When decorating small rooms it is important to remember that light, neutral colours give the illusion of openness and space, where dark
colours have the opposite effect.
A small room can be “opened up” by painting walls a neutral warm shade, or alternatively a very pale blue or green. Ceilings must be white
so that natural light and artificial light can bounce off rather than be swallowed up.
Leave cornices and door frames white to give a fresh, crisp feel to the palette.
Another great trick to open up a space is the use of mirrors. Hang one large mirror at eye level to give the illusion of the room having more depth, or place a grouping of mirrors in a variation of frames to create an interesting focal point while still creating the same illusion of
When selecting furniture, ensure the pieces are in scale to the room, and try to opt for pieces that do not have solid bases – so a sofa with legs in a lounge, or a divan instead of a solid bed base in the bedroom. Having furniture pieces that are slightly raised off the floor will open up the second biggest area in the room – the floor. Again, stay with neutral fabrics and coverings.
Glass topped tables are a better option than solid tops, especially for dining tables and coffee tables in those small rooms.
Window dressing can also make a small room appear larger by hanging curtain rods close to the ceiling, rather than just above the window lintel. And use a curtain rod that extends from wall to wall if possible – this will also open up the room and create an illusion of longer walls and bigger windows.
Place furniture as close to the walls as possible to keep walkways free and the floor open.
Flooring must also be light and bear in mind that an area rug, although a nice decorative touch, will immediately draw attention to the small area of the floor.
If a carpet or rug is needed in a room with a tiled floor, then opt for a light, neutral rug that is big enough that it does not look like a little island in the middle of your floor.
Colour can be brought in with elements like scatter cushions, lamp shades and décor accessories. Be careful not to clutter the room with objects d’art, but rather have 2 or 3 focal points of interest. Clutter creates crowding and crowding creates a cramped style.
Lighting is often a design element that goes unnoticed, and where it is practical to have just a ceiling fixture, this does nothing to create ambiance. Rather use table lamps or floor lamps and have 2 lamps burning in place of the ceiling light.
Any small room can be tricked into appearing larger than it really is. Just remember to stay neutral and light.