Decorating Small Spaces

Decorating small spaces is a unique challenge, but can be a lot of fun. Small cottages are some of the most cozy, inviting, and comfortable homes to visit; wouldn’t you agree? These wonderfully decorated homes may be modest in size and structure, but everything from the furniture to the accessories makes you want to come in and stay for a while.

Decorating small spaces may seem daunting for some, but if you keep a few decorating guidelines in mind when planning out your space, you’ll find that the process is fun and the end result is a beautifully decorated home of which you’ll be proud.

Decorating Small Spaces with Furniture

small living room

Choose one large focal piece of furniture and fill in around it with a few other modest pieces. Surprisingly, when a small space is filled with several smaller pieces, it tends to make the room appear cluttered and unkempt.

Avoid the mistake of pushing everything directly up against the walls. Create conversation areas by arranging furniture in an “L” shape, but be careful not to block the natural flow pattern of the room. Furniture pieces with streamlined and clean lines are well suited for small spaces. Try to avoid the overstuffed styles when decorating small spaces in your home.

Get Creative With Storage

cozy small cabinet

Storage is a key consideration when it comes to small space decorating. Dual purpose, or multi-tasking furniture is a must for modest spaces. Function and beauty can occupy the same space!

  • Ottomans can double as a storage space for cozy quilts and blankets.
  • Vintage suitcases can become a footstool with built-in storage.
  • Dressers and hutches are the perfect pieces to hold a television and house magazines, board games, extra throw pillows, or linens behind closed doors.
  • A blanket chest can serve as an attractive coffee table while storing Christmas decorations or your craft items.
  • Benches can be built to serve as both seating and storage in the kitchen or dining room.
  • In a bedroom, use the empty space under the bed for storing toys, seasonal clothing, or extra pillows and blankets.
  • Vertical storage such as dressers can draw the eye upward, making the room appear larger.
  • Built-in window seats are not only functional for storage; they add a wonderful visual interest to any room.
  • Desks should have plenty of storage capabilities while being functional at the same time.

Small Space Decorating and Color

small sitting area

Light and airy color schemes are often used in small space decorating plans because the lighter colors open up the room and make it feel larger. However, smaller spaces can handle darker colors; simply keep the colors within the same tone family.

Large floral prints or geometrics are going to overwhelm a small space. That’s not to say you can’t use fabrics that reflect your style. Instead, choose one focus fabric of a smaller pattern and then choose other fabrics that complement the colors in the focus fabric. It’s more about the contrast of colors when it comes to decorating small spaces.

Contrary to popular thought, small spaces can be beautiful when painted with
darker colors. If you want to choose a darker hue for the walls of your sitting room, make sure the contrasting trim, furniture, and accessories are a lighter contrast color.

More Small Space Decorating Ideas

small spaces

Decorated properly, small spaces are beautiful, organized, cozy, inviting, warm, and wonderful. Just because you live in a modest size home, apartment or condominium doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your space and love where you live. You’ll be amazed at how spacious your home becomes when you incorporate these quick decorating tips into your small spaces.

Lighting Small Spaces

Lighting is important in any space, regardless of size, and small spaces aren’t any different. One way to use lighting to help make a room appear larger is to place the lighting around the perimeter of the room. The eye will be drawn to the beautiful draperies or unique pieces of furniture in the space instead of to the walls themselves.
Opt for light, breezy window coverings so natural light can enter the room uninhibited.
decorating with mirrors
If you prefer a bit more coverage, consider Roman shades. They allow ample light into the space when rolled up, but also provide privacy when desired. Wall sconces with candles are another way to bring light into a room. These decorative accents add to your theme during the day, and bring light into your small space during the evening hours.

Decorating Small Spaces with Accessories

Designers love mirrors and will be the first ones to tell you that mirrors will help to open up any small space and instantly make it feel more spacious. For the best effect, a large wall mirror should be mounted above the mantel, behind the sofa, or on the focal wall in the room.

A collection of smaller mirrors will serve the same purpose.  Mirrors mounted above a small foyer table or dining room sideboard are the perfect backdrops for candles.  When the candles are lit, the flickering light creates instant ambience and has the doubled effect of enlarging the space.

De-Clutter and Clean Up

organized china cabinet

A good rule of thumb for any home is for everything to have its place. When decorating small spaces, it’s even more important for a space to be free of clutter. If you don’t absolutely love something, move it to another space or give it away.

If you have several items within a collection, consider periodically rotating the items you have on display. Your modest space will still be personal and cozy, but without unnecessary extras in the room or on the walls.

Open shelves can still be organized and neat. Use decorative baskets, tins, wooden boxes, or hatboxes to store your smaller items in the open.

This may sound elementary, but clean, sparkling windows immediately make small spaces appear larger. Wash them regularly and keep the windowsills clear of any unnecessary objects.

If you can see the floor in a modest space, the room will appear larger, so keeping the clutter off of the floor and stored properly will make a huge difference right away.

Above all, small space decorating creates wonderfully cozy nooks in which to relax, read a good book, take time for reflection, or enjoy a conversation with a friend. It’s true that small spaces are naturally required to be functional. However, your modest home, apartment or condo can be both functional and beautiful at the same time.

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