How to decorate a bedsitter

Adequate lighting creates an illusion of airiness and space
Adequate lighting creates an illusion of airiness and space. PHOTO/COURTESY
Bedsitters in Kenya are usually small with space just enough for one person but this does not mean you have to live in cramped conditions or without style.

The fact that everything is basically in one room can make decorating them somewhat challenging but with the following tips, it is possible to create an aesthetically appealing, stylish and comfortable living space.

1.) De-clutter
The first step in decorating a bedsitter is to clean up and store. The trick lies in investing in a lot of storage space.

It is common to have a lot of possessions including some that you hardly use. To sort these items, start by isolating the ones you obviously want to get rid of by donating to charity or selling off.

The rest should be stored according to frequency of use with regularly used items being kept within easy reach.

Keeping in mind that less is more, the bedsitter should have the most basic of furniture pieces such a simple bed and dressing table for the bedroom, a sofa, TV stand and a coffee table for the sitting/entertainment area and only necessary appliances in the kitchenette.

2.) Multipurpose furniture
Invest in dual-purpose furniture such as a bed with pullout drawers, a table with drawers or a seat with storage compartments under the cushions.

Such furniture occupies the same amount of floor space as any other and offers the much needed storage space for items that are not used regularly like extra bedding and out of season clothes.

When planning to decorate a bedsitter in Kenya (which is in most cases extremely small), you may want to consider having a sofa bed as this can serve more than one purpose.

And before buying any piece, consider its size against the space it is supposed to be fixed on. It is advisable to take measurements of the space first to avoid having too large or too small pieces.

3.) Room dividers
For ease of movement, it is important to create specific areas for specific activities.

Dividers are used to enclose, partition or zone off areas based on activities to be carried out in the space. They also provide privacy especially around the bed and dressing area.

They can be in form of a shelf which provides more storage space, or fashionable drapes which complement the other soft furnishings in the bedsitter. Room dividers also create extra walls against which furniture can be placed.

4.) Create illusions
When restricted by space, illusion is the closest thing to actual size. Make use of light coloured items since they reflect light making the space appear larger.

Adequate lighting also creates an illusion of airiness and space therefore window dressing should be kept light or sheer to allow in more natural light.

If possible, mirrors should be incorporated to create an illusion of depth and to reflect more light into the room.

Instead of low, block pieces which make the room appear crowded, buy furniture that has legs since they set it high off the ground exposing more floor area which gives semblance of space.

In addition, consider purchasing metallic and glass topped furniture as they seem visually lighter hence making the room appear bigger.

5.) Accessories
No living space is complete without a personal touch. A few special touches in the right places can add individual style and transform a room completely.

This can be achieved through items such as wall art, greeneries, rugs, throw cushions and flower arrangements.

Colour and texture also contribute a lot to personal touch. Too many accessories will make the bedsitter look cluttered therefore choose a few cherished pieces and display them creatively.

In case you have many pieces, it is advisable to divide the collection and alternate in a new SET after a while.