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Decorating to make small bigger

Small space decorating is always a hot topic. Smaller homes, apartments, and villas all offer unique challenges: will the furniture fit, which colours should be used, and how can a space be multi-functional yet still beautiful?

Some people live in a small apartment because that’s what they can afford, while others choose it because they’re tired of taking care of a larger place and want to ‘downsize’. Others just don’t want a large home.

But no matter what your reason for living in a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get really organised, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.

If you’re looking for a cosy, intimate space, you’re in luck. By using soft, snuggly upholstered pieces, dark, warm tones, and dramatic lighting, your tiny corner can become a wonderful private space.

But if you feel the need to stretch out in your small space, you can make some decorating changes to make the area look and feel larger without moving any walls! With colour, furniture arrangements and creative lighting, your space won’t feel so cramped.

See if some of our tips will work for your small space.

* Clear Out the Clutter
There’s nothing that makes a small space feel cramped more than too much stuff. Consider organising collections so that they can be rotated: display a few related items on a shelf while the rest are stored away in a cupboard. After a few months, swap them out for a new, fresh look.

* Open the Way
When furniture and accessories are blocking the view into a room or to open spaces, the room will look cramped. By moving furniture away from walkways, you’ll open up the area and make it feel more spacious. Choose shorter pieces of furniture like an ottoman, an armless chair, or a low table, and place large, tall pieces along a wall rather than out in the open space. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger.

* Celebrate the Height
Place one or two tall objects such as a floor lamp, Sansavera or Parlour Palm in a corner, to draw the eye upwards into empty space.

* Choose Soft, Light Hues
Darker, warm colours make a space feel cosy and intimate, whereas light, cool colours make a space feel open and airy. For optimum effect, select soft tones of blues and greens.

* Use a Monochromatic Colour Scheme
Choose colours that are in the same colour family and use tone-on-tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes, delicate tonal drapery fabrics. Cool hues and delicate warm tones on most surfaces give the room a more open look.

* Coordinate Wall and Furniture Colours
Contrasting colours tend to break up a space. Pieces of furniture will be less visually interrupting and blend with the space if they match the wall colour (without being monotone).

* Let in the Light
Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space. Add more lamps or install track or recessed lighting.

* See-Through Space
By reducing doors and walls, or using materials that can be seen through, a space will always gain depth. In a tiny bathroom, replace an opaque shower enclosure or curtain with a clear, frameless one. Likewise, consider removing a wall (or part of) between the kitchen and dining or living rooms to gain light and space. You could also use glass or lucite for tabletops. With a sturdy base of wood, stone, or metal, the space around the table will open up the view beyond.

* Reflective Surfaces
Hang a mirror near a window or other light source, or stand an oversized framed mirror against a wall. The space and the light will be reflected for a more open feeling. Top a coffee table or side table with a piece of bevelled plate mirror for the same effect.

* Bigger Can Be Better!
Use a few large, simple pieces of furniture or accessories in place of several smaller pieces which would make a small space look cluttered. With open space and large blocks of colour, the room will appear to be more calm and comfortable.

* Keep Upholstery Plain
Select plain-coloured upholstery for furniture instead of bold plaids, stripes, or prints. Use texture for interest and stick to neutral tones if you can, then add colour and contrast with cushions and throw rugs.

* Airy, Light Fabrics
Sheer fabrics allow light to pass through window treatments, and furniture slipcovers. If you want something other than plain colours, find soft floral vines or simple stripes to keep the look simple.

By following some of these simple rules about decorating a small space, your home will feel comfortable, not cramped. You’ll have an intimate space that suits all your needs.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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