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6 Decorating Mistakes That Will Make Your Space Even Smaller

By on Apr 21, 2016
6 Decorating Mistakes That Will Make Your Space Even Smaller

We all have those areas in our homes that we don’t know what to do with due to their size and shape, but we make the best of it. What if a few simple changes could make the room visually look bigger and more inviting?

I’m a firm believer that no room is too small to be enjoyed. A small bedroom could be turned into a relaxing retreat in your home simply by utilizing all aspects of the space. A fresh coat of paint or lighting addition can make a small living room into your favorite place. Here are a few small room design mistakes you could be making and ideas to solve them.

1. Unorganized Space

One of the most frequent mistakes people make with a small room is to fill it with your belongings without a plan in place. Suddenly, it’s overrun with knick-knacks and things you just didn’t have a place for. The key to making any room look instantly bigger is by decluttering.

Take time to organize and leave only items that need to be there. Invest in stylish organizers and look for places in the room that could act as hidden storage. Under the bed is an easy solution, but have you considered other furniture that may keep hide-away space? Unused or oddly shaped walls may work well to hang decorative storage baskets to keep clutter off the ground. These baskets can store craft supplies, stationary or other miscellaneous items. However, avoid hanging too many new items, as you don’t want your walls to become cluttered.

Lighting In A Small Room

2. Not Considering Light

Lighting in a room can have a dramatic effect. Poor lighting can make a room feel small and drab, while natural light and interesting features can give the illusion of a bigger room. If your small room has a window, remove any bulky, dark curtains and replace with sheer, light curtains pulled back to let the light in. Move any tall furniture blocking the window to thoroughly let natural light fill the room.

If you have a small window or, no window at all, incorporate soft lighting with stylish features. Track lighting will really brighten up the room without sacrificing style. Recessed can lighting is another trendy lighting option that will help you control the amount of light in the room.

Using mirrors is a great, budget-friendly trick to use the light you already have. Angle mirrors to reflect light from the source, but also to add depth to the room. A stylish, well-placed mirror will also be a great decorative touch to your small room.

Small Room Accent Wall

3. Painting the Walls Dark Colors

Because lighting is so important in a small room, a big mistake is painting the walls dark colors. Instead, try for lighter hues that will best reflect the light throughout the room. An off-white or light gray will add character to the room and allow for other accessories to bring out color.

If you want to add some style and a focal point to the room, create an accent wall with the color you desire. Consider adding in patterned wallpaper or painting stripes on the accent wall. Mixing patterns is a trendy, chic way to add extra décor to the room without sacrificing space. Before you start painting however, think about the color furniture you have and if it will match your intended design.

4. Putting Furniture Against the Walls

A common mistake people make when designing their small room is pushing all of their furniture against the walls to create more space in the center of the room. However, this actually has the opposite effect visually. Push furniture away from walls and allude a larger room.

The easiest trick to make more of your small room is to place furniture diagonally, as that will be the longest line in any room. Another idea is to pull smaller-sized furniture, like chairs, away from the wall and align them with other items, like a couch or a bed.

Don’t believe the myth that large furniture doesn’t belong in a small room. A large piece of furniture like a couch or bed can act as a focal point to the room, making it seem larger. Taller furniture brings attention to the height of the room, adding more vertical space.

Invisible Bookshelf

5. Not Using Enough Shelving

Shelving is particularly important when it comes to a small room. Creativity is key when adding additional storage using shelves. Bookcases should be used for far more than just storing books. They provide the right amount of space to stylishly display collectables and other decorative items. One idea is to arrange the bottom half with your book library and save the top shelves to display décor. Or, mix in collectibles with your books. Depending on size of the decor, it can double as a bookend.

If you have extra books, don’t ditch them quite yet. A really neat and budget-friendly idea for old books is to create an invisible shelf out of them, adding storage and style to your wall. This is a fun project and DIY & Crafts has instructions to create the look.

Call A Designer

6. Forgetting to Call An Interior Designer

Ultimately, you might be frustrated with your small room so much that you can’t see beyond its size. This might be the time to call in an interior designer to help. They will help determine your needs and wants for the space based on your lifestyle. They can see the space in a new way and bring in some small room ideas that you may not have thought of.

The average cost of an interior designer is about $50 per hour and a wise investment if you’re stuck on what to do next with your room.

Enjoy Your Small Room


There is still hope for even the smallest rooms in your home. Use some of these tips and tricks to make decorating small spaces easier. Get creative, mix patterns and colors to show off your style and create a space you truly enjoy. When in doubt, remember to call a pro.

Looking to make your small kitchen seem larger? Read 11 Small Kitchen Ideas That Make A Big Difference for space saving DIY tips. 

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