Decorating Small Spaces – 7 Tips I used in my Living Room Makeover

21 Nov

Hi friends!

Today I’m going to share with you how I turned my small, narrow, rented living room into a bright, cozy, inviting space!

Before…>>The  layout


1. Choose a Neutral Color Scheme 

Neutral, monochromatic, light shade color schemes will always prevail to darker ones  in helping a room feel more spacious! It’s a fact that lighter colors reflect more light (eh hem, picture the Rockies covered in endless amounts of snow and why you always come home sun-burned if your not prepared) where darker colors absorb it.  Feel free to add small pops of color for fun=)

Here you can see I went with creams, beige, brown, gold and some gray =)


another positive:  If you own your space, neutral color schemes (especially on the walls) are  helpful when it comes back around to selling your house! Again, your house will feel more spacious and the potential buyer is better able to picture their junk in your casa!

2. Let There Be LIGHT!

So we have already established that a brighter room feels bigger than a darker one. Therefor, try to incorporate items into your room that help increase or reflect light  such as: lamps, mirrors, clear glass or even durable plastic furniture, metal pieces & shiny objects. Tip: try to position these objects where they are able to reflect the most light (near a window, a mirror behind a lamp, ect).


You can see here where I could not resist a few pops of color  and I’m utilizing mirror + glass =)  In my next picture below and pic #7, you can  see where I even sneaked a hint of reflective fabric into my metallic diamond  Tarje Rug

3.Create Interest without the Clutter

I know I know, there is probably a bit more going on here in my living room than I should have put up, BUT mostly just on the wall. And to my credit, I moved from a larger home so I had A LOT of decorative  stuff that had to go into storage. Moral of the story, LESS= MORE especially in small spaces, but sometimes I like to bend my own rules 😆

If you have not noticed yet, I believe everybody’s home should reflect their own style and I tend to gravitate towards a variety of styles (depends my mood and my inspiration piece really). I like to create interest with different  fabric, textures, patterns, pieces, arrangements and furniture.

For instance, I have an old heirloom traditional mirror from Canada (noticed positioned to reflect light behind the lamp ;), a shabby chic white lamp, contemporary rug & chairs, traditional coffee table, a wall collage of randomness and a pillow obsession.


Do what works for you to reflect your style & avoid  being too “Rooms to Go”  literally matchy matchy. On the other hand, in order to maintain some cohesiveness throughout the room make sure the items you  choose have some recurrent themes like: coordinate with your color scheme, made of same material [hard wood, mirrors, metal], more than one certain style of item, ect)

My Pillow Obsession =)


Tip: If you are terrible at visualizing different pillows, fabrics ect,  in a room, buy them, try them and return the ones that don’t work (obviously inquire about the return policy first 😉 Oh, and don’t forget to buy one comfortable pillow for the hubster. It will generally be the cheapest one he prefers. In my case, he likes the long gray one from Ross for $7.00

4. Maintain Open Sight Lines

As obvious as it sounds, in order to maintain open sight lines, choose furniture or items that don’t obstruct the view. For instance, I think a recurrent problematic theme in small rooms is how to create more seating without making the room feel small. In my case, I chose armless chairs with low backs from Target and opted for some short fluffy stools that I found at Ross . Other things I considered included a bench, poufs & storage ottomans. I also incorporated items in the room that double as storage like my coffee table and the two wicker baskets in order to reduce the amount of clutter out in the open.


5. Emphasize the Positives About the Room

In my situation, the living room has two major pluses.

>> Almost an entire wall of glass sliding doors  that allows for a ton of natural light

>>Tall ceilings

You can see in the previous picture the amount of natural light that pours into the room through the glass doors… In order to take advantage of this light but still maintain privacy, white curtains were hung to allow the most light through when closed & were flanked by dark chocolate brown ones for interest. The curtain rod was already hung when I moved in, but if I was allowed to change it I would move it up higher  towards the ceiling to create the illusion of a bigger room.

Next, I hung some decor that draws the eye up, again creating the feel of a larger room


6. Minimize the Negatives About the Room

My living room came with some funky angles and niches that are not exactly equal. In order to offset this strange design, I tried to create the illusion of symmetry, by accenting this area with a balanced design  Same wrought iron pieces flanking the TV, same vases, same floral, same nights stands, ect. And of course, we are already addressing the small, narrow space issue of the room =)



7. Add a Few Small Memorable Items that make you SMILE!

One of my favorite small items in the living room is a 3-D connect four game. I secretly love this item because it is unique, we found it during a little weekend vaycay to Galveston and I beat the husband playing it 99.9% of the time =) 


Some more of my favorite small items include: photos (isn’t my newphew the cutest!!) a fun zip-lock glass candy bowl and a digital photo frame so I get a variety of pictures without taking up too much space =) =)





Happy Decorating,
Kelley B


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