I live in a small home and decorating can be a challenge. The biggest challenge is keeping the small space from seeming cluttered and claustrophobic (it doesn’t always work). Here are a few ideas that I use to try to keep my small home cozy and welcoming.
Less is More
When you’re short on space, you already know that you don’t have room for a lot of stuff. Keep this principle in mind at all times. Choose every decorative item carefully and make sure you love it. When you don’t have a lot of room you have to pick and choose what to add to the decor, so make sure it’s something you’re really crazy about.
Remember that open, cleared spaces are more appealing and comforting to the eye than a lot of items cluttering a space. In the kitchen, clear off countertops. Even a pile of dirty dishes in the sink aren’t as noticeable when the surrounding counters are cleared.
When it comes to furniture in a small space, look for smaller scale furniture. I had a large, gorgeous wooden roll top computer desk in my living room but it was so big that it dwarfed the room. When I really thought about it, I didn’t need it, even though I liked it. When I downsized to a small computer desk, I was amazed at the difference in the feel of the room. It no longer felt claustrophobic or overwhelming due to the desk.
Choose furniture that is functional but not heavy or large. I have found that lighter colors help brighten a small room and give an appearance of more space.
The principle of “less is more” also applies to wall decorations. Sure, I grew up in a family that believed in displaying huge groupings of family photos on the walls. While it’s great to show off family pride, in a small space it is way too busy. Opt for deliberate groupings on walls. A large wall hanging by itself on a wall makes more of a statement than several small items.
Hang a large mirror on one wall to give the appearance of depth and reflect light into the room. This is a great decorating tool that I have found for a small space.
Lighter colors can brighten and lighten a small room and give the appearance of space–unless you want the room to feel small and cozy. For small and cozy, dark colors can create that in a small room.
Use Decorative Storage
When it comes to clearing away clutter, get creative with storage. Decorative storage containers (pretty trunks, decorated hat boxes, attractive luggage, ottomans) can double as end tables, coffee tables or foot stools while keeping items out of sight.