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How to Design a Small Space, Part 1

February 25, 2016 - Updated: April 22, 2016

All spaces present design challenges, but the living/family room is where you and your guests likely spend most of your time. Designing a small one in particular can be tricky. What furniture will optimize the space, but still allow enough seating? Here are 12 design tips for making the most out of your small space, as well as some layout tips for your snazzy new room.


1. Use mirrors and wallpaper

In order to make the room feel more spacious, and less boxed in, this tip will accomplish three things: it will create a focal point, boost light, and add depth, by papering one wall and hanging a mirror on top. If you can, hang the mirror across from a window, to reflect light and give the impression of an extra window.

Layout tip: Centre a loveseat on the paper wall, flanked by matching side tables. A cushioned ottoman works as a coffee table, or extra seat. Add another chair across from the loveseat if there’s room.

2. Add hidden storage

Buy furniture with built-in storage to eliminate clutter. A trunk or storage ottoman works well as a coffee table, and as mentioned before, a cushioned one can also act as extra seating. You can also add a small chest of drawers or credenza around the perimeter of the room, for more storage.

3. Choose small-scale furniture

A small room is not the place for a bulky sectional sofa, or an overstuffed chair. A great place to look for smaller sized furniture is an antique shop, since the average room size was typically small until the last half century.

4. Look up

If your small space is blessed with high ceilings, take advantage of the extra space, by trying to draw the eye up as much as possible. Fill the vertical space with an eclectic art gallery, which will give the impression of a larger, grander room, as the eye is drawn upwards.

5. Completely fill a corner

It may seem counterintuitive, but going with the largest piece of furniture in a small corner can actually make the room feel bigger. A large piece, like a generously sized sectional, is comfortable and able to seat several people, and since it’s only one piece in the room, it makes the space feel uncluttered.

Layout tip: A sectional sofa in one corner, with a pair of folding stools nearby to form a conversational group. You can fill out the grouping with slipper chairs if there is enough room.

6. Pick pieces with exposed legs

A chair or sofa with exposed legs, where one can see the space underneath, gives the appearance of more space.


[Continued in a future issue of Terrequity Realty Insider]

Tagged with: how to design a small space decor tips buyer tips real estate advice royal lepage terrequity realty toronto gta article
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