Downsizing? Small Works !

I have heard myself saying  to several different new clients within the past 6 months-“Small can be great!”  As one example, you can probably afford the very expensive back splash tile if you are using it in a smaller sized kitchen or bath remodel; and you need less furniture to furnish a smaller great room.

That said, there are tried and true tips that can give you a larger feeling space—mirrors, lighting, clutter control to name 3 top ones.  A guest post about how to make small spaces feel larger is shown below.   The author is from the U.K where overall spaces tend to be smaller than in the United States where the mantra seems to be-bigger is better.

How To Make A Small Living Space Feel Bigger

Whatever your current living situation, if your house, apartment or shared accommodation isn’t quite as palatial as you’d like it to be there are lots of different ways to adapt your space to make it feel bigger.

It is possible to transform the rooms you occupy at home with a few simple tricks of the eye, making them appear lighter, airier and much more spacious. Here are some ways to decorate and organise your home to give the impression of much more space than you might have.

Use Of Mirrors

Whether you place them above the mantelpiece, incorporate them into your wardrobe door or even prop them up against the wall, mirrors can dramatically alter your perception of a room and also help to reflect light, giving a greater sense of space. Entire mirrored walls are often used in bars and restaurants to make them seem twice the size they actually are, so why not emulate this at home?

Image 1
(Image credit: Sam Agnew)

For maximum effect:

  • opt for large mirrors
  • position them opposite windows or doorways where light enters
  • don’t be afraid to have more than one in the room- in fact, the more mirrors the brighter the room!

Pick A Light, Bright Colour Scheme

Dark colours, if on every wall, can have the undesired effect of making small rooms appear even smaller. To maximise every inch of available space, choose from a light colour palette of neutrals and pastels.

Image 2
(Image credit: Mazzali)

There is no need to forgo the dark, bold colours that you love, as these can still look great and add character if used in small doses. Perhaps have a feature wall painted in your accent colour and pick soft furnishings to match.

Choose A Light Floor Colour

Choosing anything other than a light floor colour is certain to highlight the small size of a room by drawing the eye downwards to the exact dimensions of the floor space. Opting for a neutral colour which flows uninterrupted up to walls of a similar colour will open up the space and draw the eye up and out to the rest of the room.

Size Does Matter

Unlike mirrors, which can be as big as you like (in fact the bigger the better!), overly large paintings, ornaments, rugs and pieces of furniture dominate small spaces and serve to highlight the size of a small room. Opt for chairs and tables which aren’t too chunky, those with a lighter ‘footprint’ will take up less floor space.

The size of furniture and decorative items should be in keeping with the size of the room, so buy for the space you have rather than the space you’d like to have!

Hide The Clutter With Clever Storage

Cramming lots of paintings, pictures and ornaments into a small room will only serve to highlight how cramped everything looks. To maintain a calm, unfussy environment keep surfaces as clear as possible by storing all non-decorative items away.

Image 3
(Image credit:

Built in storage will aid in de-cluttering and saving space. Think about incorporating:

  • cabinets built in to alcoves
  • wardrobes built along walls
  • bench seating which contains drawers and storage space

Let There Be Light

Clever lighting can create the illusion of more space by making the most of every square foot available. If you don’t have large or south facing windows then create light with strategically placed lamps and mirrors. One large central light creates a clinical look which leaves corners and other nooks and crannies in shadow. Light such areas with up-lights, spotlights or lamps.

Image 4
(Image credit: Doug)

Make use of other reflective materials, such as glass and metals, to increase light. Why not place lamps upon mirrored trays for maximum light reflection, for example?

Knock through to create an open plan living space

If the structure of your house is such that you occupy a series of small box rooms, the simplest way to transform it into a living space which feels much larger is to knock through adjoining walls.

Image 5
(Image credit: Jeremy Levine)

An open plan living space increases space, adds light and unites the social spaces in your home. Being able to see how large your floor plan actually is and move around it with ease is one of the best ways to make a small space feel larger.

Adopting a less is more approach when it comes to decoration and aiming to maximise available light with neutral colours and reflective surfaces are the best ways to make small rooms appear larger.

About The Author

Hi there, my name is Loren, I love being creative with living spaces. I live in a small but very cosy apartment, I love my creature comforts and I don’t like clutter! I work at, who sell comfy sofas, sofa beds and other bits and bobs.


Small Space Solutions


Bigger is not always better!  Read the guest post below for some inspired ideas on how to live big in small spaces.

5 Inspired Small Space Solutions

If home is a tiny urban studio in London or a bijou apartment overlooking the rooftops of Paris, then space might be an issue for you. Just because you compromise on the size of your home, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style – there are a myriad of inspired, multi-tasking solutions perfect for small spaces, that add a little
je ne sais quoi to any apartment, no matter how tiny! Read on for our 5 inspired small space solutions that you can tailor to suit your needs…

#1 Mezzanines

Mezzanines have been around in Parisian studios for the last century, but lately they’re taking off as a top interior design tip in London apartments too. You’re effectively adding another level into your studio – it’s almost like building a shelf for your bed. You don’t have to use your mezzanine as a sleeping space; it could be for dining or as a home study, if you’re a freelancer. Get creative and add glass or Perspex mezzanines with lighting for a cool, contemporary feel, and choose from a traditional ladder or a more permanent inbuilt staircase. This not only adds space to your apartment, but lifts clutter and furniture away from the floor area for a lighter, roomier feel.

Mezzanines -

#2 Multi-tasking furniture

You’ll remember them from the bedroom of your youth, when they were a single bunk bed with a desk or sofa underneath, but things have moved on since then. Designer, contemporary furniture which serves a variety of purposes can be custom made to suit your studio – imagine a mezzanine bed with inbuilt wardrobe and desk underneath – the perfect work and relaxation combination. Make your furniture work harder by choosing pieces with a dual purpose – a wooden coffee table with storage drawers, a bed with divan storage or a table that doubles as a handy chest for linen. These little space saving ideas mean even the tiniest flat will be free of clutter and look fresh and appealing.

#3 Crate Storage

Take a tip from the commercial interior design experts and use reclaimed crates as storage – this adds a rustic and industrial feel to any apartment, and you can paint or stain crates to match your existing décor. There are even companies who sell crates already refurbished in a range of delectable pastel hues that will look as at home in a Paris apartment as they will in London or New York. Use smaller crates to stash toiletries and knick knacks, while larger crates are ideal for books, DVDs or bedding. Make an interesting feature in your living space by stacking a few different coloured crates.

#4 Drawer Stairs

You might be thinking, ‘What?’ when you hear the next truly inspired design idea – stairs which double up as handy drawers! When you consider the space beneath stairs is usually empty, why not utilise that space to store clothes and other belongings? In a tiny studio apartment, you need to make the most of any available space and this unique idea will certainly be a conversation starter.

Drawer Stairs -

# 5 Circular Kitchens

Compact Concepts’ Circular Kitchen is a unique and eye catching kitchen that is, you guessed it, circular! Fitting as much as possible into a tiny space, this bijou yet fully functional little kitchen features electric hobs, a fridge, microwave, sink and dishwasher as well as the usual cabinets and worktops. Available in a range of finishes, the funky red gloss choice peps up any bland and boring studio.

Circular Kitchen -


Author Bio


David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, art and culture. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter