Small Ideas For Big Impact
Interior design is a breeze when your property affords you imposing high ceilings, grand detailing or aspirational views from vast picture windows. However, there are many a small house or apartment that a design lover calls home that deserves just as much careful consideration. Get the fundamentals right such as advance planning and space saving ideas, and the rest will follow.
Purpose & Planning
Small room decorating ideas don’t have to be all practical and no play. Give spaces real purpose no matter how tight, because when designed with a real function they work well and are frequently used. A quiet reading corner with a wall full of beloved novels, or a place to play records next to a comfy armchair (and possibly a pair of headphones) is perfect for the music lover in the house. Make sure there’s always space for pleasure in your life. Books and album covers carefully displayed also make a slick decorating feature.
Space saving ideas are welcome in all homes, not just the small ones. Space saving furniture is the first stop when looking for extra room, but also consider small scale bespoke or DIY projects. Shallow cupboards only a few inches deep can hide vanity mirrors with lights, or TV screens and sound systems. Other storage solutions for small spaces can be more decorative: hang jewelry and/or craft tools on hooks for an easy to use display with a practical purpose. Choose one focal point such as a shelf with objects to stop a room feeling too utilitarian.
Floors & Walls
When decorating small spaces, how you approach your ceilings, walls and flooring can make a huge difference. Paint colours can make rooms look bigger and brighter when used to elongate a room, with perhaps a dark floor leading up to a paler ceiling. Unite with a theme and be surprising; clapboard walls or wide wooden floorboards used as wall coverings give a delightful snug feel of a small shepherds hut. A collection of photos creating a wall montage can blur into a pleasing pattern and nice memory prompt.
Flooring for small spaces is a chance to spend a bit more on a higher ticket material such as parquet flooring. Or paint existing boards and brighten up with rugs for small rooms in a bold stripy pattern – if you have carpet left over from another project, cut it to size and have it bordered with some canvas binding in a contrasting shade, but keep it close to the walls. Play with scale – don’t think that your rug needs to be tiny. Even just a inch of bare floorboards will make it look exclusive and pulled together.
Keep It Neat
Small room décor should include furniture for small spaces unless you are intentionally playing with scale. Tables for small spaces and seating for small spaces with single central pillars or edges, rather than sprawling legs, are better for flow (and for knees prone to bruising). Small sofas such as love seats made for close twosomes or small space saving beds designed for small rooms often include roll out storage drawers underneath so you can tuck away casually-used guest linen. You can style this most of the time as a day bed or there are lots of armchair designs that also turn into ‘sofabeds’; space for extra guests that doesn’t feel like a neglected spare bedroom.
Another key to making your small room a draw is ensuring it works year-round. When looking for ideas on how to make a dark room lighter such as in an attic room, look for small window treatments that work for a tilt and turn window to let in the summers natural light. That way you can curl up with a book in the warmth but also keep the afternoon sun out if you want a sneaky nap. Autumn wall mirrors opposite your window will reflect back the last of the seasonal sun, and for colder days a small stove designed for a narrow boat or very small cottage will make this room the favourite spot in the whole household. And if it’s peace and quiet you want, just remind the family there’s only room for one.
For more ideas on getting the most from every inch of your home, see our tips for how to make a room look bigger.