There is no denying that homes are getting smaller and that there is an art to designing a space that makes a tiny area feel large and spacious. We are seeing the growth in popularity of people foregoing large homes to opt for a smaller apartment that is closer to lifestyle choices that align with their values. There are plenty of ways you can make the most of a small living space and still have a beautifully designed home without sacrificing on storage and overall appearance. Read on for our top tips and tricks for decorating your small spaces!
Draw The Eye Upwards
In small living spaces it is essential to use every aspect of the area and utilise the vertical surfaces in your home. We recommend drawing the eye upwards to create height and give the illusion of a larger space. Try adding some floating shelves with a few decorative items, books and trailing plants or create a gallery wall using some bright artworks and interesting framed prints. Avoid leaving all the walls in a space blank as this will automatically draw the eyes downward and focus on the furniture and items on the floor.
It is a well-known fact the mirrors give the illusion of a larger space, so it is essential to use them in a small home to trick the eye into think it’s bigger! Tall mirrors look great leaning against a wall in a bedroom or living room to make the room feel double the size. We also love a large mirror either leaning or suspended above a console table or buffet unit in a dining room or entry to reflect a gorgeously decorated space. Some of our favourite places to shop for beautiful mirrors at Homemaker The Valley are Provincial Home Living and Oz Design Furniture.
We recommend choosing furniture that sits slightly off the ground to create the illusion of a more flowy and open space. When choosing items such as sofas, occasional chairs, console tables and coffee tables, ensure the legs aren’t too ‘heavy’ and ‘chunky’ in appearance. Choose a style that incorporates either a thin, oak leg seen in Scandinavian design or a metal leg that can be used in modern or contemporary homes. Retailers you will find plenty of options for this look are James Lane, Freedom and Early Settler – head in store today!
The lighting of a space makes a huge difference when it comes to the perception of size. We always recommend having as much natural light in a small room as possible and opting for lighter window furnishings such as sheer or linen curtains or white venetian blinds to open up the space. If natural light is in short supply, ensure the space is well lit through smartly positioned artificial lighting. Think about overhead lighting and using bright bulbs that create a light and bright space. Adding lighting in through your home décor accessories is a simple way to ensure your space is well lit. For example, using a table lamp in a living room or pendant lights in a kitchen.
When designing small homes, it is always essential to choose furniture that not only looks visually appealing but acts as a means of storage. In small bedrooms we recommend choosing bedside tables with drawers or a cupboard and opting for a bed that has built-in storage underneath. In a living room, ensure both your coffee table and entertainment unit have some kind of built-in storage as these pieces take up a large amount of space. Whether this be a simple drawer in a coffee table or an entertainment unit with multiple cupboards; the more storage the better! Great places to look for furniture that is both aesthetically pleasing and has ample storage are Oz Design Furniture, James Lane and Freedom.
Stick To a Colour Palette Throughout
When decorating your home with the intention of making it feel larger, it is essential to have a colour palette that flows throughout the entire house. We automatically think spaces feel smaller if our eyes have dramatic changes in colour, pattern, material and textures. To ensure your home flows effectively we recommend using a base colour of neutrals such as white, beige, grey and black and choosing a couple of accent colours to add as a feature throughout.
Avoid Small Furniture
One mistake we see time and time again when people decorate small living spaces, is choosing furniture that is drastically smaller in size than ‘regular’ furniture. Just because a space is smaller in dimension does not mean you are limited to ‘tiny’ furniture. Choosing small furniture throughout automatically makes the brain think you are in a small space, so we recommend choosing great pieces that will fit comfortably within the space. This may mean you need to sacrifice a few items, but the overall look will be completely worth it! If you have a small living room, we recommend forgoing a coffee table to allow for a larger sofa to relax and seat multiple people on and adding a side table to store remotes and coffee. For a bedroom it may mean adding narrower bedside tables to allow for a large bed with plenty of cushions and a beautiful bedhead. Be sure to measure your space first and map out a few space planning options, to maximise what you can do with the room. If you need help with this, feel free to book in a free styling session with our Resident Stylist, Eliza – head to the ‘Stylist’ tab on our website today!
We recommend adding plants to most interiors as they not only look great and work perfectly to fill empty voids, but they also purify the air and bring life to a space. Tall plants such as fiddle-leaf figs and birds of paradise are perfect for filling an empty corner of the room, particularly when furniture would appear too bulky and heavy in a space. Plants are a great tool for decorating small living spaces as they are soft, flowy and add a pop of colour to any room!