When your home is short on square footage, decorating can be challenging. It may seem more practical to focus on making your home fully functional, but in the long run, you’ll be happier living in your home if it’s cleverly decorated. Our 10 tips for making a small space feel big will transform your small home.
1.) Choose light, neutral hues.
It is a generally accepted rule that lighter colors contribute to an open, airy feel. By contrast, dark colors tend to absorb light, creating a close, cozy feel.
To fully benefit from this wizardry, decorate in soft, off-white and neutral hues. Lighter, brighter walls will recede from the contrast of your furnishings, making your room feel instantly larger.
Installing soft, light flooring will further blur the boundaries of your rooms. This strategy is especially beneficial when installing new, light floors means you can say goodbye to mismatched carpeting.
2.) Direct the viewer’s gaze intentionally.
When decorating a small room, it’s often helpful to draw the eye along the room and then upward by adding touches of visual interest at high points.
If you love house plants, hanging a delicate vine in a high corner can invite the viewer to look up, but intricate crown molding (or even something as simple as a beautiful curtain rod) will do the trick just as well.
3.) Embrace rich textures.
Small spaces absolutely should be airy, but absent defining textures and contrast, a neutral room can begin to feel sparse.
Combat the tendency for a small space to appear drab by including ultra-rich textures. Choose a leather or linen couch, handmade wool rug or a jacquard throw. Each touch of opulence will help define the character of your space.
4.) Furniture with exposed legs is a must.
Your personal taste may run toward sofa designs with cloth down to the floor, but in a small space, choosing furniture with delicate, exposed legs will make the most of your limited floor space.
For the same reason, skip the skirt on your bed if your challenge is a small bedroom, and choose dresser and vanity designs with dainty footprints.
5.) Respect your room’s boundaries.
The right furniture for your small space will have perfect proportions for it. This means that if furniture bumps—or even brushes—against the boundaries of the room in any direction, it’s too large.
To enhance the airy, roomy feel you’re creating, leave a subtle space between the edges of your furniture and the walls themselves.
Note that this tip applies to everything except beds; it is undeniable that a large bed can create cozy sleeping nooks when tucked snugly between two walls.
6.) Ditch your bulkiest furniture.
Opt for sleek, low-profile furniture over the giant, overstuffed styles. Measure and you might be surprised; if you compare just a single sofa, you’ll often regain several feet by swapping from a fluffy one to a flat one.
7.) Hang large-scale art.
Your petite room is not the place for a gallery wall of tiny prints. Anything smaller than one square foot will contribute to a cluttered effect.
Instead, hang one giant piece of art that you love. A bold, large-scale statement art adds a dash of drama at a height that suggests a much more expansive space.
Be sure to hang your art properly up on the wall; resting it on the floor can gobble up several square feet that could otherwise be usable living space.
8.) Install a reflective surface.
We all understand that mirrored walls are tacky, but you can’t deny that reflective surfaces can double—or quadruple—the available space in the room just by tricking the eye.
Hanging framed mirrors can be a stylish compromise. When framed similarly to your window and hung on a wall opposite, a mirror can even create the illusion of being a window itself.
9.) Just say no to drapes and rugs.
This may be controversial, but we’re going to say it: windows look much more open when not surrounded by fabric, and floors look longer when they’re not covered in rugs. Adding more fabric merely takes up more space.
You don’t have to abandon privacy when you toss your drapes, either; cloth blinds in the same neutral hues you’ve chosen can create a closed space just as effectively.
If you adore the look of curtains and just can’t part with them, choose a wide curtain bar that extends generously beyond the bounds of the window. This will allow you to draw the drapes back entirely when you wish to make full use of your windows.
10.) Skillful lighting is crucial.
Lighting is a powerful way to open up a room. As much as possible, allow natural light to flood your room unhindered. If your home is surrounded by lush plant life, your windows will invite the open feel of the outdoors into your home, but don’t fret: if you’re not near a garden, arrange houseplants around the windows.
Be sure to keep an eye on their growth; if they run rampant, they’ll clutter your view instead of enhancing it.
Where incorporating outdoor light is not an option, consider hiring a professional or inviting a skilled friend over to advise you on creative lighting techniques that will expand your room. You’ll be stunned at the impact this subtle tweak will have on the overall impression your room makes!
The key to decorating a small space is approaching every aspect with an editorial eye. The more you remove, the more space you have. Knickknacks, collections, busy patterns, riotous colors, and stacks of books have no place in your carefully edited room.
Be strict and purposeful with every choice you make, keeping in mind that every item you include leaves you less room to move around. Experts like Marie Kondo have suggested that continually decluttering is a healthy lifestyle choice that we should all embrace, regardless of the space available to us.