How to Decorate a Small Space According to Interior Experts

Small spaces can be the most charming areas of a home, and since they require a bit more design consideration and ingenuity, they can often be the most original.

From galley kitchens to awkward alcoves, no space is too small for a brilliant decor scheme, but there are plenty of design myths – painting your space all white, adding an excessive amount of storage and downsizing your furniture are the most common – which can hinder your success.

If you’re having trouble arranging furniture or deciding on a color scheme, these nifty tips for small spaces can help. Below, our design experts from Benjamin Moore, Interior Fox, Tom Howley, Olive & Barr, KING Living, Arteriors London and Albion Nord cover layout, storage, color schemes, visual tips and more. .

Lift the space with color

“Paint is a clever way to change the perception of space in a room,” says Helen Shaw, UK Director at Benjamin Moore. “Generally, lighter colors tend to make a space feel bigger, while darker colors tend to move forward and bring the wall closer to you, making the room look smaller.”

Painting a small room – including the ceiling – in a uniform color across the entire surface blurs its edges and boundaries, giving a sense of space. This is especially effective if you are also painting woodwork, door frames and radiators.

Use every corner

small space design ideas

“Awkward spaces in the home can be a conundrum, we all often come across awkward nooks and cubbyholes, especially in period properties,” say Jen & Mar, Founders of Interior Fox. “Ingenuity is key, with thoughtful storage features and creative thinking, you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve even in the smallest of spaces. Consider going with custom cabinetry to create something truly unique, perhaps an occasional seat, storage closet or desk.

As working from home will remain the norm for the foreseeable future, those who live in compact spaces can adapt alcoves into an efficient WFH space. This sunny yellow example of Neptune makes perfect use of natural light and creates the hint of a larger footprint by using matching paint on the wall panels and a custom fitted desk.

Rethink the kitchen

small space design tips

The natural slant in a small kitchen might be to include as much storage as possible, including overhead cabinetry, but opening up the space at eye level and above will make it feel more spacious. Additionally, open shelving can hold more decorative accessories that can warm up an often clinical space.

Instead of overhead cabinets, try a freestanding pantry or a small butcher block.

“Sliding pantries and slim pantries are just two ways to maximize storage and efficiency in a compact kitchen. With limited space, utilizing the full height of the room and the depth of cabinets means that every square inch serves a purpose,” says Tom Howley, design director of the eponymous kitchen brand.

“Owners of small kitchens automatically assume they don’t have room for an island, but that’s not always the case. A slim island adds extra surface space and a cooking area,” says Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr. “An induction hob with an integrated extractor hood is a clever way to open up space, while allowing you to move around. the island hob for convivial cooking.

Do not be afraid of trendy furniture

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“The key in a small apartment is to make sure your furniture fits the space available. Nothing makes a room feel smaller than filling it with undersized furniture,” say the experts at KING Living.

Instead of downsizing all of your pieces and squeezing a collection of compact side tables, narrow chairs, and small accessories into a cramped space, choose one piece that truly fills your room and fulfills a need.

Larger rooms also do not need to lean against a wall in smaller rooms, but rather act to zone a space according to its use. “In the living room, don’t feel like your sofa has to lean against the wall. Removing it from the wall will create the illusion of space and make the room look bigger.”

Decorate vertically

small space design tips

“One of the most common tricks for making a room bigger is to use vertical space to create the illusion of height,” says Helen Pett, Design Ambassador at Arteriors London. “Where possible, using mirrors to reflect light will make rooms appear larger than they are, especially when they take up an entire wall.”

Wallpaper and fabric are two great options in this case – here botanical wallpaper used in a small bedroom draws the eye to the double height ceilings, and hanging fabric has been used so cleverly to zone and enhance the silhouette bed.

“Another design trick is to choose large lamps to frame the furniture,” says Helen. “Whether on symmetrical bedside tables or on a side table next to every key piece of furniture in the living room. This will not only draw attention to the height of your lamps, but will also highlight all the verticals of the room.”

Pattern is your best friend

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Displaying fewer things in a small room may well create a hint of space, but it may also rob your home of all warmth and comfort. To remedy this, try layering a few patterned accessories to create pockets that look busy.

“We like to create layered, welcoming spaces that allow you to create clutter without feeling cluttered or needing to put things away the second you take them out,” says Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Albion Nord. “It’s important to make a space feel relaxed and not sterile or unlivable.”

“We love using patterns in small doses in cushions, armchairs or headboards. There are so many beautiful patterned fabrics among our favorites including Tissus D’Helene, Zak & Fox, Soane, The Fabric Collective and Blithfield,” says Camilla. “We love using old fabrics found at antique markets or fairs. We tend to use them on throw pillows or frame them as artwork to add a unique focal point to any room that you won’t see in someone else’s home. ”

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