Sep 5, 2014

Decorating a small space can be a big challenge. When spatial limitations have a huge impact on what you can and can't have in your home, it's easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed. Can you really use furnishings, paint, and lighting to create the illusion of size? And, more importantly, how can you incorporate your stuff, style, and self into your decor if your primary concern is saving space? Fear not cozy cave dwellers, we've got six quick tips to help you create a small space you'll really love. Whether you're moving into your first off-campus apartment, downsizing, or just looking to improve the little space you already occupy, these ideas will help you maximize your square footage and make less look like more.

1. Strategy - Be smart about the way you use your space. Go vertical where you can, opting for tall over wide bookshelves, end or side tables, and dressers. Hang pictures and curtains higher than you normally would to draw focus up. But remember not to let things get too cluttered.

2. Color - Living in a small home doesn't mean that you have to give up on bright color entirely. Everything doesn't have to be white or beige, but it should be monochromatic. Using a consistent color scheme is easy for the eyes to take in and makes your space look more expansive. Frequent changes in color interrupt the way we look at our surroundings and make spaces seem smaller by dividing them. You can incorporate some pops of color into your theme, but try and limit their frequency.

Image via The 36th Avenue

3. Transparency - Get creative when it comes to organizing your things. If you use floating shelves instead of a standard bookshelf, it can add depth and a sense of space. Traditional shelving can be bulky, but floating shelves let you see the floor, which makes the room seem larger.

Image via VintageRevivals

4. Versatility - Choose furniture that can be used differently depending on the situation, like pullout couches and folding tables. Don't get a dining room table and a desk; get a dining room table that doubles as a desk. Having a fluid space ultimately translates to having more space.

5. Mirrors - This is an old trick, but that doesn't make it less effective. Mirrors make your space look twice as big by reflecting it. Use them to your advantage wherever you can.

Image via House & Home

6. Lighting - Shadows are the enemy of a small space. They highlight the actual size of the room and draw attention to the large objects within it. Make sure to get the lighting you need so that your home is bright, no matter where the sun is.

Image via House & Home

Are you facing a design challenge? The experts at Marketplace Events home shows are there to give you the advice, inspiration, and tips you need to solve your decorating dilemmas. Grab tickets to the show nearest you (US shows & Canadian shows), and make your dream home a reality.