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Ideas and Tips: How To Decorate Small Spaces and Rooms

Posted on May 1, 2018 by KylieMawdsley

 

Decorating a Small Space

Whether it’s one room or your entire home, small space living doesn’t need to be limiting. In fact, it can encourage you to be more resourceful and thoughtful with your decorating!

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on east facing wall in bathroom. Kylie M E-design

Let’s check out a few perks of having a small space or home (and then we’ll get into the good stuff).

Small Space Perk #1  

It’s easier to make an IMPACT!

Decorating a big space can cost big money as there’s more square footage to consider. A smaller footprint means that you can make a bigger impact with colour/texture.

small bedroom with striped bedding and fabric wrapped canvas. Black, red white and gray. Similar to Intense White on the walls. Kylie M Interiors

Read more: The 12 Best Headboards Under $500

In the small guest bedroom above, my client wrapped canvas boards in a graphic fabric and continued that scheme on the bed linens. Good bang-for-buck if you ask me (non street-corner style).

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, powder room, small bathroom with gray hexagon tile floor and green painted vanity with gold accents. Sherwin Williams Pure White. Online paint colour advice and blog

While the gorgeous green cabinets in the above photo would have been a LOT for an entire kitchen, it was an easy and exciting choice in the small powder room above!

Powder room, small bathroom with Galloway quartz countertop, graphic wallpaper, mirror and pendants. KYlie M Interiors

See this entire comfortable contemporary home here

In the above bathroom, the wallpaper cost was kept at a dull roar due to the limited wall space. If this was a larger room it would have been quelle mucho moula (well, it kind of was anyway…BUT IT LOOKS COOL!)

Small Space Perk #2  

You can achieve any level of intimacy

Whether you’re going for cozy and comfy or bright and airy, small spaces allow you the breathing room to create any type of mood.

Benjamin Moore Moutain Air in a country style bedroom. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Online Colour consulting services

Benjamin Moore Palm Desert Tan. Guest bedroom. Kylie M INteriors E-design, before image. client design

A small room is a great place for an intimate, dark colour (SW Anonymous), as shown in the bathroom below (because people love getting intimate in bathrooms, right?)

Small bathroom powder room in Sherwin Williams Anonymous with Cambria Bellingham quartz countertop and dark wood vanity. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, paint colour expert

Small Space Perk #3    

You’ll save money…maybe

The smaller the space, the less money you will spend on flooring products, countertops, window coverings etc…you can then spend SMART money where it counts!

Double vanity in bathroom painted Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, hexagon mosaic tile backsplash, Calacatta Marble countertop by Formica. Design by Kylie M Interiors

While the tile above wasn’t cheap, because it was a smaller space, the cost was MORE than manageable.

Same goes with the tile in this bathroom niche (our last home).

Bathroom with tub remodel with Moen Glyde fixtures, greige and gray subway tile and hexagon marble niche or alcove by Kylie M INteriors

See the before and after photos here

I couldn’t afford to do this gorgeous tile EVERYwhere (nor would I anyway), but it adds just the right touch and I only needed 7 sq ft!

Small Space Perk #4    

You have the opportunity to go a little crazy

(I fully embrace this idea…daily)

Small spaces have a high level of forgiveness when it comes to quirky. You might not consider painting a large room saucy red or deep indigo, however, a small space feels like much less of a commitment and allows you the opportunity to inject personality and pizzaz without it appearing ‘larger than life’.

Decorating with books on foundation wall, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and gold chandelier by Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Design

 

Now that we have talked about how awesome small spaces are, let’s get to some ideas that will bring your small space to its fullest potential!

BUT! Before you read these tips below you’ll want to make a big decision. Bottle or box. Just joking. Kind of. Seriously though, you need to choose one of the following statements:

1.  I want my space to look bigger

2.  I want to embrace my small space

And before we get started, I know that some of these photos aren’t small rooms, but I’m including them to support the ideas I have for you! I do rely 100% on my E-design and local client photos, so humour the Ginger 😉

Tips and Ideas for Decorating Your Small Space

Mirrors

Using mirrors to make a space look bigger

Mirrors act like windows by spreading natural and artificial light around the room. This will make the room appear bigger and brighter, especially if they reflect a light fixture like the one below (oh, I have some TALENTED clients…)

Dining room traditional, slightly country style. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, crown molding, wainscoting. Kylie M INterior E-design, client before image

Paint Colour: SW Agreeable Gray

Mirrors can also lower the contrast against your walls whereas artwork can raise the contrast – making the space look smaller.

Using mirrors to embrace your small space:

Mirrors are great in any room – regardless of size. They add style, sheen and give your eyes a break in a room that has a lot of other things going on in it.

In a small space use a mirror to reflect something you like to look at (ie: window/fireplace/yourself…) If you have a lot of artwork in the room, mirrors will give your eyes a visual break without leaving a blank wall space.

  • Mirrors are especially great at the end of long hallways or in narrow entryways
  • Try not to reflect a doorway (bad Feng Shui)
  • The center of your mirror (if not hanging above anything) should be hung approx. 62″ from the floor

Draperies and Blinds

Using drapes to make a small space look bigger

Use draperies/blinds that are the same colour (give or take a few tones) as your wall colour.

Sherwin Williams Barcelona Beige in master bedroom, beige carpet, dark wood furniture. Kylie M Edesign Client photo

If you decide to contrast or jazz up your window dressings without blending them into your wall colour, your room will feel smaller as you will have raised the contrast level.

