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8 essential interior design tips you should know for small-space living

By Contributed content 10 October 2019
Interior designing is more than just decoration; it’s a science. And in a place like Hong Kong, where space is scarce, thoughtful design can do wonders to help amplify your everyday living. Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design involves designing your whole set-up from scratch, whilst interior decoration focuses on realigning and moving around already existing and new furniture to revamp a space. Curtis Brown, a writer at Perfect Agent with experience in real estate and home-related topics, gives us his best interior design tips on how to maximise your home and utilise your space. These are the best things to keep in mind before your next big home renovation.

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Interior design tips lines
Photos courtesy of Architizer and Design the Furniture


Simply put, a line is an origin. It can give rise to multiple shapes as well as forms and establish contrast, unity, and harmony in a space. Designers consider them as guidelines for the initiation of the work and will take advantage of these lines accordingly to create a vibrant and diverse space, breaking up the monotony of most rooms. The three lines of lines are easy to keep in mind: horizontal, vertical, and dynamic. Horizontal lines are generally found on beds and chairs and give a feeling of safety and security. Vertical lines are seen on doors, windows, and curtains for establishing height; they express an expansive and accepting nature. Lastly, dynamic lines are the ones that orient themselves according to the area they are present in, like in staircases.

Interior design tips colour

Commit to colour

Without a doubt, the colour of a room has a lot of significance; it can make or break the harmony of your interior design. Most experts tend to go for a three-colour pattern. The first one is the principal colour, with two corresponding colours to accentuate the main colour. You can start with the walls, as they serve as an excellent backdrop, while some opt for to source pieces of furniture in their chosen colours to use as a symbol of reference. In small spaces, like most flats in Hong Kong, we would recommend going for light and bright colour palettes, as these will create the impression of a larger room and expand a space visually. Try to avoid dark colours, especially on walls, as these give the appearance of a contracted space and will make your home feel cramped and small. Some people may opt for a darker colour palette for a more dramatic effect, but honestly, if you already live in a cave, do you really need to decorate it like one?

Interior design tips positioning

Proper positioning

If you have a lot of furniture, positioning them properly can become one of the most cumbersome jobs. Doing it improperly might result in you rearranging it multiple times and getting a backache. Instead, design a floor plan first and then arrange your pieces on it. This will help with visualising the available space you have without breaking a sweat. Examine the high-traffic areas in your home accurately and keep in mind that there should be enough space for walking around freely. You don’t want to be stumbling over things in the dark! Once you feel that you have arrived at a combination that suits you perfectly, go ahead with the positioning. If you find your space overflowing with furniture, consider downsizing; do you really need all of those side tables and seating pouffes?

Read more! These are the coolest home gadgets you need for small-space living in Hong Kong.

Interior design tips patterns

Photos courtesy of Marshall Bull UK


Patterns have a lot of significance in interior designing. It successfully adds continuity and creates an easy transition from one place to another while telling a story of its own. The repetitive design also significantly adds to the attraction of a space. It can be on walls, on the bed, or even a piece of decoration hanging from a wall. Additionally, the patterns you choose don’t have to be ‘in-your-face’ to make a statement. You can create a balanced, patterned environment using tiles and elegant wallpaper. Try going for a pattern with minimalistic aesthetics or monochrome geometry to create a subtle but visible difference in your home.

Interior design tips forms

Photos courtesy of Furniture Villa


In simple words, it is just the outline of any shape of an object, especially in three dimensions. Multiple shapes can also contribute towards a form, and certain elements like the texture and patterns can accentuate it. Forms are instrumental in adding balance to the designing. They are two types- the geometric forms and the natural forms. They can be open and closed type as well. A good interior designer will have a very good understanding of forms to implement them.
Interior design tips texture
Photos courtesy of Decoratorist


Textures in interior design are basically how a surface looks and how it feels in the context of the space it is being used for. It can make a space a lot more interesting and add depth to it. You can either opt for a dominant texture that will denote your mood, or you can go for a mix and match for breaking the monotone. Implementing texture in your home can come in forms like shag carpets and rugs or exposed brick and stone walls. There are some textures called visual texture, which is only seen, while there are some which can be seen and felt. It is a perfect tool to add consistency to a room.

Read more! Check out some quick and easy ways to makeover your living room.

Window embellishments

We don’t really get much of a choice when it comes to windows in Hong Kong—sometimes, we’re just lucky to have them! Having said that, the form of the window is an important contributing factor to the aesthetic of the room. Not only does it aid in filling a room with natural light, it also helps to create visual space. When it comes to window embellishments, like curtains or drapes, don’t just go for an amicable colour. Consider the facts, like how much privacy you want and would you want to gaze at the view outside. Once that is determined, you can decide on the embellishments properly.


Last but not least, light is an essential element of interior design. Without light, there will be no sign of the texture, forms, or patterns that you put so much effort into, as they will not be seen properly. Light can either be natural or artificial, and it depends on the position of the doors and windows. In most cases, good lighting goes a long way in setting the mood of the room and plays a significant role in the ambience as well. Light can be split into three categories: task lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting. Task lighting are things like bed lamps or reading lights, which serve a functional purpose. Accent lights highlight a certain section of the room, and ambient light helps to set up the mood and vibe of a room. Knowing where to use which type of lighting is very important. If you ask any real estate broker, they will tell you that a house with good lighting sells much faster than the one which do not. In the small spaces of Hong Kong flats, good lighting can be hard to come by due to the lack of large windows. Try offsetting the dinginess of your bat cave by adding things like mirrors and white- or light-coloured walls. White ceilings are a must to create the illusion of a bigger space. Additionally, mirrors help to bounce off any available light and add a sense of depth. Choosing hidden lights with indirect glow (tucked next to a bookshelf or behind a sofa) will also do wonders in illuminating your rooms. Things like interesting lighting fixtures can also add an element of excitement to the room.
Read more! Check out the best bargain homeware shops in Hong Kong, or explore the rest of our Home section on Localiiz.

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