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New Year, New Habits: Making Room in Small Spaces

Ready to embrace small rooms in 2022? Here’s how to maximise your space with design and décor.

Faye deGavre


Jan 21, 2022


4 min read

New Year, New Habits: Making Room in Small Spaces

Small spaces can be tricky. A few too many objects and the room can start to look cluttered and cramped. In this new year, we’re resolving to make better use of space – whether that’s minimal square footage or awkward architecture. For small rooms there’s a delicate balance of giving the eye some resting space and selecting smart furniture pieces that don’t make the room feel too hemmed in (unless you’re a maximalist who likes a lot of stuff).

For those of us with pint-sized spaces, here are some easy ways to fake a larger room.

Create the illusion of space
- Image credit: Overmantels

It’s the oldest design trick in the book: Use mirrors to bounce light around and give the illusion of depth. Place them strategically and they’ll trick the eye into thinking there’s a space beyond. Also, use reflective materials like glass chandeliers to generate the same maximising effect that a mirror does. Hang long curtains above the windows to help exaggerate the height of a space, stretching out the size.

Consider the space in between
- Image credit: The Home Styling Company

The negative space around an object is just as important as the object itself. In a small space, there’s a temptation to push everything to the edges of the room, but having gaps between objects and the wall can trick the eye into seeing the wall further back than it is. Give furniture breathing space and pull them away from the wall.

Create custom storage
- Image credit: David Aldrich Designs

This space uses some seriously smart storage solutions to make a smaller-sized room work harder. Built-in cabinetry maximises the use of the room, eliminating a need to find freestanding cabinets and bookcases. It’s a trick that serves small rooms time and time again – built-in often works better.

Flexibility is key
- Image credit: Furniture in Fashion

Look out for adaptable, multifunctional furniture that serves several different uses (or settle for at least two different uses) so the space can change quickly and easily to your needs. There are bonus points as multifunctional furniture is a key trend in 2022.

Don’t be afraid to go dark
- Image credit:

You’re not limited to whites or neutral colours just because the space lacks square footage. If you’re feeling bold enough, embrace the size and moodiness of a small room and even lean into it. Painting a room charcoal grey, navy blue or a moody hue can be chic. Lift the dark colour with bright accents and artwork.

Think seasonally
- Image credit: Off the Wall Interiors

Make room for new acquisitions by embracing the spirit of each season. Play on the aspect of the small room by rotating cushions, throws and décor and give a nod to the four seasons. Breathing new life into the space will help to keep it fresh-faced and on-trend.

Choose light furniture with tapered legs 
- Image credit: Furniture in Fashion

Nothing makes a space look smaller like a bulky sofa plopped in the room. Try using furniture that sits high up off the floor to make your small space look roomier. Pieces with long, tapered legs are a great choice so the space around each item breathes.

Use wall-mounted lights
- Image credit: B&Q

Floor and table lamps are going to take up precious space. Instead, choose space-saving sconces to hang on the wall that frees up surface space. These beauties light up your home without taking up lots of room, and many can be plugged into the wall, so you don’t have to worry about wiring. There are plenty of styles so you can find the one that suits your décor. If you’re partial to pendant lights, those could work too.

Stack style in that small room

As always, consider your own personal aesthetic, house size and location before following interior trends. And if you need a little guidance, reach out to a local interior designer. They’d be more than happy to help transform your home.

On Property Playground, you can find the latest on-trend and timeless purchases as well as curate your own collection of inspirational images. Start exploring today.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer