If your home falls into the compact category, it can still be a beautiful, practical, and stylish space. We asked stylist Allira Bell from Temple & Webster to share her top decorating ideas for how you can inject maximum style into a small space, without breaking the budget.
“Smaller spaces often pose a few decorating challenges. The key to making the most of a room with a petite footprint is to carefully select pieces for maximum impact,” says Bell. “If you edit down the furniture and collections in the space, and include multipurpose furniture pieces and smart storage solutions, with a few sneaky stylists tricks you’ll enjoy the illusion of more space and your tiny room will teem with style.”
1. Clear things up.
Take a minimalist’s approach to decorating your space and focus on the most important elements in your home: Think about what you really need for your lifestyle. The key is to find the right balance between practicality and creativity. Ask yourself, “What inspires me?” and “How you do I want to feel?” Having fewer pieces and displaying items that you really need means that not every surface is covered, allowing some breathing room.
2. Strike a balance.
Less is more applies to your furniture too! Too many pieces of furniture (however small) instantly reads as clutter. Although it might feel counterintuitive, one larger piece of furniture will help define the room and provide balance.
Subtle decorating tricks can make a room feel more expansive. For example, create the illusion of taller windows by dropping curtains from above the window height. To visually open up a space, avoid layering the surfaces with busy patterns, as this creates visual clutter.
3. Light it up.
Create space by considering lighting solutions that are ceiling- or wall-mounted to reserve your precious tabletop surfaces for decor. Having lighting at different heights will also create ambience and atmosphere.
4. True Colors
While lighter colors certainly make rooms feel larger, design schemes that are too washed out lack contrast and depth. Use pops of color to create focal points that draw the eye around the room, and energize the space by adding decorative pillows, rugs, and artwork in statement hues. Too much contrasting color can make a room feel cluttered and noisy, so keep it tonal — incorporate lighter and darker shades of the same color.
5. Dual Purpose
Small spaces require pieces to perform double duty. Consider rethinking items like your coffee table, which can be replaced by smaller nesting tables that can be moved around easily or ottomans that can be used as extra seating when required. Bar carts are another great option, as they’re a great form of moveable yet stylish storage.
6. Go big.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to scale down your furniture if you have a small space. You can still feature statement items with larger proportions — you just need to limit the number of bigger pieces you try to cram into the space. Remember, less is more!
7. Wall to Wall
Open space can be hard to come by in small areas but it is important to create “moments” that are clutter-free, allowing your eyes to rest. Try to keep artwork on one wall and choose one larger piece as the focal point that draws your gaze. Mirrors placed near windows help reflect light and can bring a little of the outside in to make your room feel much bigger.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.