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How smart design helps us make the most of available space.

In this day and age, the desire for innovative and fresh interior design is constantly on the rise. With programmes like Grand Designs and makeover shows bombarding our TV sets, we are constantly being exposed to new ideas and new ways of using our homes. 10 years ago if somebody wanted a home office they would simply have a desk put into the spare bedroom of their home. These days, people are open to the ideas of having timber buildings at the bottom of their garden that can be an office space but also at night double as a space for a hot tub.

Also, not only do designers have to but on the front of being the “next big thing” but they also have to think up innovative ways to save space, which is becoming ever more expensive as a lot of young professionals opt for their plush city apartments. They not only want their personal space to be innovative but also spacious, but in a one bedroom flat in the middle of a major city, like London, Manchester or Birmingham, providing space has become something of an art form.

If you were to take a stroll around your local Ikea, you can see that their designers have been locked in tiny rooms and told to design things that will not only be useful but which will also save space. It’s tempting to conclude that once you become an Ikea designer you are branded with the phases “save space, save space, save space”. Maybe that’s a little over the top, but what is apparent is that saving space and having multiple use items is a must.

The high-end brands have had this ethos for a number of years. If we take a look at Bang and Olufsen, since their inception they have aimed to be practical and space saving. Back when CD players were big and clunky, theirs were slim and wall mounted and hence their popularity.

Moving forward, companies that are able to not only create a product, but create a product that has either a dual use or which saves space in some other way, will do well. Companies like Dyson have design in mind when creating a product and their famous vacuum cleaners are now being made with space in mind. Space and dual use are what is going to set not only designers apart but companies as well and in the future we will laugh at the size of old products and maybe even the houses we used to live in.

Graham Dane takes a keen interest in interior design and is writing on behalf of