It’s funny. Well, maybe not funny. But there’s often a lot of talk about how to make the most out of your small rooms.
However, I think that in a lot of ways, decorating a very large, cavernous room is far more difficult.
Still, if space is tight–and it often is in large cities where small cramped spaces can be a problem. And some free-standing homes may be lacking in space, as well.
The first thing I’d like to say regarding small rooms is…
Unless a room is insanely small, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Small rooms are cozier and more intimate. But still, we need places to put all our stuff.
I know. I know. It’s a bloody drag. And I know about the konmari book. The only thing I have to say is, it’s better to start doing it before it comes time to downsize. Otherwise, the task can be quite difficult.
Very pretty apartment with a fireplace. Open, but not too open.
MOULDINGS TO MAKE THE CEILING LOOK HIGHER
my living room
We’ve been through this before.
Mirrors are wonderful to expand space AND light. In fact, if you put a mirror directly across from a window, it’s like having two windows.
photo: Bjorn Wallander
What an elegant home! You may notice that it looks like the entire right wall is mirrored.
STORAGE IN HIDDEN PLACES
Hiding the stuff is always a good idea.
DRAPES HUNG HIGH
Yep, we know that one. If you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling, even if the foot-print of the room is not so big, it will give a sense of space.
Yes, it’s a gorgeous room. Great bones! But perfectly done. The upholstered furniture is just the right scale. The tall lamps look perfect because the ceiling is so high.The large scale art adds the right amount of drama. And the light, but large plant adds a note of chic.
PIECES THAT SERVE MULTI-FUNCTIONS
Yeah, we already know that one. But also finding creative ways to find space such as an office that can disappear when necessary.
I love offices that can vanish within minutes. Here, a beautiful vignette emphasizes the room’s height.
But going high can also mean creating storage situations, especially in closets that make use of every bit of space.
I just have to interrupt myself. Anyone notice anything?
Yes, it’s our yummy William McLure lamp. In the first image, it looks like it’s covered with primer before they were sprayed with red lacquer. haha. Very possible!
So much can be done with paint.
photo: Bjorn Wallander
I’ve long admired this bedroom with its chocolate-brown walls. But what is especially wonderful is that she took the color up on the ceiling too. Believe it or not, this is the bedroom of her teen-aged (or he was then) son. Very sophisticated.
The darker paint will lift the ceiling. Even a pale grayed down blue-green will make the ceiling appear to float higher. Here is a good post for ceiling colors.
The entire home is gorgeous! It’s the same one as the dining room at top with the mirrors.
Do you really think that he’s painting on his rug? haha. And with the dog right there? So cute they are! And talented. But William changes his entire decor as frequently as some women change their hair styles. And he paints EVERYTHING. He painted the stripes on the floor. That’s a great room expanding trick.
He painted the stripes on the kitchen floor too!
It was a black and white linoleum floor (see below) before he got his paint brush and tape out.
That’s lovely too!
I understand that he moved a few months ago, so we’ll be seeing a lot more from him, I’m sure.
It may seem counter-intuitive but a large piece of art can make a room feel far more expansive than a couple of dinky pieces. But if doing an art-wall, like the ones below, you can still cover the wall. I really hate it when the art feels to small for the wall or the composition feels too small.
Heather’s style is incredibly charming and she makes the most of her small New York apartment.
I’m sure that for some people this is “busy,” but I think it reads as personal and homey in a sophisticated way.
This mural is only $298.00! It’s nine feet high x twelve feet wide.
I’m seriously thinking about it for my entry and hall. Thinking, I said. :]
An important thing about wallpaper is that the pattern need not be ditsy because the room is small. Larger scale patterns look great in small spaces.
Oops. I see lots of black and blue toes.
That’s better. Sometimes just turning things around can make a huge difference.
Just watch that the art isn’t butting up against the moulding. I would’ve put the bottom piece of art over the chair. I bet they saw that later too. Sometimes things show up in photos that don’t show up in real life, so much.
Uh oh… Great idea, but what happens when someone tries to come through the front door?
“Oh, sorry Aunt Edith, I hope you didn’t burn yourself on the tea that’s now covering your lap.”
Guess, that’s why the chairs are covered with the thick whatever that misshapen thing is. It’s one of those trends that annoys me. Sorry if you feel differently. It’s okay, I’ll still be your friend. :]
This entry is lovely, and I love the Pembroke table. Alas, it’s a little too big for the space. Furniture should not overlap door and window casings. Poor pooch looks like he’s wondering what the milk-bone is going on with these strange folks in the house.
This entry is Goldi-Locks-ready-just-right. Everything in scale and even a little place to hang up a coat and put keys. This is very tiny apartment!
ONE LARGE PIECE OF FURNITURE CAN BE DRAMATIC
Fabulous library in Farrow and Ball Hague Blue. The rest of the house is awesome too!
LEGS ON FURNITURE INSTEAD OF SKIRTS
Lots of examples already on this page.
It keeps things lighter and more airy to have the legs on upholstered pieces. One exception would be if you need a sleep-sofa.
And bench cushions (seat cushions in one piece) are a great alternative to having two cushions on a smaller sofa.
LOOK BEYOND SURFACES FOR SOLUTIONS
It’s a great solution when the night tables are very small. And here, we can see that they are the kind that doesn’t require a box in the wall.
CREATE NICHES FOR SLEEP OR WORK
I love the idea of having a little work space between two beds. It would work out well, I think for a kid’s bedroom too.
Have to say that I think this is immensely charming. It would make a great kid’s bedroom. But another idea that came to me is what if there was a pocket door that could close off the bed and voila, it goes back to being the home office or library when guests aren’t staying over. There could even be a trundle-bed built in. But I do love the storage underneath.
And I found this book on One King’s Lane.
It’s only nine bucks, so might be worth picking up if you need more ideas.
Do you have any great tips for small rooms? Please share! I’m sure that there are many more.