screen here but the photo is taken from on the bed, which gives you an idea of how close and compact the space was.  When we put the screen up – which was essential at night or there was no way we could sleep with all that stuff looking at us, and my mind would be whirring with ideas and images – we couldn’t actually walk round the side of the bed, you kind of had to hop over a corner.  My art supplies would also regularly gravitate on to the bed, but at least they had their own space!


As Jamie’s toy collection grew it expanded into our living room, but we made sure it was only a part of the living room, so we didn’t feel like we were essentially living in a playroom.  We stored the toys he didn’t use as much in the gap between the sofa and the wall (obscured by a plant) and in a really nice quality wicker basket under the coffee table (also super easy to tidy up)

living room

A good way of demarcating different areas is with plants and rugs and strategically placed furniture.  So as our main living area was quite large, we separated it into lounge and dining room with the plants and armchair here on the right, and then further to the right we put the dining table and had that as the ‘dining room.’


Joe had a corner of the dining room for his ‘office’.

badger desk

And on the sliding kitchen door we put the business cards of restaurants, cafes and bars that we’d collected, so that when we needed inspiration about where to go out, we’d just look at the door to get ideas. That particular idea came before Jamie was born, obviously!  But hey cheap, colourful and useful!


Et voilà!  Our old little apartment in deepest darkest Raval!  We spent nearly 4 happy years there, and it was the place we brought Jamie to when he was first born, so it will always be special to me. Do you love the place you live?  Why?  Any tips as to how you’ve made it homely or cosy?  I would love to hear from you!


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