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​What are the worst things you can do to a small room?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Garden Rose Room Classic style living room by Caxton Rhode Classic
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The space age is finally here, although it rather seems to be the “age of less space”. Yes, cluttered areas and limited legroom are everyday occurrences for most of us, which means some clever planning in terms of décor and home design if picking up a sledgehammer and losing a few walls is not a possibility.

But hold on before you buy just anything – are there any tricks that you can opt for to make a small room seem bigger? More importantly, could there be design mistakes we've been overlooking all this time that are making small spaces even smaller?

Indeed there are! And these are the eight no-no blunders you cannot afford to make when it comes to styling up a small room.

1. Not paying attention to the colours

Light-toned floors and walls automatically give the illusion of more space. Rather save those dark and daring colours for the bigger rooms.

2. Playing it safe

'Caxton Rose Trellis' design as wallpaper Classic style living room by Caxton Rhode Classic
Caxton Rhode

'Caxton Rose Trellis' design as wallpaper

Caxton Rhode

Instead, put a large-scale printed fabric or wallpaper on the walls – even the ceiling. It’s much easier, safer, and less expensive to be dramatic and a tiny space than a large one. 

Besides, a bold print can make a smaller, less-used room an exciting space to spend time in.

3. Cramming too much stuff in

Boston Light Grey Dresser: country  by The Cotswold Company, Country
The Cotswold Company

Boston Light Grey Dresser

The Cotswold Company

A large piece of furniture can actually make a small space feel larger, as long as it’s selected and placed carefully. For example, a tall cabinet placed in the appropriate spot of a room with tall ceilings can draw all eyes upwards, letting people focus on the vertical space instead of the limited footprint of the room. 

Just make sure every piece you bring in has a purpose and complements the space.

4. Not strategising

Before laying down so much as a rug, decide what needs to happen in that room. Then, divide the space into task-oriented zones (working, dining, sleeping, relaxing, etc.).

Think in halves, quarters, or even on the diagonal and assign a function to each area.

5. Completely overlooking dark colours

Darker tones and a few large-scale furniture pieces can actually give a room a larger and more luxurious feel – if the appropriate lighting and accessories are used. 

Architects, gardeners, and much more – we have them all here on homify. See our professionals page for more info.

6. Missing an opportunity

That small room may be too tiny to be an effective dining room, but how about turning it into something else? 

An informal little office? An art studio? How about dragging in a medium-sized bookcase and comfortable wingback chair and calling it your reading nook?

7. Stark white walls

No need to go too clinical in your quest for visual spaciousness. Light creams, stone greys, and pastels can be just as effective in making that small space seem more airy and open.

8. Ignoring proportions and scale

Living / Study area Minimalist living room by In:Style Direct Minimalist
In:Style Direct

Living / Study area

In:Style Direct

Furniture made in the correct width, height and depth for the scale of a room (especially a small one) is quite crucial. You don’t want to cramp that space with too-big pieces. 

For really tiny rooms, try and avoid anything over 90 cm deep. 

Let’s take a look at some options to: Expand your home without forking out for an extension.

How have you improved a small room?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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