Despite having million-dollar homes, celebrities still work with small spaces to make them lovely. LA-based Lynda Murray, an interior designer to the stars, helps A-listers like Avicii and director Michael Bay turn their small spaces into functional rooms with practical design. Here are some of her tips.
You Don’t Need a Big Space to Create Great Design
“Creating great design for small spaces is a topic that often comes up. For some reason, there is a stigma that you need huge homes with wide-open spaces in order to create great design, which is definitely not the case. Design is all about making the right choices for the space provided, whether it be color, texture, size or scale. Done right, any sized space can be stunning. All that is required is a bit of thought and research.
Install Mirrors for Beauty and Function
“One thing I love to use, specifically in smaller spaces, is mirror. I love mirror! And I don’t necessarily mean just the decorative type, but full-length mirrors. I often clad a full wall—in, say, a powder room—in mirror since it can make the space feel twice as large and is very practical. I recently completed a home in the Hollywood Hills with amazing views, but in the kitchen, whoever would be at the sink would not be able to appreciate it because their back was to the view. We easily solved this by installing mirror as the backsplash. The final product was both beautiful and functional, and brought to the space something we could have not achieved otherwise.
Use Light Colors and Good Lighting
“As far as color goes, I often go with a lighter palette to open up the space. It should be noted that lighting has a lot to do with this. A small space painted all white won’t feel any bigger if the lighting is not good. Good lighting is very important! The type of light fixture and the bulb is very important. For instance, fluorescent is very harsh and should never be used in a home. Halogen is much more agreeable though, and the light output should also be considered here. LED is a great new product on the market, you just have to be mindful that what you purchase is for indoor residential use.
Pay Attention to Scale
“Scale is a huge thing when it comes to small spaces, or any space for that matter, and refers to the size of a piece in relation to the other pieces in a room. A beautiful sofa will not look so beautiful if the size is completely out of scale. It’s very important to take good measurements of a space and purchase pieces that work within that space as well as with each other.
“As with color, lighting is also very important when it comes to scale. I once designed a custom light fixture with Alison Berger for Michael Bay in Miami. It was to be installed in a very tall spiral staircase and so it was very important to us to create a piece that created the right type of light and was the right size for the space. You want to make sure when selecting lighting that the size of the fixtures is adequate for the space, but not too large, and that you have the right type of lighting. That is task, accent and overall lighting where necessary.”