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March 2, 2015

Big Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

by Kim

big decorating ideas for small spaces decorview (1).png

Downsizing, affordability and society’s shift toward a more eco-conscious mindset have many people embracing a smaller, more efficient home and the streamlined lifestyle it affords. But just because your home is small, doesn’t mean you must sacrifice on style. Here are 6 big decorating ideas for small spaces.

Choose Multi-Functional Furniture

Making the most of available space means choosing furniture and accessories that can serve multiple purposes. Which is why convertible and modular furniture reign supreme in smaller homes. For example, choose an upholstered ottoman with a secret storage compartment or a desk that turns into a dining table when you insert more leaves. Furniture that works double duty will make your home feel less cluttered and as a result, appear much bigger than it is.

Trick the eye

Making a small space feel larger in some cases just requires a simple trick of the eye. For example, incorporate furniture and accessories made from glass, Lucite or other clear materials to reduce the visual weight of the object. Or for a big statement, add a mirrored wall to make the room feel double the size.

Another tip is to hang your custom drapery at least 4” above the window casing. This tricks the eye, making your ceiling (and windows!) appear taller. Worried that drapery may over-power your small space? Then opt instead for custom blinds or shades designed specifically for your windows.

Pick the Right Scale

Even though it’s no secret that smaller homes have less space, many homeowners fall victim to the one-size-fits-all mindset when selecting furniture. When you downsize your home it’s important to both downsize your furniture and reduce the number of items in the room. A good rule of thumb: pick only one or two space-eating pieces. Use them as focal points in your décor, and balance them against more compact furniture with a smaller footprint.

Another great space-saving trick? When it comes to sinks, showers and tubs, think deep instead of wide. A deep bathtub with a small footprint can still provide a luxurious soak, and a deep sink saves counter space but still lets you wash up comfortably.

Free-up Floor Space

A functional room layout and flow are critical in smaller homes where you don’t have the room to move easily around furniture. To free up more floor space, consider hanging or mounting certain items to maximize space efficiency. For example, choosing overhead lighting over floor lamps, shelves over free-standing bookcases and a wall-mounted TV over a large entertainment unit. As you decorate your small space, it’s important to ask yourself: Could this be mounted to save floor space?

Choose a Lighter Color Palette

Darker paint choices and wallpapers can overwhelm a small space, whereas lighter tones can open it up. That doesn’t mean you have to stick to stark white – think about richly textured neutrals, muted or pastel hues, and bright colors on the lighter end of the spectrum such as yellows, oranges, clear greens, and mild blues.

Use the Unusable

Nooks and crannies are a tiny home’s best friend. These spaces, often considered unusable, can provide a wealth of extra storage in your home. For example, use the space under your stairs as a storage closet, or consider turning each step into a pull-out drawer. If you think outside the box, you’ll find lots of instances of wasted space just begging to be turned into useful storage!

This is the second and final post in our two-part series entitled, “Smaller Homes for Greater Efficiency.” Click here to read part one

Cover Image Source: Kathleen Bost Architecture + Design | Houzz

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Kim is a window treatment and drapery certified designer helping clients in Ottawa and surrounding Ontario communities find the perfect window treatments for their homes. She has more than 14 years of experience in interior design and window coverings.

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