The 5 biggest mistakes you can make in small space design

The 5 biggest mistakes you can make in small space design

When it comes to small spaces, I've seen it all. Truth be told, I've made most of these mistakes along the way and had to learn and adapt my approach to small space design. Here's what I've learned so you don't have to. 

Insufficient storage

Nothing kills the vibe of a room more than a whole bunch of clutter around the place, obscuring the floor, surfaces and any other available space. Without sufficient storage to deal with each category of your belongings, you'll quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated. 

This alcove wall cupboard really helps add additional storage without overwhelming the space

The first step is always to de-clutter, slim down how much you have. Donate, sell and recycle your way to an easier problem. Next, assess where you can fit storage solutions in, measure and then start searching. Choose furniture that has been specifically designed for small spaces, i.e. a smaller footprint, sliding doors, furniture on legs. These can all make a huge difference to the overall feeling of space in a room.

Choose storage items that work with your room scheme

 Oversized furniture

The temptation can be to fit in the biggest pieces you can possibly fit in to make the most of the small space but this is just going to result in a very heavy feeling room with little room to manuever around. Try where you can to leave 10cm of breathing space around each piece of furniture. I always advocate for buying as big as you can with your key pieces like sofas and beds (but leaving your 10cm!) and then adding smaller accent pieces to complement such as floating side tables. 

Floating side tables can really help open up the appearance of space in a room


Colour scheme

Using too many colours or too busy of a pattern in your textiles can really overwhelm the eye and make the room feel cluttered even when it isn't. There's no need to stick to white or even neutrals but choose 2 - 3 colours in the same palette and keep to those. Accessorise with brighter accent pieces like vases or cushions but keep your main scheme paired back. 

Furniture that is too small

Sometimes it's tempting to choose really small pieces of furniture to try and fit with the scale of the room. This can result in a doll's house type look with furniture that doesn't quite look like its for an adult. Choose pieces that fit the scale of the room, it's a goldilocks situation here, something in the middle, not too big, not too small. 

Keep your key pieces, like your bed, big

Too many focal points

I would really recommend having a statement piece in your small room to stop it from veering towards an uninspiring space. Choose something that reflects your personality and is big enough to make an impact. Something like a large piece of artwork or a vase you bought back from your travels. This will injected that much needed aspect of personality into the room. The key here is to stick to one, adding too many focal points will confuse the eye as it moves from piece to piece. There is only really scope for one in a small space. 

Use a focal point, like this room divider, to create interest in a room
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