Every home has its awkward spaces. Whether it’s an office, a guest bedroom or a half-bath, tiny rooms present challenges in terms of both decor and intelligent use of space. Our design experts have assembled a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of what you’ve got.
Clear the floor
One essential trick for making small rooms feel larger is to free up the floor. When the eye is able to roam freely across the whole floor, without running up against lots of solid objects, it creates an impression of extra space. Tables and chairs with pedestal bases take up less floor space than those with the standard four legs, clearing the area underneath. For examples of classic pedestal furnishings, consider Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair and coordinating SA69/6 Pedestal Table. The same trick can be applied to a small bathroom, by opting for a pedestal sink rather than a full vanity.
Wall-mounted offer a storage and display solution that takes up no floor space. In a small bedroom or guest room, forgo conventional nightstands in favor of small wall-mounted shelves at the bedside, with hanging pendant lights in place of lamps. Small-space shelving options we love include the virtually invisible Press Bookshelves.
Choose a tall, slender étagère or vitrine for a freestanding storage solution that looks great on a small footprint. Our space-maximizing picks include the Italian-made Cubic Shelves Vitrine, the steel Joker Bookcase, and the 59-inch Dappertutto Exhibitor Bookcase, which stands on casters for easy movement.
Whether glass or acrylic, transparent is a great solution for small rooms, because it looks far less bulky than it is. Light travels right through it, and sightlines are virtually uninterrupted. Large mirrors, whether mounted or leaning against the wall, are another time-tested way to create the illusion of extra space, by reflecting a large part of the room and bouncing light around it.
On the subject of light, never underestimate its power to expand a room. Chase away the shadows with good lighting design – ideally, you’ll want a mix of ambient, task and accent light sources to keep your tiny space bright and versatile enough for multiple uses. Sconces and pendant lights are essential, and, unlike lamps, occupy no floor area.
We’ve all heard that light colors are best for small spaces, and it’s true that white walls and ceilings can help create visual space. However, if you’re feeling bold, consider taking the exact opposite tack. After all, making the room seem larger isn’t the only option at your disposal! Embrace your tiny room and make it exciting with boldly painted walls or heavily patterned, super-dramatic wallpaper. Take advantage of the fact that a small room is less risky to experiment in than your main living spaces, and easier to re-decorate if things don’t work out.