Just because your space is lacking in size doesn’t mean you’ll skimp on style.
One of the biggest design mistakes, not only for a tiny home but also for any home size, is going small on design – picking downsized furniture pieces, going safe with white walls, and leaving most surfaces unadorned, to name a few.
While it may sound counterproductive, featuring unexpectedly large elements in a small living space can work visually and functionally. Think about oversized seating, dark and bold walls, and using negative spaces for smart built-ins.
The next time you’re decorating your tiny house, kit home, flat, or apartment, consider some of these design hacks to create a small home that’s brimming in style.
1. Play with scale
Fewer pieces in a bigger scale will add a lot of appeal to your small space. They make the room look more comfortable, functional, and larger, as opposed to buying a lot of smaller-scale pieces which can only make the room feel cluttered and cramped.
There’s a difference between cozy and cramped. You want your small space to be as cozy as an enveloping cocoon, which is very soothing.
Next to having securing your measurements, shop for the largest pieces that will fit. Don’t be afraid of oversized chairs, sofa or sectional, and ottoman, which can double as a coffee table. Keep seating close together and intimate. Select a large, plush area rug too.
2. Hang a giant mirror
No discussion about small space interior design is complete without talking about cunning ways to make a space look twice larger than it is – like using mirrors.
A small, narrow space can look twice as big, thanks to a giant mirror wall. A mirror works its magic on small spaces by amplifying light, creating interesting reflections, and doubling the sense of your space.
Add the largest mirror possible on your largest wall to reflect as much light as possible back into the room. Standing a mirror on the floor, leaning it against a wall also does the trick.
3. Rest your feet on the largest area rug possible
Lay down the biggest rug possible to make the space look larger. Unlike smaller rugs, a large size doesn’t visually break up the floor.
Measure the open area you’re buying a rug for. Then, purchase an area rug that’s 2-3 inches smaller, all around. With this, you create a visual border that doesn’t look like carpeting. Don’t be afraid of using bold patterns and irregular shapes, like faux hides for a posh look.
Make sure to resist the urge to push all of your furniture against the walls. Create a little space behind them and make them “float.”
4. Forget about negative space – invest in built-ins
Having some space around your furnishings is okay if you live in a big home or apartment with a more open design. But if you have a small space, those tiny negative spaces on sides and corners won’t likely matter.
Instead of leaving these spaces bare, maximize them with built-ins. You won’t only save space – built-ins make your home more functional.
Add seating and storage pieces to the size and length of the space itself. A custom banquette built-ins for a tiny dining room, built-in window seat and storage, and a built-in breakfast nook are a few great examples.
5. Pick a sectional sofa
Skip side tables, and smaller chairs – go for a solid, versatile sectional sofa.
That way, you designate the majority of your small space to relaxed seating, which is exactly the main purpose of your living room. Add pillows to make it more comfortable for lounging.
6. Add a huge, plush ottoman
Ottomans are extremely versatile pieces worth investing in.
You’ll use it more:
- It’s cushioned for comfortable seating.
- Cozy it up to your sofa or sectional to create a lounge or daybed.
- You can place your feet on it while relaxing on the couch.
- Place a tray and it can work as a coffee table.
- Most ottomans can also be used as storage units.
- Want to move it elsewhere? An ottoman make a great spare seat in your dining area too.
Ditch your traditional coffee table for a big ottoman or two. Kitty approves.
7. Go for a dramatic color for your walls and ceilings
White walls and ceilings are a tried and tested trick to making the space look larger and airier. But let’s admit it – they’re pretty boring. Break this rule by bringing in dramatic color.
Dark walls create an elegant backdrop for clean-lined pieces and make your space look like a quirky jewel box. If you can’t abandon white walls, having dark ceilings can add depth to a small space with light walls.
The trick to making this work is using satin or glossy paint that reflects light. It adds a subtle sheen to keep your space feeling bright.
8. Display decorative elements strategically
Big and bold decorative elements can overshadow small and narrow spaces.
Think vertical. Adorn your home with biggest and most dramatic chandelier or pendant lighting and captivating wall art pieces. These pieces can be used as a focal point to steal the attention from the tiny, cramped space.
Aside from choosing eye-catching pieces, bring your artwork up to trick the eye and accentuate or expand the height of the room. For instance, if you have a gallery wall, extend it to the ceiling.