Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Small Space, Big Design

I often hear friends and clients say they don't want to hire a designer for their small living room, or guest bath because of it's small size in comparison to the remaining rooms in the house. However, designing a small space is equally as challenging as designing a large open space.

Many homeowners don't know where to begin and find themselves buying the wrong furniture or artwork, or whatever it may be. And they are left scratching their head trying to figure out where they went wrong...the space either feels too cluttered or like the furniture just doesn't fit.

Trust me, it certainly takes practice, skill and a little leap of faith to design a small room. Just because it's small, doesn't mean that it can't be stylish, functional and serve a useful purpose!

+1 Kindesign posted 51 Inspiring small living rooms using available space. Be sure to check it out. The photos you will see will just about prove that everything you were doing to decorate your small room is all wrong! These beautifully designed rooms use all available space without making you feel claustrophobic!

Here are a few tips I like to keep in mind when designing a smaller room for my clients.

Embrace the space!
While your room may be small, it does have it's benefits too...I won't begin to mention the cost savings in heating, lighting etc. What I'm talking about is it's coziness. A room full of intimacy and charm.

Think about how you will use the space.
It's always best to plan ahead, especially in this case. Think about the functionality of the room before you begin your design. How are you going to use the space? Do you need seating areas, or is it a small bedroom? Do you need storage? If so, how much?

Furniture and Lighting.
You don't need to buy mini pieces because you are designing a mini space. But you do need to make sure your furniture is appropriately compact and that it 100% serves the function you need it to. Think of pieces that can perform double duty, like an ottoman that can also be storage. And clear furniture (i.e. coffee table) can work wonders! I used a clear table in this small cottage and I think it looks fabulous!

As for lighting....think lots of it! In a small room you really need to maximize the lighting because shadows and dark corners can work against you and make the space feel smaller. Think of multiple light sources and lots of lamps!

Paint and Color:
Don't be afraid to be "loud and proud"! Often times clients hesitate to use a bold color in a small space, but I say "Go for it!" As long as there is unity in your color scheme, a high impact color can work well. Use a glossy finish so that the light will reflect off the walls. Artwork is another way to add a statement. I tell clients that "bigger, is most often better when it comes to artwork" It will actually make the space feel bigger, where smaller pieces have the opposite effect and will tend to make your space feel smaller.

Wallpaper is another great way to make an impact and trick the eye into thinking the space is much larger than you think!

If you need more inspiration check out this post from +Style Motivation with great ideas for small bedrooms! Click here! They also did a great piece on functional and creative design for small apartments

You can also see some more of my design work for small spaces on Pinterest!

And remember small space CAN mean big design!

Until next week,


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