Jazz Up Small Spaces in 12 Easy Ways

Check out these space-saving solutions.

Updated on June 30, 2017 11:06 am

Samantha Echavez


No matter how cosy and intimate, small apartments frustrate us at times. There are just so many brilliant decorating ideas we want to implement but we can't because, well, there is no space. Good thing, interior designers and experts have been scouring for ways to maximise space-challenged homes. Here are some of them:

Design by Project File Pte Ltd

1. Pick a pattern. "Boost the wow factor of a diminutive space by covering a focal-point wall with tone-on-tone wallpaper. To avoid nail holes in the paper, hang art with removable mounting strips," says Samantha Thorpe, editor of 100 Decorator Ideas: Big Style for Small Rooms.


2. Neutral furnishings + colourful accessories = winning combo. Pieces of furniture and walls in neutral colours reflect light, making a small space appear bigger. Keep the look from going stale by adding colourful accessories, like a brightly painted sofa or area rug in wild prints.


3. Keep the ceiling classy. The easiest way to glam up your small living room? Add a glitzy chandelier. "This antique crystal fixture, which is large in proportion to the space it illuminates, makes a dramatic statement," says Thorpe.


4. Show some curves. Says Thorpe, "Adding round elements to an angular room creates eye-pleasing flow." Balance the straight lines of your sofa and shelves with an oversize ottoman or round coffee table.

5. Go flexible. "For flexibility, skip a traditional rectangular coffee table in favor of smaller, portable pieces," says Thorpe. Instead of getting the usual long table, look for square side tables that can sit together or be moved around.

Design by Studio XMSL

6. Yes to monochromatic color scheme. "Sticking with a monochromatic colour scheme is an easy way for the colour shy to reduce visual clutter and create a pulled-together look," says Thorpe.

7. Scale, scale, scale. If you chunk too many small pieces in your room, your room will feel like it's closing in on you. "A few oversize furnishings can make a small space appear larger," says Thorpe. Try this for your living room: Stick to two large pieces of furniture, like a sofa and a chaise lounge.

8. Forget not the windows. "To add height and drama while capitalising on natural light, hang drapes high and wide around windows—try about three inches below the ceiling or crown moulding. Amplify the illusion of a tall window by hanging a blind right under the curtain rod," advises Thorpe.

9. Look for double-purpose furnishings. Display a coffee table or ottoman that also serves as a storage unit. Check out our story on multi-purpose furniture here.

Design by Project File Pte Ltd

10. Vertical stripe does it. Says Thorpe: "Stretch the visual height of a room with vertical stripes."

11. Don't keep things boring. "Neutral furnishings and walls reflect light, making a small space seem larger. But going neutral doesn't have to equal safe and boring. Add a few colourful accessories, such as a painted table and boldly embroidered pillows, for a pop of personality," says Thorpe.

Design by D' Planner Pte Ltd

12. Be generous with lights. Langdon says that "not lighting your space effectively makes it look smaller. Capitalising on natural light and bringing in artificial light is imperative." You can even add a chandelier, "which is large in proportion to the space it illuminates, [thus making] a dramatic statement," says Thorpe.

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