Written By Chloe Taylor
Times are changing. Can you imagine that just a decade or two ago, it was unimaginable to have an open-concept kitchen? Today, that is considered to be the most normal design move, while a traditional one-room kitchen falls into the outdated category. Why then do we find it so hard to let go some of the old-school decor rules when it comes to small spaces? Why are all the walls in teeny-tiny rooms white? Why do we avoid large scale patterns and bulky furniture? Perhaps because we are afraid of change or failure. Are you afraid too or are you ready to break some of the following rules and start your own small space revolution?
Go Light (Or Better, White)
One of the most overhyped decorating rules for a small space is that you should paint the walls white, or preferably some light neutral shade. Although there is no doubt that such shades can create an illusion of spaciousness, the illusion does little for functionality and sometimes harms the aesthetics. On the other side, if you use them well, deep hues can play up the cozy vibe (especially in rustic décor in combination with solid wood furniture) or enhance architectural features (e.g. built-in shelves, fireplace and molding).
Use One Set Furniture
If you took a décor rulebook from about two decades ago, you would see that mixing different kinds of wood is a move that is often frowned upon, especially when you do it in a small space. You should do just the opposite. Use different types of wood stains and finishes to avoid a uniform look and create playfulness in your room. You can also take some cues from eclectic style, and mix and match different design periods.
A Small Room Calls for Small Furniture
Speaking of furniture, another boring rule that is constantly being repeated is that a tiny room calls for tiny furniture. Think of it logically: if you introduce small furniture, you will need a lot more pieces to meet all your needs, which will, eventually, create clutter. To get proper guidelines about how to use bulky furniture pieces in a small space, we should turn to the Nordic region. Functional Scandinavian furniture is famous for its sleek simple lines and a lot of handy storage solutions, which allow free flow throughout the room even if one or two furniture pieces are very large.
Restrain from Using Patterns
Similarly like using dark colors, patterns are a big décor no-no, because they can create a “too busy” look. However, if used thoughtfully (e.g. wallpaper on one accent wall, behind the mirror in the bathroom, throw pillows on a neutral sofa, etc.), patterns can create an effective visual interest. So, don’t be afraid of using small polka dots and shabby chic floral motifs, and don’t shy away from chunky horizontal stripes either.
Store Away the Knick Knacks
A strict old-school designer would tell you to most certainly avoid cluttering a small space with various accessories and trinkets. Your head would agree with that statement. Your heart, however, would tell you that knick-knacks are what makes a home.
In this case, listen to your heart, but use your head to arrange the accessories. Ironically, a rule will help you break this rule. The commonly used “rule of threes” says that you should arrange things in odd numbers (most often 3) as they will look more appealing than even-number groups.
Leave the Windows (almost) Bare
This is another rule that insists on creating an illusion of a bigger space. However, leaving the windows without coverings doesn’t actually provide you with any more room than you’ve originally had. It only provides your neighbors with a free reality TV show in your home. Sheer curtains are ok, but if you want to add warmth and elegance to your room introduce some heavy drapes. Contrary to popular opinion, heavy drapes can actually make the room appear taller when hanged close to the ceiling. Numerous imposed rules for decorating small space are often depriving it of character just to squeeze in a few extra imaginary inches. Don’t let that happen to your room; feel free to be rebellious and you’ll see the results are worthwhile.
images: design sponge
Written by Chloe Taylor. Chloe is a designer, stylist and blogger. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Chloe also enjoys researching, learning and blogging about interiors. She loves green design, sustainable architecture and various art related topics, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB or Twitter.by