January 1, 2022

7 Design Tips to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Designing small spaces is not an easy task. You may feel overwhelmed just by the thought of trying to fit everything you need into one tiny room without making it feel cluttered. On top of that, you want it to be stylish and filled with your personal touch. In this post, I will give you some design ideas that will show you it is not an impossible task to make your space look and feel bigger than it is. Whether you live in a studio apartment or want to make the most of your tiny room, these tips will help you create a stylish, beautiful, and useful space. 

1. Light, Toned Rooms Feel Bigger

Calm, light colors reflect the light, tricking the eye into thinking the room is more spacious than it actually is. When we say light colors, most of us think of white. If you aren’t a fan of white rooms, there’s a variety of paint colors to choose from, including pale pink, light green, soft blue, neutral taupe, etc.

When choosing your color palette, stick to that tone throughout the room. Toned spaces look cohesive and less cluttered, just make sure to use a variety of textures to prevent your room from becoming flat.  

2. Go Bold with Color

However, if you are a fan of bold colors and want to experiment with them in your small space, just do it. Darker rooms can feel cozy and inviting. Yes, dark colors can close off areas, but if they are incorporated carefully, they can also make spaces seem bigger. Just be careful with the patterns, especially on your walls, as large patterns tend to make a room feel smaller. Stick with paint for this. If you decide to go bold on the walls, consider painting your ceiling the same color, making the walls seemingly disappear and your furniture pop.  

3. Mirrors

Mirrors are our best friend when decorating a small space, whether it is a bedroom, living room, kitchen, or a narrow hallway. They can trick the eye into thinking the space is a lot larger and airier. The more, the better. They can create depth and reflect the light around the room, which can easily double its appearance. It is one of the oldest and most affordable design tricks. 

Hang a large mirror or create a feature wall using different sizes and shapes. Another good idea is to place them against your windows, creating the illusion that you have another window in your room. The more windows and natural light you have, the larger your space will seem. No matter how you decide to use them, mirrors are a must for designing small spaces and can bring a lot of personality to a room. Have fun with them. 

4. Let There Be Light

Small spaces often feel dark and dingy due to a lack of natural light. Make sure to add as many light sources as possible to make up for this. Combine beautiful ceiling fixtures with sconces and table lamps. Consider additional concealed lighting on top of and underneath cabinets to avoid dark corners. When it comes to smart interior design ideas for small spaces, lighting is essential, so make sure your room is well-lit. 

5. Multipurpose Pieces

Think outside the box when designing a small space. Choose furnishings that can serve dual purposes and offer you maximum functionality. In a small space, every piece needs to earn its place. For example, choose a sofa that transforms into a guest bed, a dining table that doubles as a workstation, a bed with a pull-out mattress or drawers underneath, or consider mounted shelves with a shelf deep enough to use as a home office desk. Your options are unlimited, just always think multifunctional when choosing your furniture, and you can create a ton of extra storage in one small space. 

6. Use Large Furniture

Nothing says “I don’t have enough space” quite like a room filled with a bunch of small furnishings. The key is to pick a few large-scale statement pieces that will draw the eye, rather than looking around piles of pint-sized furniture. Fewer grand pieces can actually make your room feel a lot larger and airier. The same applies to décor; large-scale art, rather than many small-sized decorations,  will immediately make your walls look wider and higher.  

7. Let the Room Breathe

One of the biggest mistakes that we often make in designing a small space is pressing all our furnishings against the wall. If you do this, your room will feel unnecessarily cramped. Make sure to let your pieces breathe. By pulling them away from the wall and leaving space around them, your space will immediately feel wider than it is. 

Remember that clutter makes a room look smaller, so always hide as much of your belongings as you can. Keep that in mind, along with these seven tips, to help you in your design process.

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An interior design professional with a Master's degree in Architecture and 14 years of practical experience.
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