Living in small spaces can be a challenge. But fitting all of your worldly possessions into one tiny space isn’t as difficult as it sounds. In fact, with a little creativity - and some key decorating rules - you can transform your small space into a cosy, zen-like retreat. Ultimately, it all boils down to tricking the eye into perceiving more space by playing with light, scale and movement. Click “Next” to read more.
1. Manage Proportions
Furnishing a small space is all about proportion. Naturally the size of larger, bulkier pieces will only be exaggerated in a small room, and make the area feel smaller. Condo-friendly furniture, or pieces that have been designed for small spaces, are obviously a better fit for tight spaces. Don’t forget to leave a little room between your furniture and your walls.
2. Keep a Low Profile
Furniture that sits low to the ground can make a room look larger simply because it leaves more space above it. Lengthening the amount of time it takes for the eye to reach the ceiling gives a whole room a lighter, more airy feel - especially when accessories are hung low to relate to the furniture, and keep the top half of the walls virtually empty.
3. Show Some Leg
They key to making a room look more spacious is to create a sense of openness and movement. Bulky furniture that sits almost directly on the floor prevents light and air from flowing underneath it and looks much heavier than furniture that sits on legs. Conversely, leggy furniture and fixtures allow air and light to move freely - and that helps to create the illusion of more space and make the room look larger.
4. Paint it White
White’s reflective qualities are probably one of the tried and true rules of interior design. White opens up small spaces by blurring the lines between wall and ceiling, helping to make a room feel light, airy, and serene. It makes the ceiling seem higher by forcing your eye to travel all the way to the top of the space - especially when the ceiling and walls are painted the same color. If you’re worried an all-white space will feel cold, pair it with textured accessories, like a shaggy wool throw, or warming elements, like a wood coffee table.
5. Ditch the Drapes
In a small space, drapes can add more weight to the room, closing it in and making it feel small. That’s especially true if they cover even part of the window. A window is an important element in giving the illusion of more space, so it’s generally not a good idea to cover it. Of course, if privacy is an issue, shutters, or lightweight mesh or cloth blinds can prevent the neighbours from looking in without hiding the window itself. If you’re really set on drapes, be sure to hang them just below the ceiling, and ensure the bar extends far beyond the window frame so the window can be fully exposed.
6. Accessorize with Mirrors
A well placed mirror can instantly create a greater sense of openness. The perfect accessory for a small room, mirrors reflect light and the view, which tricks the eye into thinking it actually sees more space. This mirror is placed to look like another window - and makes a big impact in this cozy bedroom.
7. Think Vertically…
Whether it’s a tall shelf, vertical striped accent wall, or curtains hung just below the ceiling, using at least one element that emphasizes the vertical space in the room will increase its sense of openness. That height also enhances the feeling of movement by encouraging your eye to move right up to the ceiling as it explores the room. Ultimately, that helps to create the illusion of more space and adds to its light, airy feel.
8. ...But Don’t be Afraid of Horizontal Lines
The seamless transition from wall to ceiling, thanks to that stunning white horizontal shiplap emphasizes both the height and the width of the room. When the vertical and horizontal work in tandem, it creates a sense of movement - and that contributes to a larger feel in the space. The window, framed by light curtains also helps to frame the view, by directing the eye into the area beyond the walls.
9. Keep Pathways Clear
In a smaller space, most people tend to push furniture to the edges of the room in an attempt to maximize the available space. However, that’s not always the best option. If you regularly find yourself bumping into things, your room’s layout is only enhancing its small design. Instead, group the furniture on one side of the room, creating a clear pathway from one side of the room to the other.
10. Choose Lightweight Fabrics
Heavy materials and fabrics that absorb light can also bog down your space. Therefore, when choosing linens, sheets, and throws, look for breezy, lightweight fabrics to keep your room feeling light and airy. Choosing those pieces in light colors will only add to the affect, and work to make your space look larger.
11. Keep it Simple
Trying to incorporate less “stuff” into a design helps to make a room feel more open. It all boils down to regularly auditing your space to ensure that everything in it has a purpose. Avoid trying to pack too much color, texture, pattern and accessories into one area - no matter how much you love them. Instead, group knick knacks so they read as little vignettes, and try and keep them to a minimum. Ditto for artwork and other framed photographs. Let a few stand-out pieces shine, and give your room a cool, understated personality.