Thursday, July 22, 2010

Small Room Decorating Tips

by Carla Hill

A small space doesn't have to lack style. In fact, with the right pieces of furniture, accessories, and splashes of color, your small space can make a big impression.

The first order of business is to embrace the light. No, we're not talking about going "new age spiritual." By that we mean playing up any windows. This allows the grand scope of the outside to come into your space. And that's a big, big world out there! Natural light also has a way of opening up spaces. To frame the light, consider using complimentary curtains. Blinds can be too heavy, but curtains add a frame to your natural picture.

And unless you live in northern Alaska during the equinox, you are going to need some alternate lighting. Use this opportunity to really play up your design. Lamps don't need to be boring. Consider modern chandelier fixtures, retro shades and lamps, and sleek and modern recessed lighting.

Next, keep the colors bright. Heavy, dark colors absorb light and can make a small space seem even smaller. If you are drawn to a passion red or a deep ocean blue, then use these fabulous colors as accents in artwork and accessories, such as throw pillows. Another color tip? Consider keeping it all in the same hue. This works particularly well if you are a fan of patterns. A highly contrasting pattern can jar the eye. As an alternative, use similar hues to work in cohesion.

Storage is also key in a small space, especially when it comes to functionality. If you have a large collection of books or movies, then a sleek media cabinet or shelving unit can keep clutter managed. Ottomans that double as storage are a great place to store toys! Keeping clutter to a minimum is a great way to make a small space appear bigger.

Lucite, glass, and mirrors. Oh my! Our eyes fall softer on, and sometimes passes right through, these items. Transparent and reflective surfaces can give the appearance that the room is less full. As in the world of graphic design, negative space (where no design elements are found) can be a powerful way to play up your other design features. Many furniture stores offer great options in tables, dresser, and even chairs! A mirror is not just for the wall anymore. Play up the idea of expansion by using mirrored objects all around your room!

Just as large rooms seem to devour tiny, petite furniture, small rooms seem to shrink when filled with large, oversized pieces. Thus, scale is extremely important when designing in a small space. Small rooms do better with small to moderate sized pieces. A large, overstuffed chair will immediately draw attention to the fact that it does not fit in the room. You want, instead, to call attention to the positive architectural and design aspects of your room. Make your beautiful bay window, the vintage tile surrounding the fireplace, or the warm wood floors your focal point.

Another great tip for making the most of your small space, is to choose items that serve multiple functionalities. If you are decorating a small office that almost must function as a guest room from time to time, then how about skipping the full sized bedframe, and instead using a sleeper sofa or Murphy bed?

Use these tips to get started on your small space design, today!

Published: July 22, 2010
Use of this article without permission is a violation of federal copyright laws.


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