Small spaces can be really great if you know how to make them work to the max. It takes some planning and a bit of patience, but overall they don’t need to feel cramped or untidy, and there are lots of tricks to using the space! Here’s some of our top ideas to get the most out of your small space.
LIGHT & COLOR
Utilize lighting of all kinds – especially if you don’t get a lot of natural light in your small space. It’s important to have proper lighting either in ceiling installed fixtures or portable lamps to brighten the space and make it seem as large as possible
Use dark or bold colors on the walls – our eyes typically see dark colors as receding, or further away, so by painting your walls dark you actually make the room feel larger than it is. However, keeping the ceiling color light is another way to do this. A dark ceiling brings a room in, making it look smaller, but dark walls push the room out. If you are going bold with color and pattern, make sure to balance it with more neutral pieces of furniture
Use larger furniture – this seems counter-intuitive, but using fewer pieces that are larger rather than several small pieces of furniture in a small space will actually make the room feel bigger. Sofas are a great example for this. Many people assume a small space couldn’t hold something like a sectional, when in reality a small space is one of the best uses for a sectional. Getting one that’s not super deep or overly bulky is important for sure, but the extended chaise lengthens the room and gives ample seating without having to add tons of extra poufs or chairs.
Don’t push your furniture all the way to the wall – again, probably not what you automatically think would help the room feel larger, but bringing your furniture away from the wall, whether that means floating a sofa or even just having a small 3 inch gap between the back of the furniture piece and the wall gives the sense that the room extends beyond your pieces and makes it feel larger. Floating a sofa also gives an opportunity to create both a visual and physical pathway through a space, which helps give direction to a room and avoids the feeling of having to walk through the middle of the space, which makes a space feel smaller.
Use a big enough rug – a small rug in a small space visually shrinks everything the same way small furniture would. Make sure you’re measuring for the largest possible rug the space can fit. We chatted all about rugs during one of our Tuesdays at Two sessions, and you can check it out here!
Build up, not out. A big issue in small spaces can be storage, but instead of taking up more and more floor space with baskets and tables, utilize tall shelves instead. Allow for both hidden storage on these with opaque baskets or bins along with some display items like stacks of books or collected objects to balance the space.
Enlist the work of double-duty furniture. Small spaces are where hidden storage furniture really shines. Coffee tables that double as desks or dining tables and have storage inside, storage ottomans, and pull out sofa beds are great for storing extra pillows, books, remotes, etc. Anything you can do to help keep the clutter to a minimum in a small space will go a long way.
Don’t overfill with accessories and cushions. This is a bit subjective, since everyone has a different idea of what “too many accessories” looks like, but the main point is in a small space it’s good to be selective and very intentional about what things are on display all the time vs. tucked away in a storage system or just not included. A clean, minimally accessorized space is going to feel bigger than a room with 20 pillows and knick-knacks everywhere, so just make sure everything you’re displaying is fulfilling a purpose for the overall look or function of your room.
Use artwork and mirrors. Even if you have dark walls that are making the room feel bigger, blank walls put focus on only the objects in the middle of the room, adding some large vertical artworks in a small space will make the room feel taller and balance out the proportions, plus artwork is a great way to add in your personal style and solidify the color scheme of your space. Mirrors help reflect more light into the space and help the space feel larger
Those are some of our tips for small spaces, for some more help on maximizing them we always recommend researching things like organization tips or even being inspired by some tiny house designs! Good luck and have fun making the most of your space!
PS – We talked about small spaces during our Tuesdays at Two series. You can watch the whole video here!