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Kimberly Blackford  by Kimberly Blackford

You’ve just moved into your new home. Although it’s not as big as you may have wanted, looking around it looks pretty good. The spaces seem open and airy, but that’s without furniture and accessories in there! Suddenly you realize that this charming and quaint home is a little short on true square footage. These tiny spaces need not be depressing. There are ways to “size up” these small spaces in your home and make guests never even notice the true deficit of space that surrounds them.

ottoman with tray on top

One way to take eyes off the obvious space shortage is to use a “more is more” attitude. Find ways to layer the rooms in your home whether with different colors, textures or patterns. Try using stacking tables that nest under each other. Slip ottomans partially under coffee tables or use an ottoman as an actual coffee table with a tray on top of it. The ottoman becomes multi-functional by acting as extra seating or as a table. Layering not only adds interest to your eyes, but it becomes multi-functional.

Another great furniture trick is to consider decorating with vintage furniture. Vintage furniture typically tends to be smaller in scale. For instance, sofas of yesteryear were often only two feet deep instead of the standard three feet deep size of today’s couches. You gain a foot of space and keep plenty of seating within the room. Another visual trick to keep in mind is that any larger piece of furniture that is arranged in the room should remain neutral or unpatterned so that the object doesn’t overcome the small space. Solid colors and pattern choices will create a serene backdrop to the playful accessories that can liven up the surroundings.


cozy living room with hardwood floors


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Another way to broaden the appearance of an interior space is to keep flooring uniform. So, if you want carpet make sure it is “wall to wall.” And, if wood flooring is your thing, try to stay away from an area rug so the flooring expands the entire length of the room.

Another cool way to make a room seem bigger is to visually find ways to make the room seem taller. If you have a couple of standard sized windows on one wall, why not have the drapery pole mounted where the wall and ceiling meet? Taking the draperies from the ceiling to the floor make the windows seem larger than life instead of your average size. This trick can also work in a bathroom with the shower curtain as well. Mount the pole right at ceiling height for added drama and heightened style.

Artwork when hung in the right way can also draw the eye upward just like the draperies mentioned above. Stack artwork on top of one another and take it higher than you normally would and suddenly guests’ eyes will take in much more of the room.

If your small home contains several nooks and crannies that seem basically useless, try painting the space a dramatic color, mount a shelf and display a contrasting vase or hang a painting that will stand out against the interesting wall color choice. Once again, a useless space is transformed into a stunning focal point that normally would be ignored by everyone. This tiny space now has become a big decorating moment within your home.


color coordinated books in bookcase


Also, if you need bookcases and shelves for storage in your small home and you need them to actually house books and items rather than remain half-empty and used for decorating purposes only, why not arrange the items in a way that makes it more artistic? For example, if you have a large book collection, then organize all the books on your shelves by color, so suddenly the colors of the books come alive and add a colorful and playful element to the space. Try this and you will see that an entire grouping of red spine books will make a bold statement when placed all together as opposed to scattered about in a more reckless fashion.

vintage tray with watches and perfume

If the bedroom is very small or doesn’t include much storage, then find a beautiful tray and arrange items such as pins, jewelry or perfumes perhaps so that they become a decorating element. Remember however, this is meant to be a display of collectibles rather than a drop zone for items you don’t know where to store. So, choose the items sparingly to be displayed here and make them become a work of art in a way. Plus, by having these possibly overlooked items from your wardrobe within sight, chances are, you will wear them more often!  

Another great idea is to take a look around and see if a room offers an unconventional use. Maybe you aren’t a breakfast person, let alone someone who cooks very often. If this were the case, perhaps forgoing a predictable breakfast table just steps from the kitchen for a high function home office would suit your needs better. Just because something is supposed to be in a space doesn’t mean it has to be.

Using some of these hints inside your quaint and charming abode not only adds great function and style, but it will create an element of surprise that is bound to be loaded with your own personality. Function and small spaces don’t have to be boring, so try these ideas and create a small home packed with big time style.


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