By Kathryn Weber
This small room is full of bold colors and patterns and furnishings. Note, however, that the colors aren't highly contrasting, and that's the key to creating a cozy and inviting small room.
The common impulse when decorating a small space is to paint everything white. The theory is that lighter colors will make the room seem larger. But rather than try to make a small room seem like something it's not, why not play to the benefits of small size? And small rooms do have their advantages, such as coziness and charm, which are often overlooked. Make use of them and you will create a pleasing space that draws lots of attention.
Small rooms require more thought
Another misconception about small rooms is that they should be sparsely furnished. But a quick trip to a furniture store will show that a surprising amount of furniture can fit into a small space. Of course, to look cozy and charming rather than cluttered and confining, these showrooms must be carefully designed and arranged. The same goes for your small room. Decorate it with attention to arrangement and design, and your little space can be as attractive as any furniture showroom.
Be bold but controlled
Don't retreat from color, pattern and decoration in your small room. Strong color in small spaces enhances the coziness of the room and makes it warmer. As for pattern, work from an inspiration piece, such as upholstery fabric or rug, and select one bold pattern. Avoid mixing and matching too many patterns, but look for colors in that inspiration piece to work from. One color could be used for the walls and others could be pulled from the inspiration piece for draperies and upholstery. Be careful of using too many colors, though. Less is more. Another fear in small rooms is fullness and size of furniture. As long as the large piece is balanced with smaller ones, then you can create a room that can function well and be cozy at the same time.
Create optical illusions
However much you love your small room, you may still want to make it seem larger. One way to do that is to place a tall object, such as a plant, at the corner of the room opposite the door. Or look for a single large piece of artwork or furniture to create a focal point. Or try the time-honored design trick of leaning a mirror against a wall. This brightens the room and makes it feel larger.
Or use this color trick: Keep the all colors in the same tone, such as medium beige walls, carpet and upholstery. This single color scheme will blur the lines between walls and the floor, and will help open up the room. Note, however, that if chocolate walls, say, are contrasted with white furniture, the jarring color scheme will make the room feel cramped.
Whatever you do with your small space, don't give up and just go with white minimalism. A dose of color and smart design will create a beautiful room that's comfortable, and a turn your small space into a little jewel.
© Living Space by Kathryn Weber