Sarice Amiee Interiors

3 Tips For Decorating Small Spaces

Client Projects, Design TipsSarice GutmanComment

Decorating a small space can be tricky business! Today I'm going to show you the before photos of a client's small den project and talk about some tips for decorating small rooms.  This den design project was really fun to work on! My client, Janet, was very open minded and willing to really change things up.  Remember, just because a room is small, that doesn't mean it can't make a big statement!

The only requirement Janet had in re-designing her den was that her current sofa needed to be utilized.  Luckily, the sofa was a in great shape and had nice velvet, aqua upholstery.  Everything else in the room could either be moved out or completely discarded.  The den's dimensions are roughly 12x11.  One of the walls consists of a sliding glass door and a very small closet, which leaves only three walls to work with.  Below are some photos of the space.

Here is the view from the den's french doors.  On the right is the tiny closet.

Here is the view from the sliding glass door.

Here is the view from the sofa.

The den re-design floor plan will stay exactly the same, however there will be some changes to better utilize the small space.  Here are three tips that I used in the re-design and can be applied to any small space!

1. Utilize furniture with a smaller footprint

Furniture footprint can be thought of in terms of actual size as well as the airspace it takes up in a given room.  For example, the tables on the right have quite a large footprint while the tables on the left have not only a smaller profile, but takes up less of the room's airspace color-wise.

Sources: a. Ballard Designs | b. West Elm | c. Pottery Barn | d. Pottery Barn

The previous coffee table Janet had in her den was nice quality and had great storage, but it was dark and too large in size.  Looking into the room, the coffee table not only took up a lot of floor space, but it also took up a lot of air space.  The dark color made the room feel smaller than it already was and the eye always came to rest on it no matter where you looked.  When picking a new coffee table, I looked for two things.  First, I wanted a table that was smaller and rectangular in size to better accommodate the room size as well as open up more room to walk around to the sofa.  Second, I looked for a table that was either glass or light in color; this would open up the room and make it appear bigger. 

2. Pick the right rug size for your space

The rug that Janet had in her space worked okay...but furniture arrangement did not necessitate that large of a rug.  A smaller rug would expose more of the lovely hardwood floors and again, make the room appear larger.  Her old rug was 6x9; the new rug we decided on was only 5'3x7'6.  The smaller rug still followed the all important rule that the central furniture in the room all fit on the rug.  Here are two little cheat sheets about rug sizes for a den or living room.

choose the right rug- world market.jpg

Source: World Market

Source: Burlap and Lace

3. Don't neglect the walls

A small room's walls should not be neglected! Janet's den actually had a large scale art piece that is perfect for the wall size. I  utilized the colors in the art to inspire the rest of the room's decor.  The large art piece makes that wall appear larger.  Smaller art would have re-emphasized the room's small dimensions.  The star-burst mirror over the couch could use some neighboring wall decor.  Because that wall is the largest in the entire room, additional wall decor would further emphasize the wall's length and make the wall seem longer.

I hope these tips will help you with your small space! If you're still stumped, I'd love to help!  I can't wait to reveal Janet's den e-design in a future blog post! Also, stay tuned for photos of the completed den.