The Art of Contrast

Flicking through the March 2016 issue of Elle Decoration, we came across an inspiring piece on how to create space using light and shade, with advice from Joris Van Apers on tricks for adding drama to more compact homes. As experts in small space living, we were intrigued to find out more. Here’s what he says:


  • Colour: “Darker or more intense colours make the mind imagine things. They can make a space more mysterious. A room can seem to swell or have more potential when you can’t immediately see its dimensions”
  • Windows: “If there is no natural light, don’t try and artificially lighten a room. Embrace its darkness and turn it into a USP by painting it a statement, atmospheric shade”
  • Mirrors: “Particularly in a shady room, mirrors can further distort a person’s sense of space and can trick the eye into thinking that a room is almost double its size”
  • Flooring: “If you paint a small room dark, be sure to keep the flooring pale to prevent it from feeling too cavernous”
  • Lighting: “Don’t ruin the atmosphere of a sultry small room with spotlights. Stick to vintage sconce lights or table lamps”


Futon Company says: If you’re renting or staying in a space temporarily, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from these small space hacks for adding drama to more compact homes. Instead, embrace the art of contrast and introduce low level lighting, pops of colourful accessories and eye catching furniture.


Snowdrop Lamp Steel Blue






Christie Lamp White






Riviera Rug






Paradise Bird Cushion Cover






Pumpkin Orange Legge Wotnot Table by John Weaver Yellow