High contrast feels smaller.  Low contrast feels bigger.

Using drapes to embrace your small space

Use your draperies or blinds as a way to inject an accent colour or a pattern into the space.

Living room with gold drapes makes a room feel cozier. Comfy style with built-ins Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Paint colour review, Sherwin Williams Silver Strand, south facing bedroom, beige carpet, south facing. Kylie M INteriors E-design, online virtual paint consulting

See my quick bedroom refab here

Choosing a colour that is different from your paint colour will define your window coverings from your wall space which will help your room feel cozy, comfy and decoratively layered.

Main Furniture Pieces

Using furniture to make your small space feel larger

While accent chairs/tables/etc…can add visual interest, you’ll want your main pieces to either a) be visual extensions of your floor or b) visual extensions of your wall colour. This means that if you have oatmeal coloured carpet, you’ll want your couch to be in the cream/tan/brown range. If you have cream paint on your walls, you’ll want your couch to be white/cream/off-white. This keeps things low contrast which helps to make a space look larger.

Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque in guest bedroom with cream linens and side table. Kylie M Interiors E-design and Color Consulting

The above photo is low contrast, while still having visual interest and texture to keep it interesting!

Below, this simple tone-on-tone palette keeps things soft and subtle.

Home staging ideas, paint colours, tips by Kylie M Interiors. Paint colour Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray with neutral bed linens

Using furniture to embrace your small space

Use your furniture as an opportunity to add visual interest with colour and/or pattern. 

Black ledgestone fireplace surround with reclaimed wood around mounted tv. Unique coffee table trunk and home decor. Kylie M Interiors E-Design, Vancouver Island Colour Consultant

You HAVE to check out the rest of this room!

If you’ve always wanted a red couch or a saucy eggplant coloured loveseat then here’s your big chance! These pieces will add to the cozy and comfy factor while adding personality and pop!

Ikea Hemnes bookcases in family room with chartreuse accent chair. Sherwin Williams Creamy paint color and home decor. Globe collection. Kylie M Interiors E-design

Read more: The 24 Best Affordable Accent Chairs 

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (5)

Click on the above image to view available packages!

Wood

Using wood to make your small space feel larger

Be consistent with your wood (I’m always saying this to Tim…). In a small space that you want to look larger (and they ALLL want it to look bigger), you’ll want to stick to 1 wood colour. This includes wood/laminate if you have it. While you can vary it subtly from tone-to-tone, you’ll want to stay pretty darned consistent and stay away from a mix of stains/woods.

LOVE this living room. The gorgeous leather couch and navy blue chair add interest, which is made possible by the simplicity of the wood tones.

Sherwin Williams Heron Plume in open layout, wood cabinets, southwestern palette. Before Kylie M E-design, online paint color consultant

Using wood to embrace your small space

Don’t be afraid to have 2 or 3 different kinds of wood within the space, however, keep in mind the undertones of the wood when coordinating. You can have different woods with different grains and depths, but try not to get too many different ‘undertones’ (ie: red/yellow/orange/purple).

E-design and online colour consulting by Kylie M Interiors. Benjamin Moore Baby Fawn with wood sliding farmhouse style barn doors in dining room with chandelier

My clients (above and below) did a beautiful job of coordinating their tones of various wood tones.

Mountain contemporary style bedroom. Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige neutral. Kylie M Interiors E-design, wood furniture, (2)

Paint Colours

A little bit of info first…

Cool colours recede, warm colours advance. Light colours recede, dark colours advance. This means that if you want your small space to feel larger, you might want to consider a light and cool colour so that visually you are pushing the walls out 2 times.

In this next photo, my client (a super long-time fave) used a soft cool colour on the walls, but then added texture with the linens/art and contrast with the furniture to add visual interest!

Benjamin Moore Arctic Gray, best blue paint colour. Master Bedroom, dark wood fruniture, pine flooring, white bed linens. Kylie M E-design, online colour expert

See the whole project here: An Autumn-Inspired Farmhouse Home

Dining Room, wainscoting, Sherwin Williams Wall Street. Coffered ceilings. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online paint consulting. Client photo

Mind you, I’m a big fan of using paint to a) make a visual statement and b) save MONEY HONEY. The above dining room is DROOL worthy with its dark cool paint colour. Even though cool colours recede, adding DEPTH brings them back in!

Paint is truly the least expensive way to add interest to your space and the best way to drive your husband crazy (or maybe it’s just mine…) so don’t underestimate the visual value of an awesome colour – especially in a small space!

And all of that being said, paint colours are a whole different ball game, so I’m going to refer you to this post which specifies exactly how to use colour to change your space!

Read more: How to Make a Room Feel Bigger or Smaller Using Paint Colour

Need help?

Check out my affordable and FUN Edesign and Online Paint Consulting packages! 

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (1)

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature



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      Author
  1. What white should I use in a beach house? The floors are espresso. Open floor plan. I will be painting the entire house, except bathrooms the same color white. The house is bright, rooms are smaller.

    1. Post
      Author

      With white, it can depend on the other finishes in the room, ie: the type of white in the countertop or furnishings (warm white/stark white/etc…). Off the top of my head, I’d check out BM Simply White and SW Pure White. If you want something softer, BM White Dove 🙂

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