I love working with small spaces!! Not surprising really when you consider how much I love cozy and coziness comes easy in small spaces. However, everyones demands of a small space are different, so, depending on what you want to achieve, there are loads of different ways to go about styling your own small space. I’ve made a list of some clever planning ideas you can use to create a small space that is both beautiful and practical…..
Scale and Proportion
These are most likely the first things you need to consider. Space can be visual or actual; you can trick the eye into seeing more space than there actually is. To create a visually spacious room you need to have deliberate places for the eye to rest. The more your mind has to take in, the busier a room feels. Including too much furniture and decor drags your attention from piece to piece and can make a small space feel cluttered. So strangely, choosing larger but fewer items will generate more visual space.
Colour and Pattern
If floor space is minimal but you prefer a clean, spacious mood I suggest injecting large expanses of the same colour or pattern because again, the eye rests on these areas rather than darting around. I strongly disagree with the philosophy of keeping the wall colour light or white to increase the size of your space. Wait!! I can explain……. Dark colours do not always make a room look smaller, in fact, large expanses of dark colour often blur the lines and edges of walls and ceilings, softening the boundaries and increasing the feeling of spaciousness. Any artist will tell you that when creating dimension within an image, dark colours recede (shadows) and light colours advance (highlights). I have proof!! The most central and largest room in my house is has a dark paint finish covering both the walls and the ceiling. Several smaller rooms visible from the main room have the same dark wall colour but traditional white ceilings. I promise you that the vast majority of visitors to my home assume that the large room has a higher ceiling than the smaller rooms due to the fact that the darker colour recedes into the distance while the white ceilings advance. What I cannot argue though is that the rooms appear darker due to the fact that dark colours absorb the light rather than reflecting it back into the room like lighter colours do. So if light and bright is your preference go ahead with the white paint paint! My preference is dark and cozy so of course I choose darker colours for myself.
Keeping furniture low and wide so as not not to block your visual space is another trick. If you can see past, over and through the room it will automatically feel more spacious. Finer lines such as slender table legs and narrow arms on a sofa also lend to the feeling of spaciousness. Transparent furniture such as the classic ghost chair or a clear perspex coffee table take up no visual space while lifting things off the floor by using wall mounted consoles and shelving will also increase the visual space.
Storage and Organisation
Clutter is the killer of space be it visual or actual, so there is no avoiding the cull. Be ruthless in a small space and remove anything you no longer need, want or use. Storage is key and will be dependant on the function of the room. Work with your vertical space where possible rather than anchoring everything to the floor.
Using mirrors to make small spaces feel bigger is a well known strategy for obvious reasons. You can also create the same extra dimension using large scale artwork. Large landscapes or seascapes with a distant horizon will add depth to the walls increasing the sense of space. If the room has a large window steal the outside space by blurring the divide, add plants to the window sill or place something outside the window that cannot be ignored drawing the eye beyond the boundary.
I have well and truly blabbed for long enough so I will leave you to contemplate. Small spaces are about finding intelligent ideas and clever solutions. It can be a challenge I admit, but should you need a hand I am more than happy to help! Check out my design services, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or see if my Pinterest board has any additional ideas to steal!!
Images via: Pinterest