Tips for Small Spaces: A Decorating Guide to Help You Live Large Even if Your Space is Small

Tips for Small Spaces: A Decorating Guide to Help You Live Large Even if Your Space is Small

When you’re dealing with a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get organized, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.   There are quite a few can decorating changes that you can apply to make your space look and feel larger without moving any walls! With the right color, furniture arrangement, and lighting, your space won’t feel so cramped.  Here are some things you can do to make a small space feel larger, even if the floor space stays the same:

Clear Out the Clutter
People put too much in their small spaces…leave some air.  I recently saw a house in Lido that was staged and looked great.  The reason why model homes are so appealing to people is that they are staged and not crammed full of unnecessary “stuff.”  There’s nothing that makes a small space feel more cramped than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get collections out of view, organized behind doors or on shelves. Simplify!  With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open.

Make Way!
With furniture and accessories blocking the view into a room and out to open spaces, a room will look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you’ll open up the space and make it feel larger. You can also choose short pieces of furniture like an ottoman, an armless, open chair, or a low table, and place large, tall pieces along a wall rather than out in the open space. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger.

Storage, storage, storage!
You absolutely must think about how you’re going to store your stuff.  Having a strong organizational aspect in small spaces is crucial.  Think about things that you need access to on a regular basis and figure out ways to tuck them away where they’ll be out of sight, but easily accessible.  Using a large ottoman as a cocktail table that you can also store stuff inside is a great idea.  Pottery Barn has a lot of great tips on this subject if you need some ideas and inspiration.

Use a Monochromatic Color Scheme
Color is sort of like clothing.  If you wear one color on the top and bottom it can make you look taller or thinner.  It’s the same with small spaces.  If you go with a uniform color pallet it will open up a room like magic.  For the strongest effect, choose soft and light hues.  Whereas dark, warm colors make a space feel cozy and intimate, light, cool colors make a space feel open and airy.   If you’re not ready to re-paint, instead of a color change, do textural changes.  Choose colors that are in the same color family and use tone-on-tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes and delicate tonal drapery fabrics. Cool colors and delicate warm colors on most surfaces will give the room a more open look.

Let in the Light
Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space. Add more lamps or install track lighting or recessed lighting.

Reflective Surfaces
You might not like the look of a mirrored wall, but you have to admit that it always makes a room look larger. Instead, use a large framed mirror on a wall or stand an over-sized framed mirror against a wall. You’ll get the same room-enlarging effect as a mirrored wall, but with more style. The space and the light will be reflected for a more open feeling.  Top a coffee table or side table with a piece of beveled plate mirror or have a chest of drawers or bureau covered with custom-cut and installed mirrors.

By following some of these simple rules about decorating a small space, your home will feel comfortable, not cramped.