Decorating a small space can be challenging even for professional designers. It takes a little extra effort and planning to find just the right kinds of colors, styles, and sizes for furnishings and decor to make the most of a diminutive room without overwhelming it. Use these five pro tips to bring great interior design to small homes and rooms. As a bonus, these tips can also help you quickly stage your home for a fast sale.
1. Make full use of vertical spaces
Walls run top to bottom and give you lots of space to fill. You might assume that filling up vertical space in a small house or room would overwhelm the space, create a crowded feel and make it all seem even closer. Paradoxically, decorating vertically as well as horizontally around the room helps balance out the space and make it seem bigger. Consider adding hanging planters, wall-mounted shelves, and other similar pieces to fill up your space.
2. Explore storage that’s both flexible and beautiful
Small rooms and spaces need more creative storage solutions. From bookshelves to kitchen racks and carts, it’s important to carefully curate storage for small spaces. Look for storage containers and organizers that pull double duty and allow you to maintain order while still offering something valuable to the room’s aesthetics. You can also find pieces that do double duty, such as ottomans or bed frames with hidden storage spaces. This is a great way to make the most of your available space.
Bonus tip: Many retailers offer inexpensive storage solutions. When you find one you like on a functional basis, don’t be afraid to transform its looks with paint, distressing, new hardware, or other easy DIY techniques.
3. Select pieces that scale to your room
While it’s true that large pieces often make a room feel bigger, it’s also important to leave comfortable areas for walking and maneuvering. For that reason, it’s usually best to choose furniture pieces that are scaled specifically for smaller spaces. Look for full or queen-size bed frames and mattresses for small bedrooms. Consider smaller love seat or two-person modular seating for small living rooms. For tiny kitchens, choose tables that can be set flush against a wall or two-person round bistro-style tables to make the most of the available space without crowding out cooking and cleaning activities.
4. Lighten up small rooms
Go for furnishings and fabrics (pillows, rugs, and curtains) in light tones to maximize the sense of light in the room. Dark spaces tend to contract on themselves into shadow, making the space itself seem to shrink. To combat that effect, it’s not necessary to adopt an all-white color scheme (although that can work well for some). Instead, choose the light tones of your favorite shades. Pale pinks, blues, greens, and grays or greiges can transform a claustrophobic space into a cozy retreat full of light.
5. Use mirrors to reflect light
Speaking of light, use strategically placed mirrors to help open up your space and make it seem brighter. Select mirrors in frames that echo your design aesthetic. Large mirrors can be placed directly on the floor against a spare wall, while mid-sized mirrors can be hung higher up opposite a window to amplify the light in the room.
Make the Most of Your Space
If you’re decorating your home for your own use and enjoyment, your overriding principle should always be the same: What makes the most sense for me, given the way I live and my personal style preferences?
However, if you’re thinking about selling your home any time in the near future, your first priority should be a future buyer—what they like, what they want to see, and what might move them to make an offer. Your best bet is to talk to an experienced local real estate agent. They’re most likely to understand what those in the market for a new home really want to see.