If there’s one thing that makes living in a small house or flat irritating, it’s trying to decorate. Almost all the guides you find are designed for rooms twice the size of yours, so you might be worried that you’re confined to a minimalist aesthetic in order to avoid feeling cramped. Don’t worry though – with the recent trend of tiny houses, there’s a bunch of advice out there, and we’ve compiled some of our favourite tips right here.
Mirrors are an absolute life-saver when it comes to making a small living room feel more spacious. Rather than getting a stand-alone mirror, invest in some that you can either hang or stick to the walls. There’s a whole variety of ways you can use mirrors – from having a wall-wide strip opposite a window, to lots of tiny circular ones creating bubble-like patterns around a desk. Just be aware that the more mirrors you add, the more cleaning you might have to do.
Combine Your Storage and Your Surfaces
If you’re looking to get a coffee table, why not get one that doubles up as a storage space? Same with footstools or other surfaces, the other way round works too – if you’re looking into getting a set of shelves, get one that can double-up as a usable surface. Not only does this mean you’re getting extra value out of your furniture, but it’ll help keep your living room free of all that clutter you’ve been meaning to sort out for a while.
Go With Light Colours
This isn’t a definite rule, but in general, darker colours will make a space feel smaller. If you’re really sure you want to go dark, try restricting it to one wall, or using a dark colour as a highlight/pattern rather than block colours. One nice solution to this can be to get bright or dark furniture, with lighter, pastel colours on the walls. Of course, if you’re adamant on having darker colours it can work – you might just have to be a bit more careful with some of the other decorating elements!
Having huge curtains can really eat into the space available in a room, so have a think about whether you really need them. Instead, go for a set of blinds – or maybe just paste fabric straight onto the windows themselves with cornstarch. This has the added advantage of keeping the room light – a huge factor in how small it can feel. You could even leave them bare, depending on how confident you’re feeling.
Having fold-out furniture is one of the best ways to save on space. Whilst not all furniture can be made to work this way, you’d be surprised at what can. One of the key places to start is with tables – do they need to be out all the time? If not, get one that folds away when not in use. Additional guest chairs could be foldable too, or perhaps you may choose to just rely on cushions. Either way – the more things you can fold away to one side, the more space you’ll leave yourself.
When buying new furniture, take measurements and mark it out in masking tape on your floor. Do you really need a three seater sofa, or would a smaller two seater do the job? Rethinking your usual purchases when it comes to size can leave you with a lot more space than you thought you had. Take advantage of unusual shapes too – if you really do want a large sofa, why not get a corner suite so that it doesn’t take up as much of the room? Instead of having free-standing lights, get wall-hanging ones to reduce the clutter on the floor. It can take a while to get the hang of thinking like this, but it’s definitely worthwhile.
Not quite a decorating tip, but one that will make a lot of difference. Having large amounts of clutter will fill up your living room incredibly fast, so make the effort to keep things neat and tidy. Even if this simply means shoving them all in your coffee table with no particular order, they’ll at least be off the floor and out of the way. You don’t have to be minimalist to have a spacious small room, but being tidy certainly helps.
By Daniel Lewis and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!