12 Mistakes to avoid when designing small spaces

Designing a small space is quite challenging since it doesn’t require showing off only your sense of style but also your skills to combine practicality with beauty. The perfect match of colors, shapes, and patterns equals the need to functionally arrange the space, which is easy to ensure by avoiding particular things. In this article, we will reveal the Small Space Designing Don’ts in the company of quick tips to save the day.

Don’t underestimate artificial lighting

The fewer the lighting sources, the darker and colder the space feels, particularly if we speak about small rooms with inappropriate natural light. Furthermore, the shadows cast by furniture will take additional inches from the available space, making it look even smaller. 

Quick Tip

Consider a single large pendant to fully brighten the space or opt for spotlights to functionally throw light on particular areas. 

Don’t skip the part with natural light

Regardless of how small the windows are, don’t let them go unnoticed. Not during the night, but during the day, natural light can make the most of any space, and by skipping this part, you risk spoiling everything about this space – from furniture to decor.

Quick Tip

Avoid window treatment of any kind or, at least, make sure that the blinds are fully open during the day and the curtains don’t stand in the way of lighting when it filters into the space. 

Don’t opt for heavy curtains

Rich-textured textiles tend to invisibly suppress the space, which makes it feel even smaller, particularly if those are blackout curtains. All this adds to the fact that the thicker the fabric, the less light penetrates the room. 

Quick Tip

Say “no” to window treatment or opt for sheer curtains that can complete the intended style without interacting with the room size by any means.

Don’t even think about dark colors

This is a strong “no” from the start, followed by a no less strong rule – one can opt for slightly dark colors for pieces of furniture or decor but not for the background. It is not only about the visual effect but also the way one feels about the space, and dark colors in a small room seem quite draining. 

Quick Tip

Go with a light color for the walls and consider your favorite dark shades for the smallest details to keep them as part of your interior.

Don’t consider too many pops of color

All a small room needs is the possibility to make the most of the available space by any means. Choosing a range of colors, especially if those are vibrant, goes in the opposite direction, setting more points of interest that overwhelm the space. 

Quick Tip

Try to stick to a two or three-color palette that will add the appropriate contrast and keep it airy, which goes hand in hand with the current trends.

Don’t underutilize vertical spaces

Mostly, people use the horizontal space fully but forget about the vertical one. Walls are as much an appropriate space to hang particular furniture pieces and especially the decor. Still, not overwhelming the interior with too many items on the upper side should also be taken into account. 

Quick Tip

Try to find a balance between the units placed on the floor and those hung on the wall so you can effortlessly free the space from all perspectives. 

Don’t go big with oversize furniture

Even if it is a Minimalist interior and you decide to go with a single oversize sofa and a coffee table, this space will look like out of a cartoon, and the room will seem much smaller. Don’t risk the entire result with your love for standout-through-size furniture. 

Quick Tip

The smaller the furniture pieces, the more balanced the picture and the more units can fit in, although going too extra is also not the case. 

Don’t integrate small area rugs into the space

It may seem the opposite of what we should have told you, but a large rug tends to add a few inches to the floor in contrast with a small one that emphasizes the small feature of the space.

Quick Tip

Go with an area rug particularly, leaving a few free inches on all sides, which gives the illusion that the floor is bigger than you thought.

Don’t overwhelm the space with unused items

Be it the living room, bedroom, kitchen, or any other room, try to make it as practical as possible. Put aside the idea that you may use some and integrate only those pieces you are 100% sure you will use. It is a great reason to declutter the space. 

Quick Tip

Think from the practical perspective only and opt for decor pieces that, at least, do not stand on the floor if you feel that you cannot go without a few. 

Don’t fall prey to accessories

The only accessory that should decorate a small interior is a few additional inches to the space. Still, you are free to display your favorite decor pieces as long as they don’t interfere with the room size or don’t suppress the environment.

Quick Tip

A glass vase with natural filling on the table, a framed photo on the bookshelf, or a balanced painting on the wall are among the impartial units that don’t take much space. 

Don’t place the furniture against the wall

It may feel like we took the opposite direction, but designers are there to say the same. By leaving a bit of air between the walls and furniture, one gives the illusion of a larger space and preserves the dimension and depth of these units. 

Quick Tip

Leave as much as a few inches between the walls and furniture, which is enough to set the right impression without risking the availability of free space in the room. 

Don’t divide the space visually

It usually works with large spaces, and it seems that a small one requires as much organization. Still, by dividing the room into functional areas, you reduce a lot from the least of the available free space. The more free space, the larger the room looks.

Quick Tip

Place the furniture in a convenient way, with each piece in its place, and form a composition peculiar to the specific room without integrating more functional areas in a space that already feels small.

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