Small Dwelling Suggestions & Methods to Look Greater!

If you have a small home, it doesn’t mean that you cannot achieve a wonderful, beautiful and comfortable space! It’s true that designing a small space is all about visual manipulation and we need to be very clever to take advantage of every inch. Here, we want to share with you tips and ideas to trick your mind to perceive a small space as a larger one!

COLOR PALETTES

The best way to start with a small home is with your wall color. Using light colors, specially white and pastels, in small spaces is a very popular choice . That’s because a room with light colors feels bigger and brighter because the surfaces can reflect more light, making walls appear to recede, creating a bright feel. 

Consider whites, light grays, light blues, greens, blush, or pink. It’s true that white and light colors are the obvious choice but it isn’t the only option. If you have enough natural lighting and you feel that a darker tone goes more with your personality and the style of your space, keep in mind the following considerations:

1. Stick to a cohesive color scheme.

2. Avoid using different or high contrasting colors on your walls because your eyes stop at the line where the color changes and it will create boundaries in the small home that will make you perceive it in divided parts and not as a unity. This makes the edges and, therefore, the size of the room, more apparent. You will see the boundaries and the limits in a clear and obvious way, emphasizing the size of the room.

(If you’re opting for a deep color and the trim is white or another light color, the eye notices the borders of the space. If the room is small, this will accentuate the feeling of enclosure. However, if the trim does not stand out because it’s painted a deeper color as well, the eye does not stop at the edges or borders but continues around the room. Because the eye doesn’t register the borders, the space feels like it continues on, so it feels more expansive)

3. Use tints and shades in one color family because it makes small spaces feel and look elegant and spacious. Using the same color family  is another great way to not see boundaries and the space seems to continue.

4. Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, making it appear even smaller than it is. Pieces of furniture that match the wall color are less jarring and tend to blend with the space, giving the illusion of a bigger room.

If you want to learn more about colors, check out our guide right here!

FURNITURE

In a small space, you should stick to simple and light objects to avoid crowding the space with too much information. Let’s see some tips for selecting furniture for small spaces:

1. Choose your furniture with a lighter feel and keep colors and patterns simple.

2. Use a few large, simple pieces of furniture or accessories instead of several smaller pieces, which makes a small space look cluttered.

3. Be careful with the scale of the furniture, it’s very important to maintain the proportions between your sofa and your space.

4. Select furniture with legs because it feels less heavy in a small home than pieces that sit directly on the floor. Since the leggy furniture doesn’t obstruct views of the floor your brain will perceive the real dimension of the space. Also Floating furniture are light and airy and don’t weigh down the space.

5. Another great idea is to choose furniture that you can see through. Glass tables and shelving, bookcases without sides and acrylic chairs can feel as if they take up less space. The fact is that they don’t obstruct your line of vision, allowing you to take in the entire room without having to look around or over something.

(If you use transparent objects, your eyes will view more of the space and trick your mind into thinking it’s bigger than what it really is)

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6. Another great tip and a must have in a small home is to choose furniture that serve multiple purposes, this way you can adapt your spaces to many situations depending on the activity. Think about purchasing a coffee table or an ottoman with hidden storage, a hidden table, an ottoman that serves a coffee table and so on.

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TRICK YOUR MIND!

Designing small spaces is all about tricking the eye to believe that the space is much larger. It is all about visual manipulation!
Let’s see some very easy recommendations to incorporate into the space, but they can make a huge difference:

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Curtains:

In a small space we need to think vertical! To take advantage of that vertical space, accentuate tall windows with high curtains. Also, choose the same color or a similar tone for your curtains as you have on your walls. This way, the curtains will blend into the walls rather than intruding on the space available and making your living room look smaller.

Stripes:

While many patterns can make a space look smaller, there’s one exception to the rule: stripes. In fact, stripes make spaces look larger, so if you’re decorating a small room, opt for striped curtains or a striped rug to maximize its visual space and to accentuate perspective and depth to the room. Just like vertical stripes on clothing, a striped rug will make your room appear longer. Position the stripes to be directed to the length of the room that is the longest for optimal effect.

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Mirrors:

Decorating a small home is all about visual manipulation so use mirrors to give the illusion of expansion. Placing a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoors is especially effective. Mirrors on the walls and glass tabletops will give your room a more open feel. 

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The best place for a mirror is opposite to a window, so that it reflects as much light as possible without many elements that can saturate said illusion.

Transparent objects:

Translucent pieces are key in a small home because your eyes will view more of the space and trick your mind into thinking it’s bigger than what it really is. Incorporate glass coffee tables, translucent vases, chairs, console, side tables, shelves or any other kind of furniture or accessories. 

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Patterns & scale:

Unfortunately Patterned rugs and furniture can also make a space feel smaller. If you want to make a room feel larger and more visually cohesive, stick to a single accent piece per room. Go for fabrics and rugs in small prints or plain colors to maintain the proportion between elements and to avoid cluttering the space in your small home.

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Leave negative space:

The distance between pieces of furniture and between furniture and the walls adds to the sense of spaciousness. To get an airy effect in a small home, avoid having too many pieces of furniture positioned right up against the wall and avoid cluttering the space with too many furniture pieces. Let the space flow!

Cut the clutter:

Keep your room tidy and organized. There’s nothing that makes a small home feel smaller more than having too much stuff. With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open. Hidden and clever storage is the best friend of your small space.Keep the floor as clear as possible. This is one of the most important ways to maintain a sense of spaciousness.

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Display large-scale art:

Don’t cover your walls with a lot of pictures. One large painting works better than a group of small paintings. If there’s too much going on, all clamoring for attention, it can make the room feel busy and crowded.

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Zahira Cury
Zahira Cury
Zahira Cury is an Architect, Interior and Lighting Designer, stylist, founder and creative director of D.Signers Group. She earned a master in "Lighting Design and Led Technology" in "Politecnico di Milano" in Italy and throughout her love of architecture and interior design, she decided to create the D.Signers instagram to share extraordinary spaces and inspire worldwide.

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