Lessons we're taking from this tiny London apartment that gets small space styling just right

This post-war home in south-east London demonstrates how much you can do with a small canvas

Elam Close apartment The Modern House
(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

Small homes are a reality for so many of us. Kitchens that double up as dining rooms that double up as living rooms. However, a small space shouldn't hamper your creativity. This gorgeous apartment in south-east London amply demonstrates that small is beautiful – if you know a few clever tricks.

These are the style lessons we'll take from this modern home, designed by the postwar architect Sir Roger Walters. 

1. Choose furniture with zoning in mind 

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

Every furniture piece chosen for very small spaces should be carefully considered, even more so than in average-sized apartments. It will have a double job to do – as a furniture piece and as a temporary architectural feature to help break up a single space into multiple discreet areas. 

This zoning effect has been achieved perfectly in this apartment. Although the living, kitchen, and dining areas occupy the same room, the perfectly shaped furniture fits in seamlessly creating the coveted illusion of separate rooms. 

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

2. Opt for oversized wall art 

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

If you're looking at gallery wall ideas for small spaces, the general rule of thumb is: fewer, bigger pieces are better than many small ones. Walls completely taken up with lots of small frames will feel cluttered, whereas a few oversized frames create a feeling of spaciousness. 

In this apartment, they're often left propped up against the floor, which helps achieve a more relaxed look.

3. A tiny hallway is a big opportunity

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

Hallway ideas are not to be overlooked, no matter how small your apartment or house. Leaving yours empty is a missed opportunity. 

This tiny hallway accommodate built-in storage and colorful artwork. Paradoxically, this makes the space look more generously sized. 

4. There is always room for houseplants

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

House plants are easily the most useful elements of small space decor, because they require so little room yet add so much texture and height. 

So long as they get plenty of natural light, it doesn't matter how small a space they're squeezed into – after all, they're used to jostling for space in the rainforest. 

For maximum impact, go for mature, tall plants, like the fiddle-leaf fig and cactus used here.

5. Never underestimate the possibilities of outdoor spaces

Elam Close apartment

(Image credit: Anna Batchelor)

Finally, if your home comes with any kind of outdoor space – congratulations! You've gained much more than you might think, even if it's a tiny balcony or courtyard. 

Take inspiration from the small garden ideas on display here. The owner hasn't sacrificed on planting ambition just because the space is on the small side. Varied, dense planting makes the garden looks bigger than it is – and contributes to the gorgeous views from the main windows. 

If you've been taken by the small design of this property, it is currently on the market with The Modern House for £390,000. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future home titles; she has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s; she has written about literature, architecture, and photography, and has a special interest in high-end interior design.