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Interior Design for Small Spaces

Updated on September 8, 2011

Interior design for small spaces can be difficult, to say the least! There are several challenges that need to be addressed if a design is to be successful and livable. The following are merely some ideas to try when designing on a limited scale.

Consider color

The first step in planning your small space should be deciding on colors. There are two schools of thought on wall color. One is that lighter colors make the room feel brighter which helps a small room retain its cozy atmosphere. The other viewpoint is that rich, dark colors can make the room feel larger because of how our eyes perceive color.

I am of the first school of thought. Consider using lighter colors, especially on the windows, to let natural light enter the room. Dark colors in a small space can be difficult to work with and may make your room look like a cave.

But to each their own! It is your design and your choice. Have fun with it!

Keeping decorations at a minimum prevents a cluttered feel.
Keeping decorations at a minimum prevents a cluttered feel. | Source

Cut out the clutter

Having too many decorations, books or personal items within view can add up to one big messy-looking clutter in a hurry. It's best to address this problem immediately:

  • If it isn't necessary, get rid of it. Is there any way that collection of knick-knacks can go in the larger front room? Do you really need every seashell you've ever picked up on your nightstand? Move little items out as much as possible until you are down to the necessaries.
  • Group like items. If you keep similar items together, they will make a larger statement and look less messy.
  • Use containers for odds and ends. You may need to house CDs, cords, etc. in the small space. Having nice-looking containers (such as baskets) will be easy on the eye. Plus, an added bonus is you are more likely to remember where you put things!

Using a closet as a nook for the desk saves space.
Using a closet as a nook for the desk saves space. | Source

Be creative with furniture placement

It might be an old idea now, but a closet makes an excellent nook for a desk when the doors are removed. The room pictured had very little floor space, but three closets! One was altered to be an office nook which helped open space in the front room.

You could also try angling the furniture in different ways to see how that impacts the feel of your room. Also, sometimes pulling the furniture away from the wall can help make a room feel composed while still roomy.

Use your vertical space

There is quite a bit of usable space if you think vertically. Tall shelves provide extra room for necessaries. Wall space above a closet can make an interesting spot for quirky art.

Additionally, if you think about leaving some space unused, you will let your room breathe and give it a relaxed, airy feeling.

Have fun!

Most importantly, have fun with your design! If things aren't working the way you planned, don't be afraid to try something new and different. If you are patient with yourself and the process, you are sure to come out with the best possible design for your small space.


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    • myawn profile image


      5 years ago from Florida

      i live in a house rent a bedroom nice tips

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      this is great - voted up useful and interesting. good advice here.

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi amazingchild,

      I TOTALLY relate to this hub as my husband and I live in a 1-bed condo and, for us, it's the perfect space. We live by a general rule that we do not accumulate "stuff" and if we haven't used something for 12 months then we donate it. We are lucky to have tall ceilings so can make the best use of our vertical space for extra storage.

      Loved the hub, voted up!



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