Decorating a small space can be a nightmare. Too much and it looks cluttered. Too little and it looks like nobody lives there or you’re taking the Marie Kondo trend far too seriously (nothing wrong if you are, but if it’s not the look you’re going for, it’s not ideal).
Adding personality to tiny living spaces without looking like you have used the debug cheat mode in The Sims is a challenge. But as with most things in life, it is all about perception, all you have to do is work the right angles.
Draw the eyes up
If fashion is your vibe, you’ll be familiar with the phrase “elongating the neckline”. Low cut dresses with open backs do the trick for humans, but they probably won’t do much for your little lounge. In a tiny space, what does work well is to use empty wall space that’s above the standard eye level. You can also make a wall seem much taller than it is by running your curtains from floor to ceiling – even if your wind starts all the way down in the middle of it. Like we said – perception.
Keep things clutter-free
Yeah, yeah. We know. We keep telling you. We’re not going to go full MK on you, but if you suffer from look at all my things disease, just get some boxes for them at least. You can scatter things around the room like you’re Mary Poppins every morning if you must. But you can’t make a space look bigger by putting more stuff in it.
Double duty your furniture
If you’re really cramped for room, you need to box clever when it comes to furnishing your rooms. Your work-from-home desk might have to be your dining table, too, for example.
Mirrors can be magical. If you’re struggling with natural light in a small space, hang a mirror to reflect some of that light back into the room. If you haven't got the budget for massive mirrors, consider shopping for pre-loved furniture options - or try grouping some smaller ones together. Angling mirrors towards a focal point in a room can also create the illusion of depth. If only that worked for humans too, eh? Don't shy away from placing large mirrors in unconventional places (like behind a couch or bookshelf) either. Live a little.
Light up your life
Fairy lights can add a cozy atmosphere to any room, but they are cluttery (we just made that word up). Use the ceiling space as far as possible for light fixtures – and dot mood lighting only in places where you actually need a mood. Using the ceiling for your light fittings will also help clear up some floor space so you can scatter things around a bit further.
Little and large
The days of matching everything to perfection are long gone. Don’t be afraid of going big with a statement furniture piece in a small space. Just don’t make the rest of the place look like you’re trying to recreate Alice’s Wonderland. In a small space, bigger is often better, though, provided you know how to use it.
Fold it up or tuck it in
Yes, don’t fear the fold. If you are living in a tiny studio apartment, how else are you going to do your daily work-from-home yoga routine in the middle of the room? Folding furniture doesn’t have to be kitsch. Folding chairs or tables are a simple way to make a small space a bit more versatile. Just think of all the scatter space you’ll have if you can fold your furniture away, too. Just be sure it’s an easy enough task and not a daily gym session. If you’re not into playing puzzle pieces with your furniture, try and look for places or pieces of furniture that offer extra bits of space to store things away in. Or under.