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Small Space Design

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Small Space Design

Published: 02/05/2010

» Decorating Small Spaces


When choosing a color scheme for a small space it is best to stick to maximum of three colors and patterns. Solid colors and tiny patterns work best. Too many colors or designs in a small space can create a look of chaos. Do not add more than one item, color or pattern not in your scheme to maintain better synchronization.

When painting walls, use light, bright colors. Save bolder and darker colors for furniture and accessories. Light colored walls and white ceilings are more reflective and amplify the effects of natural light. Choosing a trim and molding color that is lighter than your walls will also make your room appear larger since darker colors appear further away and lighter colors appear closer.

If you wish to use darker colors, or you are not able to change a darker wall color, move darker colors to the background by emphasizing whites and very light neutrals.


A large mirror in a small room serves many purposes. In addition to looking attractive, mirrors reflect light, brightening the room day and night. Mirrors also reflect images of open space, making the room appear larger. This effect can be increased by slanting a mirror slightly upward and reflecting more of the ceiling or by placing a mirror opposite of a window with an outdoor view. Glass-front cabinets and reflective surfaces can be used to mimic the reflective qualities of mirrors and help keep small spaces looking clean and open.

Mirrors can also be used to increase the impact of decorative items without taking up addition space. By placing items such as flower arrangements or collectable figurines directly in front of a mirror, you can double the appearance of the items' size or number.


Keep furniture in scale with the room. Large, overstuffed furnishings can overpower a small space. Choose instead smaller, dual purpose items such as a chest of drawers that can serve as an end-table and a storage area, or chairs and items that can be easily stacked and placed in a corner when more space is needed. When selecting furniture, look for open, airy designs such as sofas with no arms or open back chairs and bed frames.

A line drawn diagonally across a room from corner to corner is the longest straight line in any room. Arranging larger pieces of furniture at an angle can give a room a larger appearance by drawing attention to the room's diagonal length. Keeping the view at eyelevel unobstructed and placing tall items furthest from the main entry also increases the visual depth of a room.