New guide from RIBA teaches us how to live happily in smaller homes

It’s a fact that homes in the United Kingdom have been getting smaller. A recent study suggests the size of new-build homes has reduced by four square metres since 2010, and by 20% during the past 40 years. A timely release, then, is ‘Squeezing It In: Designing for Compact Spaces’, by Mary Leslie, author and interior designer.

In addition to our homes shrinking, we are also spending a vast amount of time in them, meaning our living spaces must now work harder than ever to provide us with adequate room to relax, entertain and work. As Mary explains:

“Living space is increasingly becoming a luxury. As interior designers, we are frequently commissioned to squeeze a lifestyle into a dauntingly confined space. In this book I have explored ways for designers to approach compact spaces by function so that they can provide a clever, creative, aesthetically pleasing and practical environment for their clients to live, work, entertain and sleep.”

In this practical and inspirational guide, Mary demonstrates solutions that can be applied to a variety of settings and organises them around key functions in the available space. The entire design process is considered alongside examples, featuring case studies from the likes of Archio Ltd, THORP, Benjamin Tindall Architects and many more, which are generously illustrated with full-colour photographs, plans and sketches. The book offers a comprehensive guide for students of design, early career and experienced interior designers working in the residential sector. There is also a useful overlap for self- builders seeking jargon-free guidance.

Squeezing It In is available from RIBA Books now.