We’ve all been there before. You’re sitting in your apartment or maybe even your house looking around and thinking, “I NEED more space.” Now that I’m working from home full time due to the pandemic, this reoccurring thought has just gotten worse. I have been constantly looking up decorating ideas for a small room.
The lack of space is in my face all the time when before I was out of the house a lot. Redecorating has crossed my mind but I, unfortunately, do not have the budget to just redecorate every time this feeling crosses my mind.
I definitely do not have the budget to get a bigger space so I have to work with what I got. I am grateful that I don’t live in a small city apartment but I think most people outgrow their spaces in their minds. If you do live in the city, let me know how you maximize the space you have to not feel claustrophobic.
The good news is that you can decorate a small room so that it appears larger. It’s all about those optical illusions. There are actually a ton of things that you can do.
Here are some decorating ideas for your small room and how to make it appear larger:
Look for smaller, leg bearing furniture
The biggest thing that you should avoid if you have a small space is big, bulky pieces of furniture. This may sound obvious but if your whole room is a sectional couch, it isn’t going to look that big. Instead, opt for smaller pieces of furniture that don’t visually weigh down the room.
It is also helpful to pick furniture and pieces where you can see the legs. They will create a feeling of openness since you can see through the furniture. It’ll also allow light to pass underneath the couch and table. You could also incorporate pieces you can literally see through that are glass or lucite.
You want furniture that won’t absorb the light, so if you can see through it or under it, that’ll help keep the room nice and bright.
Give me Some Space
The most interesting thing I found when researching ways to make my apartment appear bigger is to leave space between the walls and your furniture in your living room. This will make a small space more cohesive. It’s interesting to think about because many homes opt for a big space in the middle of the room but it isn’t really that practical, is it?
If you push the furniture closer together, then you create a more intimate setting, and more importantly, everyone can reach the snacks easier (don’t you agree that’s the most important? No, just me?)
If you want a piece of accent furniture, try to only have just one. If you have one, you can add a sense of depth and contrast to the small room which can help it to feel larger. This is a good way to create a focal point for the room.
Another good decorating tip is to make sure you have a clear pathway for your family or guests. This creates the illusion that your small space is bigger since people aren’t bumping into things and can easily move from one room to the next.
Walls Paint and Designs
Lighter colors are going to help bring more light into the room which is going to make it feel more open and larger. This is probably one of the reasons apartment complexes always paint their walls white. That and that it’s neutral. White has reflective qualities so the white walls will be able to bounce some of the natural light around the room. It’ll also bring a sense of calmness since it simplifies the space.
This doesn’t necessarily mean just white. If you work with light colors, that should do the trick as well. Besides, there are so many different shades of white-like colors of paint nowadays.
If you want bold colors, have one accent wall which is the same concept as an accent piece of furniture. You could also choose one wall to have a boldly designed wallpaper.
Another decorating tip is to add vertical or horizontal illusions to the wall such as shiplap or wallpaper designs. This will create a sense of movement for your eyes which is good when you have a small space. Now, you want the movement to be orderly and intentional. You don’t want clutter as your form of movement. Then that will just bring chaos to the small room.
If you want to learn more about vertical strips, this article from the hunker talks about some tips on how to paint vertical lines and how to make sure the room appears bigger.
Now the rest are additional things you can add once you have the main furniture picked out or the walls painted for your small room.
One of the most staple pieces of advice when redecorating a small room is to add a mirror to the space. This is a reoccurring theme but you want as much light as possible in the room. A mirror can reflect the natural light and make the room appear larger since the room will reflect back at you. Mirrors are especially good if you hang them on a dark wall or directly across from the window.
Another good tip is to hang your curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible. This creates the illusion that the room is larger by drawing people’s attention upwards. It’s the same as the vertical movement I mentioned earlier.
You should also try to hang your curtains wider than your actual windows since then the window will appear larger. A bonus is that more natural light will get into the small room since the curtain isn’t going to be blocking it.
Give me all the Lights
My boyfriend would hate this one since he is an electric bill nazi but having more than one light source spreads the light around the room which makes your smaller space look larger. Instead of having one overhead light, get some lamps and spread them out throughout the room. This is where having a small space can come into handy since you aren’t going to need too many lights. You’ll have to play around with it to see how the room looks all lit up with all your new lamps.
Amanda Amaro, founder and principal designer of AMA Designs & Interiors told insiders that you should place lamps strategically so you no longer have any dark corners or harsh shadows in the room.
If you have an interesting light fixture this can also make the room appear bigger since it draws the eyes upwards. Make sure it isn’t too bulky though. Thinner, vertical fixtures will do the trick better.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is having rugs that are too small. If your rug is too small, it’ll make your room seem even smaller since it’s creating additional smaller edges. To avoid this, opted for larger rugs where all the furniture touches the rug. If you currently have a small rug you love, you can always layer it with a larger, inexpensive rug.
With artwork, designers suggest that you choose larger pieces of art over smaller ones. If you have small pieces of art that you love, they suggest that you incorporate them into a gallery wall. In smaller spaces, if you have a gallery wall the experts suggest that you only have artwork on that wall as an accent. Gallery walls are also a great way to make your home look timeless. Here are five tips to accomplish a classic look.
Now, let’s talk about clutter. Everyone has it. For me, it has gotten worse now that I can order anything off my phone with a click of a button and it can come in two days. When my boyfriend and I moved in together, we both had a lot of stuff we did not want to part with.
Some things you honestly can’t. Our solution is that we need a bigger space. Great idea, right? Wrong. A bigger space doesn’t necessarily mean that your place is going to look less cluttered. Sure, it may have more storage which definitely helps but there are ways to make your place look less cluttered.
The simplest one would be to declutter. I would argue this is the hardest thing to do though. Some things are hard to part with and you may still end up with clutter once you’re done. This may hurt a little but having too much stuff is going to make a space look small no matter how big it is.
Hide items in Storage Bins such as decorative boxes and baskets
One way to hide the clutter is to have multifunctional furniture or baskets. Anything that you can put stuff in to store things away even little boxes like in this picture. I have an ottoman that we throw all our blankets and store extra seasonal throw pillows in. If you can hide some of the clutter, it’s going to make the room look more open and organized. You don’t want too much going on visually in a small room because it will make people feel a little claustrophobic.
Another tactic is to mount the TV on the wall since this will free up some space underneath the TV. If it’s mounted, you may even be able to choose something smaller than the TV stand or entertainment center you currently are using.
At the end of the day, the biggest decorating tip for small rooms is to keep it simple. If you have too much going on in a room, it’s going to look cluttered and small. You can try these optical illusions to make your room look bigger but you do need to have an organized space.
Let me know in the comments below what redecorating tips you use to keep your small room organized and how you make it feel bigger.
Until Next Time,