Maximum Style For Small Spaces

Happy Friday all! I know many of you have or are planning to down size to smaller spaces that are easier to manage, fit better with your lifestyle or to ‘lock and leave’ when the urge to travel strikes. While smaller spaces simplify our living situations, they can present a challenge in terms of how to make them comfortable and livable as well as stylish. Consider these simple ‘rules of thumb’ to create maximum style in your homes and keep your spaces appearing bright, spacious and open.


Use multi-purpose furniture in your rooms to maximize the function of the space.

  • A Murphy Bed that can fold up to the wall when not needed means a spare bedroom can be a home office or den when you don’t have visitors

  • A stool or ottoman can be used as additional seating or an occasional table in living spaces

  • Bench seating built into an alcove or along a wall can provide extra seating in the eating area

  • Open legs on occasional tables and raised legs on sofas and chairs create a visual openness that makes a space appear larger

Erika Wittlieb

Erika Wittlieb

Furniture Placement

When you are decorating a smaller space do not give in to the temptation to have several smaller pieces - they will clutter the room.

  • A few simple large pieces of furniture will have a bigger impact and make a statement in your space,

  • Use solid upholstery on furniture - patterns create too much visual busy-ness. Add pattern and texture with throw pillows or a patterned throw.

  • Place furniture 3-4” away from the wall to create the illusion of spaciousness

  • Place furniture at an angle to encourage the eye to travel along the diagonal which is the longest ‘line’ in the room

Simply Swank Decor

Simply Swank Decor


Throw out the belief that lights colours are best for small spaces!

  • Darker shades create a feeling of coziness (rich brown, taupe or soft yellow) and add a touch of drama to your spaces (cranberry red, dark gray)

  • Paint trim and doors in a shade of white

  • Keep accessories lighter in terms of colour, texture and the number you use.

  • Minimize the total number of colours and patterns you use in your space to ensure a balanced, calm space and not create too much visual clutter and chaos.

Olichel Adamovich

Olichel Adamovich

Reflective or Clear Materials

Clear or reflective materials greatly increase the sense of space in a room and make it appear and feel more open and airy

  • Glass or acrylic enable light to move throughout the space making it feel roomier

  • Mirrors (the jewels of a room) reflect light and make your space feel brighter and more alive


  • Use curtains made of a sheer fabric

  • Hang draperies close to the ceiling and extend them to the floor to bring height to and visually enlarge rooms

  • If you want to add some pattern and texture, use of fabrics with a simple and soft pattern such as a floral, stripes, vines or an open geometric pattern for draperies and throw cushions

July-Aug 2019 Pic #4 - Fabric.jpg


Light is your best ally in making a small space feel bigger and more spacious.

  • If you have natural light available in the space open the draperies to their fullest extent and let the light in!

  • If the natural light is insufficient or not available, provide lots of artificial light from lamps and ceiling fixtures and use blue based LED bulbs which are more efficient at converting energy into light and provide better light distribution

Enjoy updating and decorating your smaller spaces and be sure to share your pics and ideas – I love to see what you are working on!

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