Top 10 small space design tips
I know, easier said than done, but crucial in keeping your space looking larger. 3 Q’s to ask when de-cluttering, Do I love it? Do I need it? Have I used it in the last year? Storage, storage, storage. Whenever possible use built-in storage to optimize your space. Look in Japanese or Asian inspired design books for inspiration and storage ideas. They are masters at small space planning!
Scale “Less is more.”
Don’t get stuck buying all “apartment-sized” furniture—you live in a small space, but not a doll house. If you must have that large sofa, then pair it down with smaller dining chairs, or smaller coffee table. Use the online space planners to ensure you have enough room to move around. Always a better effect to use furniture, pattern, and colour in correct proportions in a small space.
Think outside of the box when decorating. Look for ways to make your space do double duty. That nook in your kitchen can turn into a home office, your ottoman can be a coffee table, or extra seating. And, my favorite, buy two host chairs that can double as extra chairs in the living room, but when entertaining for dinner, they can be pulled up to your table for seating.
Lighting is critical in any space, especially a small one. Use floor lamps, up lights, table lamps, torchieres and candles in any combination to best suit your room, mood and style. Light will always help expand the space.
Mirrors can double the size of a room by using them appropriately and that compliments your design scheme. Use mirrored furniture to bounce light around the room, or add a large floor mirror.
Layering tone on tone is a very effective way to make small rooms feel larger. If done right it won’t be boring either. My favorite neutrals are charcoal, cream, white, chrome, chocolate with warm blacks. Be thoughtful with your use of textures and patterns of neutrals, although you may think this scheme is easy, it is in fact very difficult to get it looking right. When done properly is very effective and timeless!
The first place to start is with the most interesting spot. Your focal point can be anything you want to highlight and/or the most interesting design element in the room. Yours could be your great view of the city, or, a big, flat screen TV. You may want your focal point to be your gorgeous sofa you just bought – whatever your focal point is, make it grab your attention when you walk into the room!
Bring a chic, polished look to your own home. Pick gorgeous black and white reproductions or have your favorite pictures blown up and framed in simple wrapped canvas frames. Hunt down large mirrors to add to the living and bedroom and buy inexpensive, brightly coloured vases and bowls in electric orange, lime green and candy apple red for unexpected hits of colour. Remember, when it comes to accessories, bigger is better, less is more!
- Wall Art / Wallpaper
Add a wall tattoo or wall paper to your small space, it can be subtle or bold, it could be opaque, shiny or a shade darker than your paint. For wallpapers, there are literally millions of variables, I challenge you to head to your local paint or wallpaper store to have a look. I guarantee you will be amazed at the variety available to you. Afraid of a commitment to wallpaper? Try applying it to a large canvas rather than your wall – cool way to get texture and colour without having to commit!
Test. Test and then Test again! Use colour to expand you space. Whether it be on a wall, all the walls, or just in accessories and art, bring bright, bold colour into your space. Make it successful by tying it into your entire home creating flow from room to room, always a winning scenario in small spaces. General rule of thumb is that cooler colours make rooms recede, therefore making the space feel larger, but I am a firm believer that you can have darker shades in your small space, simply by adding more lighting and/or contrast to those darker colours.