Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

4 Nov

So, when I was in college in Boston, I lived in approximately 300 square feet.  My closet was the size of my current shower, and I struggled with decorating ideas.  Another challenge was that my bedroom doubled as my living room, so when people came over, I felt like they were immediately thrown into my private space.  But, I didn’t have a lot of choice because it was the only room I had.

Well, a girl I know, Lizzie (she’s in Chicago), recently had her home showcased in Country Living.  In the article, she debunks old myths about the rules for decorating small spaces. 

Old Rule: White walls are a must when square footage is limited.

New Rule: Dark colors create the illusion of depth in small rooms.

Old Rule: Cramped quarters call for clean lines.

New Rule: Ornate, embellished details give even the tightest spots a sense of grandeur.

Old Rule: Hidden storage is key to keeping a tiny house tidy.

New Rule: Don’t waste space; kill two birds with one stone.

Old Rule: Have a guest room double as an office or den.

New Rule: Turn the room into a single indulgence, like a walk-in closet.


Old Rule: Small places require small furniture.

New Rule: Bitsy is busy. Instead, opt for fewer, larger pieces.

So, what are some design rules you break?


6 Responses to “Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces”

  1. serena @bigapplenosh 11/04/2010 at 10:53 pm #

    This is so great! Living in NYC, space is always at a premium! Those photos are gorgeous 🙂

  2. Abby 11/05/2010 at 7:52 am #

    I love this one: Turn the room into a single indulgence, like a walk-in closet. I would love to turn one of our (tiny!) extra bedrooms into a walk-in closet or a pimped out sewing room.

  3. Jessica 11/05/2010 at 9:42 am #

    My room in the townhouse I rented was TEENY TINY, so I put only my bed, dresser and nightstand. I love color so going stark white wasn’t an option! 😀

  4. Nikki 11/05/2010 at 10:04 am #

    First of all, I love this post! Especially about turning a guest bedroom into a giant closet. I have made my husband swear on his life that I can have a guest bedroom closet someday. I really love all the pink and gray in the photos. Oh, I also really love the picture with the wine storage and the table- that is quite lovely!!

  5. Mina 11/05/2010 at 10:44 am #

    so good to know i don’t have to follow old-school rules! i was feeling lame for a while when i thought i shouldn’t have painted my walls something besides white/off-white. thanks for this!


  1. A Room of My Own « From Scratch. - 11/05/2010

    […] bed, but that would be pushing it.    Anyway, I was reading Kelsey’s blog over at Minted Life about decorating small spaces, and saw this “new rule” of decorating: Old Rule: Have a […]

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