When decorating whether it’s a small or large space that you are working with, the basic rules of home decorating are the same. A small space is not as limiting as you might think, you just have to be a little more creative in making it welcoming and functional.

Decorating gurus agree that a small space should be kept clutter free. And this applies to space between furniture as well as on countertops. So the first step is to clear out unnecessary items and only keep meaningful and functional pieces.

Here are some fantastic tips to give you some ideas by Cara Gibbs


The right lighting can make a small room appear bigger and brighter so optimise natural light by using sheer or light-coloured curtains – dark bulky drapes tend to make a room feel heavy. Hang curtains from high up to the ceiling and all the way down to the floor to create the illusion of height. Another window treatment that is ideal for a small room are woven blinds that maximise natural light without taking up space.

“Optimise natural light by placing a mirror across from windows”, suggests Liz Lynch, a home décor expert at

If a room requires additional lighting consider floor or table lamps. Alternatively, string lights, wall sconces and pendant lighting create an ambience without taking up precious floor space.


  • Add a few bold statement pieces to the room like colourful wall art or an oversized rustic vase with flowers (apparently fake flowers are no longer taboo and look a lot like the real thing these days).
  • Strategically placed wall mirrors give the illusion of more space.
  • Eyes can feel texture so add sensory interest to a small space by decorating with pampas, weave baskets, greenery, wall hangings and fluffy pillows.
  • It might seem strange but a large rug in a small room gives the impression that the space is bigger than it really is.


The tiny house trend has resulted in clever space saving furniture ideas. There are beds that convert into couches and side tables that double up as desks. There are folding portable desks, fold down wall mounted desks and hanging balcony tables. Also think coffee tables with storage and ottomans that double as coffee tables and seating.

With furniture in general, proportion and size are key so if a piece feels too big in a room then it probably is. Replace a large desk with a narrow console for example or try a low profile couch in a room with a low ceiling.


Combat small spaces by going vertical. Shelves on the wall, built-in seating in an alcove and using the space above window frames, for example, help maximise vertical space for storage and functionality.

For outside the box thinking and quirky ideas for small spaces you might like to read:

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