If you've got a small space but want to maximize the design, this one is for you! No matter what size your room is, there are some tried and true, fool-proof tips you can use to help your space feel larger and brighter.
Find Furniture That Fits
Often times people have sofas or chairs that are much too large for their space, dwarfing everything around them (coffee table, side tables, lamps, pillows, etc.). This common design mistake can make the entire room look small and crammed. Opting for a smaller sofa that is on scale with the room will actually make the room appear larger.
Here are some things to consider as you shop:
- A neutral sofa will make the space feel larger, and still allow you to bring in color through other elements; or you opt for a statement sofa, using toned down accessories to balance the overall look
- Find furniture with legs (as opposed to furniture that is flush to the ground). This will let more light in and make the room feel airier
- The sofa should be about 18" from the coffee table, and there should be about 7 ft. between sofa and TV - this should give enough space to move around and set the structure to add extra seating
- Try a low back sofa if you have short ceilings, or tall back for higher ceilings
- Using tape, mark off the size of the sofa on your floor to get a better sense of size before ordering
- Double check that it will fit through your door, elevator, stairwell, etc.
Brighten with Paint
Sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint to brighten up a room. We've all seen what we like to call "renter's beige" paint, that drab neutral tan color used in most apartments and rented spaces. Modern and clean, a white shade helps create a minimal and chic backdrop. Lighten things up with one of our favorite white (but not too white) Benjamin Moore shades:
1. Simply White
2. Swiss Coffee
3. White Diamond
4. Decorator's White
5. Paper White
Or if you've got a wild side, try a hint of color or a large scale wallpaper pattern that works within your desired palette as an accent wall. Be sure to bring in enough neutrals to tone it down!
Keep it Cohesive
Bringing in too many colors can be really tough to look at and can overwhelm a small space. Finding a color palette that is 3-4 colors will make the room feel cohesive and balanced. Shades of blue with black and white accents, neutrals with rose gold and green, for example. If the room connects to a hallway or another room, keep them all within the same family of hues so they blend seamlessly from one to the other.
Add Height with Curtains
Hanging curtains high creates the illusion that your walls are taller (See our E-Design Before/After as an example). This is an easy change that can make a huge difference. Adding height to the room with curtains creates more drama and can make your curtains more of a statement piece. Be sure to look for a curtain rod that will easily support the weight of longer curtains.
Bounce Light with Mirrors
Strategically placing a mirror opposite a window will pick up the light and bounce it around the room. Don't be afraid to play with different shapes and sizes, just be sure the mirror compliments the space. We love the trend of making a space pop by incorporating a super-sized mirror (like the one above). Another design trick is to bring a mirror (or grouping of mirrors) into an unexpected place in the room, creating the illusion that a space is much larger than it actually is.
Incorporate Multi-Functional Pieces
Finding furniture that can serve double duty is a smart way to gain extra space. There are so many options now, you won't have to compromise on style. Whether it's a side table with drawers, a coffee table that can also function as seating, or a storage bench to hide the clutter, this will help keep your area clean. Keeping clutter out of sight and furniture at a minimum is the easiest way to make your space appear larger.
Draw the Eyes Up
Just like with high hung curtains, you can create height in a room with the use of a gallery wall. Try grouping multiple pieces of art in a similar color palette. While we typically recommend hanging art 57" on center, a gallery wall allows you the opportunity to play around with height. Your goal here is to keep the eyes moving vertically up the wall.