DESIGN TALK: Small Spaces = Great Places

When faced with designing a small space one may feel locked into conventional myths about furniture size and color. Here are a few ideas to consider to make your room feel larger and more interesting.

First, discard the myths that small spaces call for small scale furniture and that paint color needs to be light in color. This is your home and convention should never dictate what you feel comfortable living with or what you would like your space to look like.

Start by clearing your room then painting or wall papering the walls, ceiling and trim. Don’t confine yourself to light colored walls, white trim and a white ceiling. The colors that you choose will serve as a “background palette” for the room and will give the room it’s character. Choose what inspires you!

Next place a few of the large pieces of furniture in a functional and interesting configuration. Add a rug that extends under the front legs of the sofa and front half of the other pieces of furniture. ( A small rug only makes a small space feel smaller.)

When selecting the smaller pieces of furniture choose pieces that are versatile. For example, use a side table that can be shared by two of the larger pieces, or an ottoman that doubles as a cocktail table. A console table that can be used as a desk, or a serving buffet. This way you are maximizing functionality of the space while minimizing separate use pieces of furniture. Overfilling a small space will make it seem too cluttered and cramped. Versatile pieces eliminate that problem and keep the space open.


The last thing left to do is the accessories and lighting.
Use a large, bold or colorful piece as a focal point. Be it a mirror, chandelier, interesting wall art or sculpture. It will make a statement and expand the space. Using many small accessories will just become visual clutter. Group your accessories in clusters of like things or collections. The final and most important element of a space is the lighting. Design your lighting to transition from day time use to night time use and ensure to address functional needs as well as setting the ambiance.

If you’ve got a small space to work with, let me know. I’d love to help you transform it!

Carol Gambale    NJ Certified Interior Designer



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