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Small Home, Big Ideas to Max Your Space

Small spaces are challenges to those of us with big design and decor appetites. How can we possibly fit all of those lovelies into a size-challenged home?

Including all of our design bliss-makers can happen; but it needs to be super strategic. And we need to raise the bar on the joy-making ability of each object. If you have a large space, you would be able to include 5s and 6s on of the bliss-o-matic meter in interior decor joy. But for a tiny space, it has to rank at least an 8 or 9. Let go of those decor gems that don’t quite measure an 8. They may rank a 10 to someone else. And you’ve just allowed your treasure to meet its decor-loving soul mate.

After you’ve edited your decor collection, it is time to make sure that space is as special as you imagine in can become. Here are a few tips to making that small space feel more stylish and inspiring.

Colour calmers. Colour is huge in making a space feel big, small, grand or mellow. Keeping the colour palette in a calm one-tone will keep the space feeling expansive and open. The bonus is using that same calm colour for wall paint, ceiling paint, wall treatments with a sofa and floor that’s close in colour. This colour trick is the same in your home as in your fashion. It’s just like when you wear a shoe with an ankle strap. You’ve just made your leg line shorter.

Natural neutrals. Nature makes most everyone feel a sense of calm and expansiveness. So introducing natural woods and other textures into your small space will help provide that psychological connection to how we feel outside in nature.

Open Storage. Storage is a tricky topic when it comes to a small space. Use floating shelves for storage, but selectively. A floating shelf eliminates the need for floor space, and it allows more ‘air’ around the materials. This promotes expansive feelings. However, any cluttered shelf, whether floating or standing, will not help the ‘big style in a small space’ mission. Curate objects with size, colour, and bliss in mind. Keeping colour and size similar, you’ll immediately create a point of view that is sophisticated. The biggest tip: Make sure there is plenty of empty space so each object, whether functional or fun, is not crowded. A crowd makes any space feel small.

Secret Storage. Hidden storage is like a special treat. When furniture can multi-function with little cubbies for those useful, but not everyday items, it is a huge space saver.

Go big. One of the biggest misses in a small space is keeping the scale small. Small sofa, small table, small lamp, small plants, small everything. When there are so many little things, there’s no place for our eyes to land. So as a guest, we are scanning and scanning and scanning your room. We aren’t quite sure what to visually land on. This creates a sense of busy that is not helping the big style in a small space goal. So allow yourself to have a giant painting behind the sofa, or do a giant potted plant or have a gorgeous vintage mirror. Select an element that uses little square footage, but has a dominant verticality element to it. And, it’s OK to do more than one big statement. Just keep it to a few.

Get small. So this seems contrary to the go big advice from above, but it’s the ying-yang of design. After you’ve settled on a power statement piece or two, then fill in with the small space-saving pieces. Small-scale furniture that is made with lighter-looking materials, like glass, metal, wood, can all help decrease the feeling of a small space. Furniture that has ‘air’ and open legs and arms helps, too. The more open space, the bigger it will feel.