Tips To Make The Most Of A Small Space

While it would be ideal if we could all have large open spaces to decorate, that's usually not the case. I'm sure at one time or another we've all lived in a home that had a space that wasn't quite what we wanted to be. Maybe it had a weird layout or awkward wall to contend with, or perhaps there was no natural light or the ceiling wasn't as high as you'd hoped - whatever the challenge, working around these realistic common circumstances makes us think outside the box and get creative with our decor. Today I want to talk about how to work around a challenge of furnishing and decorating a space that's on the smaller side....

make the most of a small living room
shelf styling 101

When Kristina and I were decorating the living room of the Glenora House, we had a great blank slate to work with. Kristina and Revive Developments had already transformed this space from a dated area to a bright and modern room ready for a few personal touches. With bright white walls and a large open window, the room appeared much larger than it was however, being that the room was a slightly closed off space, we did need to find a way to furnish and show off the area to make the most of the smaller scale room. 

If you have a room that's on the smaller side, here are a few tips to make the most of your small space...


1. Opt for a Simple or Monochromatic Color Palette

By choosing one white paint color that carries through the trim and moulding, shelving and all surfaces of the walls, this room appears brighter and larger than it is. For our decor and finishing touches we chose blues, greens and other natural colors all within a similar palette. This creates cohesion in the room and makes the space feel seamless in it's decor. 

bookshelf styling
make a small room feel bigger

2. Emphasize the Light

This room really benefits from the large window. Natural light and the use of light and reflection is a great way to create the illusion of a larger space. If you have a larger window in a small space, let it shine! Keep your window coverings minimal and allow the light to come through and fill up the space. If you don't have a large window, make sure you have lots of layered lighting (overhead lights, floor and table lamps) and bring in mirrors to reflect the light and create the illusion of a bright open space.

make a small room feel larger
how to make a small room feel bigger

3. Be Intentional With Your Decor

Just because a space is on the smaller side doesn't mean that you can't bring in elements of style and decor. In fact, you can bring in lots of styling elements just like we did, just make sure to be intentional about it. Choose your pieces wisely. Remember to balance larger pieces with smaller, stick to groupings in odd numbers in varying textures and finishes and select pieces in the palette you've chosen for the room. For a fairly small space we were able to bring in lots of different elements through the shelf styling, addition of greenery and textiles like cushions and throws. 

shelf styling ideas

4. Use multifunctional pieces

A great way to make the most of a smaller space is to use multifuntional pieces. These leather Chilton ottomans from the Brick are a great example of how to use smaller pieces to maximize your space. Paired together, they make a great makeshift coffee table. Place a tray on top for more support or separated, they act as side tables or additional seating. Storage ottomans are another great multifunctional piece to have seating and a table top as well as hidden storage. If your space is smaller, get smart with the pieces you choose to bring in to maximize their function. 

how to make a small room feel bigger
how to make a small room feel bigger

For more looks at this house, check out my Ten Designer Tips to Stage Your Home For Sale & Glamorous Front Entry posts. Let me know in the comments below  if you have any other design questions or conundrums that I can help answer in a blog post! Happy decorating! 

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