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Tips and Ideas for Decorating Small Rooms

Make the Most of Your Small Space with These Rules for Decorating Small Rooms

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In a small room try using a bookshelf that goes all the way to the ceiling and color coordinating the items for a pulled-together look.

flickr.com/Eccentric Scholar

The most important rule when decorating small spaces is to only include items you love. In a small space there's no room for anything that doesn't make you happy. With that in mind, check out these tips for designing a small space.

Use Versatile Furniture

Whenever possible make sure that items have more than one purpose. For example an ottoman that has storage space inside of it can be used as a table, extra seating and as a place to store books, blankets and remotes; a dining room table with drop leaves can also be used as a desk; a daybed covered in pillows is a couch during the day and a bed at night; folding tray tables can be used as side tables and then the bases can be folded up and you've got a couple of serving trays. Always try to find at least two uses for every item.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum

Avoid over-accessorizing when decorating small rooms. While accessories add charm and a personal touch be careful not to overdo it. Instead of having a lamp and a decorative accessory such as a statue on a table, use a sculptural lamp that can serve both purposes. Or try storing small items in decorative boxes that can be displayed on mantels, bookshelves or tables. Again, every item should more than one purpose.

Don't be Afraid of Color

Don't shy away from dark colors or bold patterns. Most people immediately think they should paint with light colors and avoid bold patterns when decorating small rooms, and if that's your style and you want the space to look larger go for it. However, being in a small space isn't a bad thing and making it look bigger doesn't always need to be the goal. Dark colors and punchy patterns won't make your space look bigger, but they can help to create a wonderful lively and dramatic space.

Decorate Vertically

  • Take shelves (or shelving units) all the way to the ceiling. People tend to think only of the amount of floor space, but don't forget that there's space above you as well.
  • Try taking window treatments all the way to the ceiling (if it suits the style). It will help elongate the wall and make it look taller.

Use the Walls to Free Up Floor Space

Instead of using bedside tables try installing a shelf where the tabletop would be. You still get a surface to hold a lamp, book, and whatever else you need, but you free up the space underneath for a stool, bench, or something else. This is also a great way to save space in the entryway. Install a shelf/bracket near the door for putting keys, the mail, and whatnot, and free up the space underneath for shoes, bags, and whatever else you choose.

Hide Storage

When decorating small rooms hide unattractive storage spaces with fabric. If you have ugly filing cabinets or under-table storage that never look organized, find a pretty piece of fabric and place it over top. (Note: don't just let it hang. If you're handy with a sewing machine tailor it to fit properly over the piece. Simply draping it in a loose way can contribute to a cluttered, messy look. In a small space things should be a little more tailored.)

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