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Jun 19, 2019

How to Decorate a Small Space

Callan and Holly are a young couple living in a downtown apartment. They recently participated in our Project DI challenge by creating a home office. Since they live in an apartment, they had to get creative in how to do this with their space restrictions. (Watch “Project DI: Home Office” to see the final result.)

If you live in a small space, it can be tricky to decorate without feeling cramped or stuck in close quarters. However, it’s totally possible to decorate a small home, apartment, or room in a way that feels cozy and looks beautiful. And with the help of Deseret Industries, you can do it in a way that is affordable as well.

Here are our tips for how to decorate a small space:

1. Make your space do double duty.

Callan and Holly needed a home office space, but they didn’t have an entire room to dedicate to a desk, computer, and work supplies. So, they utilized some extra space in their bedroom to make a home office area.

This room now serves two purposes: a bedroom and a working space.

2. Use levels to create more space.

You may not have much square footage to play with, but you can use vertical space to create more room. Consider using floating shelves and wall lights instead of standing bookcases or floor lamps to give yourself more floor space. You can also stack items to create depth and make the room feel bigger, like how Holly put a plant on a small stool.

Stacking items can give your small space more depth and texture.
Floating shelves like these ones can help you make the most of limited space.

3. Find furniture pieces that include storage space.

When you don’t have much space, every inch counts. Buy furniture items that have shelves, drawers, or extra storage areas. Holly and Callan’s desk has a bunch of little drawers for storage, so they don’t need an extra filing cabinet or shelf. Look for ottomans that double as boxes, nightstands with shelves, and other functional furniture pieces in the yard area or large furniture section at DI.

One of Holly’s favorite parts about their new desk is this sliding tray. Holly loves it because she can slide the tray out to have more desk space while she’s working. But when she’s finished, the tray slides back into the desk, keeping the desk from taking up too much room.

4. Leave some open space.

When you’re working with limited space, it can be tempting to fill up every corner. However, leaving some empty space will give you room to breathe. Having too many items in a room will make it feel even smaller. You need room to walk around and live in. Leaving open space gives you a place to put your work bag, your purse, or other items you use daily.

5. Embrace good lighting.

Having enough light is an important design principle for any room, but it’s particularly crucial for small spaces. If you don’t have enough light in a small room, it can feel dark, sad, and smaller than it actually is. Make sure you have several lamps. Mirrors can also be used to make a room feel lighter. (Lamps and mirrors are both items that you can find in wide varieties at DI!)

6. Focus on quality items.

With a smaller space, you are likely to have fewer items. Since you are only able to have a handful of furniture pieces, focus on making sure what you have is high quality.

7. Avoid clutter. Donate what you don’t need.

What you don’t need in a small space is clutter. Donate items that aren’t serving a purpose or that take up space you could use for other functions.

8. Go for functional décor.

Decorate with items that have a purpose or that you use. This might mean decorating with baskets that also store spare blankets or displaying your dishes on open shelves.

This kitchen uses open shelves, and the dishes double as décor.

9. Make the most of awkward spaces.

Find ways to use the odd-shaped little nooks and crannies in your home. Measure the space you have, and find a shelf or dresser that fits in that spot. It’s easy for these unique little spaces to become wasted spaces that don’t serve any purpose.

10. Find space for things you like.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, it’s important to have some items you like on display. Holly likes having photos from their travels on the wall. They remind her of good memories, and they make the space personal. (Side note and photo tip from Holly: Buy your frames at DI! And look for frames that already have mats. That way, you can print your own photos and put them in the frames without having to get a new mat created.)

We want to see how you use Deseret Industries to make the most of the small spaces in your home! Share using #ProjectDI.