Dealing with an apartment that’s on the petite side? If you live in a shoebox, ban the word small. Call it compact or bijou, to emphasise its style and potential and get clever. Well-designed small spaces can feel spacious, and ignite admiration for their intimacy and efficiency. Carve space out of every niche, and optimise every alcove.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Think Big
Don’t think everything has to be tiny just because the space is. If space is tight, think big. You might be surprised what a single statement piece can do to make a small room feel grand, and give the room the dimensions it doesn’t actually have.
2. Go Bold
The biggest mistake when decorating a small space is to treat it like a small space. Use oversized art, paint the room in a dark color, or use great lighting to make a smaller space feel larger. Don’t forget one big bookcase, or a huge mirror will make a small room appear bigger. It’s all about the space created around the piece, not the space it takes up. A small room looks great with a big painting because it gives it the dimensions it doesn’t actually have. It adds architectural weight.
3. Keep it Uncluttered
The biggest mistake people make when decorating a small space is using too many small furniture items. It seems counterintuitive, but usually a few pieces of moderate-sized furniture combined with an efficient floor plan will make the space feel much bigger, while creating less clutter and more functionality.
4. Add Colour from Floor to Ceiling
There is a common misconception when you have a small space, you have to have keep it minimal with furniture and colour. But don’t go minimal. A little room with nothing in it will always look like a little room with nothing in it, but clever decorating can result in a beautiful room with character. Try creating a jewel box. The idea is to pack as much punch as possible in the space and create an experience. Painting walls and ceilings will make a space feel larger.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan
Having a sound design plan is important in all spaces, but it’s especially important for smaller ones. Small spaces require careful thought, and every centimetre counts. Avoid furniture with dramatic arms and let the slipper chair be your friend.
6. Pick the Right Rug!
When it came to rugs, designers seem to agree. Go big on the rug!” she says. “Small, ‘Post-it’-looking rugs make a room feel smaller.
7. Go Wall to Wall
Wall-to-wall floorcovering will enlarge a space. A small rug in a tiny apartment will shrinks the room. Use carpet to push out the parameters.
Don’t try and squeeze too many elements into small spaces. It’s best to go with one theme for harmony and build from there, which doesn’t mean limiting style or drama. A discerning eye is any designer’s best friend, especially in a limited space.
9. Use Statement Pieces
Thinking small furniture will work better in a small space is a biggest mistake. Instead, use large statement pieces, such as big art, big bookcases. The important thing is to use fewer pieces, but the right ones to create more impact and give character to the space.
10. Try a Monochromatic Look
Pare down your palette – keep small rooms monochromatic with layers of texture.