Small spaces come with their ups and downs. On the one hand, they’re cheaper to rent and purchase and are usually located in the vicinity of the city center or urban areas (woodlands, for example). There’s also that certain irreplaceable cozy charm that comes with living in a small apartment.
Small spaces, however, can often be difficult to decorate. The struggles that arise from small-space decorating can cause even the most seasoned decorator to stumble. Fret not, as we have compiled a small list of things that you should keep in mind when decorating for smaller spaces.
- Delineate separate areas
Open concept living might be the first thing you think of when it comes to decorating smaller spaces. However, this is often not the best choice. When you have a smaller space, an open concept space can sometimes end up being overwhelming to the eye. Over time, the lack of definition and delineation in the space can lead to things looking just plain messy.
What you can do is to define separate areas and give each area a specific purpose. For example, put shoe racks by the door to round off the entryway. Strategically position a buffet between the dining table and the kitchen to separate these areas while also creating a place for easy serving as well as extra storage. Back up your sofa and use it as the end point of the living room space. You can even place a console behind your sofa for extra storage and even more purposeful separation of space.
If your space is not big enough to use your furniture to create separate areas, you can also use area rugs. Place a large rug under your sofa to designate it as the living room area. Sometimes, separation of space does not have to be done through using furniture or accessories to create boundaries. Often, if you place your furniture into deliberate groupings, this can do the job of delineating separate areas as well.
- Invest in multi-purpose furniture
In a small space, every available square-foot counts. While you can’t expand the amount of space you have by any means, you can certainly make the most out of the space that you do have. Investing in furniture that can do double or multiple duty is a great way of minimizing the number of pieces you put in your space. Instead of trying to work your space around your furniture, make your furniture do most of the work in your space.
For example, if you live in a studio apartment, consider buying a trundle bed that can be folded into a sofa in the day and pulled out to turn into a full-size bed at night. Make your dining table double as your office table; add a few ottomans that are hollow that can be used as storage space; place a tray on top of the ottoman to turn it from extra seating into a side table. When you put your creative juices to work, you can certainly make your furniture work to their full potential in small spaces.
While making your furniture wear many hats is important, do remember to select pieces that are size-appropriate. Oversized pieces will only end up making your space look tinier, regardless of whether it can serve multiple purposes or not.
- Choose a light color palette
When considering the color palette, you choose for your space, keep hues and shades towards the light spectrum. Lighter shades have the ability to open spaces up, imparting brightness and openness. Meanwhile, darker colors have the tendency to make things smaller and more overwhelming.
Take this information into consideration when deciding on colors for smaller spaces. Also, try to keep the focus on a handful of colors only. Choose two light and bright shades to decorate the majority of your space. While we advise you to stick to light hues, this doesn’t mean your space should be devoid of darker colors. You can add in a third darker color as an accent color to keep things visually interesting.
If you still want more bold color in your space, you can get your fix with your furniture. Choose one light color for the majority of the room and pick a second bold color for accents. This can be in the form of a vibrant sofa, or colorful throw pillows. However, do be sure to keep these statemen colors to a minimum. A rainbow of vibrancy can end up making your space feel even more overwhelming.
- Layer to add depth
Small spaces usually lack one thing – depth. Since there is only so little space for the eye to visually take in, it makes small spaces even more closed off. Luckily, you can restore visual depth to your space by incorporating the technique of layering.
It’s pretty simple really. Add shelving to bring in more dimension to your walls. Cover up less-than-luxurious carpeting or aged hardwood floors with multiple rugs. Layer your bed with numerous blankets and throw pillows. Pair your leather sofa with furry throws and rough linen cushions. Layering not only adds visual depth to your space, it also imparts a certain sense of coziness.
It is important to remember that layering is not just the idea of piling one design element on top of another. Layering is all about creating contrast – and hence, engaging the eye through visual depth and creating more visual interest. Thus, whenever you are selecting items for your space for layering, remember to go for pieces that are composed of varying materials, textures and patterns to make sure that the things that you do layer with are not just one-note.