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The Secret to Small Space Design? Go Big!

Just because you have a tiny space doesn’t mean you should have tiny furniture. One of the biggest design mistakes for a room of any size is cluttering it with small pieces. But the secret to successful small space design is just the opposite: choose the largest pieces possible.

First, buy big

It may sound counterproductive, but, when shopping for small space furnishings and decor, buy your choice of the following items in the largest size that will fit:

  • Chandelier or pendant
  • Area rug
  • Wall art
  • Sofa or sectional
  • Ottoman (that can double as a coffee table)
  • Bed

You won’t be able to fit as many items into your room as you initially envisioned, but that’s good thing. Fewer pieces, in a larger scale, will make the space look bigger and feel more functional.

Next, hang a giant mirror

A mirror works its magic in a small space by reflecting light and doubling the sense of space. Add the largest mirror you can fit. You can either stand a mirror on the floor and lean it against a wall, or create a mirrored wall, as in the kitchen pictured above.

Then, find the biggest bed you can fit through the door

A bedroom is where you go for rest, so do you really need a desk, TV, sitting area, or even a dresser? Maybe not. Prioritize your furnishing with the most important element of the bedroom: a bed. If you have any space left, consider adding a nightstand or a wall-mounted shelf to double as nightstand. Don’t forget a lamp!

Another way to maximize space is by pushing the bed up against the wall, as shown below.

Having space around your furnishings is nice — if you live in a large home or apartment. But all that nice negative space does nothing for you when you have guests over. Make best friends with your walls and add furnishings to the size and length of the space itself, such the custom banquette built-ins in this tiny dining room.

Lay down the biggest rug possible

One of the first things the eye notices is what’s on the floor. Want to make your tiny space look larger? Add the biggest rug you can fit. The best way to find a perfectly fitting rug is to measure the open area your buying your rug for, and purchasing a rug just 2-3 inches smaller, all around. That way, you create a visual border that doesn’t look like carpeting. Go with a bold pattern  — the larger-scale the pattern, the better.

Go big on decorative elements

What’s the first thing you notice about the dining room pictured above? It’s probably not the impossibly narrow dimensions of the room. The large, dramatic pendant lamps and wall-to-wall canvas make this small, narrow space look far bigger (and way more awesome!).

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