Decorating Small Spaces in Your Home

Posted In Design - 11/27/2016

Decorating small spaces doesn't have to be a headache. Some overall rules to keep in mind include choosing lighter colors and simpler pieces. Paler hues, such as white, cream, and gray, refract light for an overall brighter look and make rooms appear larger. Darker colors, like burgundy, chocolate, or teal, can be introduced in accent pieces and wall art. Another smart tip for tight areas is selecting furniture with a simple, sleek design. Exposed legs create space, while seating with overstuffed backs and arms appears large and heavy.

Tiny Bedrooms

Dealing with a small bedroom might be the most common size-related decorating conundrum. Keep in mind that, if done correctly, tiny can equal cozy.

An age-old trick for creating the illusion of space is to incorporate wall mirrors into your decor. They add depth and bring in reflected light, easily doubling the airiness of cramped quarters. Couple this strategy with a light, cohesive color palette. By not overburdening the eye, a seamless look is created and makes the room appear larger than it is. Remember that cohesion does not have to mean boring. There is still plenty of opportunity to add life using pops of color.

Another option is creating a focal point for the room. This will usually be the bed, so choose frames and headboards wisely. Lower-profile beds make small rooms appear larger. If possible, place these pieces in front of windows so the two don't compete for attention. Choosing dramatic headboards while forgoing footboards or adding bold throw pillows also creates visual interest without cluttering the landscape.

You can use the room's vertical space to your advantage as well. To draw the eye upward, mount curtain rods just two inches below the ceiling and let them extend past the window by four inches on each side. The extra height airs out the room, making it look taller. Leaving a wide space between curtains also allows windows to be fully exposed, letting in more light.

Small Home Offices

In the simplest terms, creating an office in a home that's already pressed for space comes down to identifying an underused area and putting a desk there. Look through every space in your home with a fresh eye. Find a spare corner in the living room, bedroom, or even the laundry room. Put a small desk there, keep it tidy, and it should blend right in.

You can also consider putting a desk next to the bed instead of a nightstand. Fold-down desks or old-fashioned secretaries can be good for tight spaces. Floating shelves mounted at desk height can be tucked in unobtrusively, even under stairs.

Do you have an unused closet? Place a deep shelf at desk height and add other shelves above for storage. When not in use, either close the door or hang a curtain that can be drawn closed.

Tight Hallways

Hallways are the most ignored spaces in homes when it comes to decorating. It's easy to see why, because they exist solely to get us from point A to point B. However, with just a little attention, these design deserts can complement the look of your home.

There are many ideas for decorating a small hallway. Liven up the floor with a runner that leaves three inches of space on either side between the rug and walls. Choose a fun pattern, but avoid vertical stripes, as they will only serve to make the hall appear longer. Break up the monotony of blank walls with wainscoting, chair rail, or a two-tone paint technique.

You can also draw the eye to a focal point at the end of a narrow hallway. Hang a large mirror, paint the end wall in a darker accent color, or position a small bench there.

Carefully consider whether the side walls are suitable for photographs and art. If the hall is less than four feet wide, guests probably won't be able to stand back far enough to truly enjoy them. Even if the hall is wide enough, temper the urge to overload the wall with things to look at. It quickly becomes heavy and cluttered, making the space feel even smaller and more cramped.