The Art of Maximizing Small Spaces.

Tokyo residents are expert when it comes to living in small spaces, but rising prices in big cities across the globe has meant the ability to maximise every square inch, is an important one. IROCO Design provides a few tips:

Opt for Light and Bright: Pale furniture is light and fresh and will lift a room – choose a white desk and chair for an unobtrusive home office, or a see-through acrylic dining or coffee table to maximise space (the Pic Table by Max Design is an ideal choices). Tables with open metal bases will also create an uncluttered impression – try the Tray Table range or the DLM Collection from Hay, which comes in a variety of different sizes and colours.

Find double-duty Pieces: Pieces on castors can be easily rolled away, when a room is to be used for several different purposes. Think carefully about whether furniture can double up – a stool as an end table, or a convenient spot to perch; an ottoman with a tray can become a coffee table or additional seating. IROCO Design has a range of ottoman and poufs that can double up as seats or tables.

Be Creative with Lighting: Instead of standard or table lamps (which require a table!), consider using sconces or wall-mounted lights instead.

Don’t Neglect Corners: Squeeze an accent chair into an overlooked corner (Starck’s Louis Ghost or Victoria Chair would be perfect) or create an attractive reading nook by placing cosy seating (such as the Transparent Pasha Armchair by Pedrali) and side table at an angle against the wall.

Swap Sofas for Settees: There’s an argument that oversized sofas can make a tiny room look larger, but another solution is to consider swapping a substantial couch for a less intrusive settee. Try the Pix Poufs by Arper, perfect for smaller spaces, or the Loop Centre 3S. Leaving a few inches between the wall and the back of a sofa or settee, will give a room the feeling of openness.

Where it comes to furnishings, designs such as Hans Wegner’s Wishbone chairs fit seamlessly with other pieces from multiple eras. “From Persian and Iranian rugs to Chinese and decorative arts—Scandinavian pieces go well with things that are much older,” says Matt Singer, owner of Open Air Modern, an antiques dealer in Brooklyn specializing in 20th-century Scandinavian and American furnishings. “They fit nicely in eclectic interiors, too,” he adds. A piece such as Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair, for example, is neutral enough to complement period architecture but would suit a modern minimalist interior just as easily.

And with Tokyo’s fabulous light on most days of the year, your home will never have looked so stylish.

Sonia Jackson is CEO IROCO Design Japan – – changing the way Asia sources great design.