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Working Within the Rooms You Have

If your space is feeling cramped and cluttered, you will start to feel closed in and uncomfortable. The key is to trick your eyes into thinking the spaces are bigger than they appear. You don’t need a home makeover guru, just some creative styling. We have collected some styling tips to help you develop a space that creates a welcoming reception and a comfortable nuance.

Natural light creates open and airy feelings, avoid using dark curtains on large windows.  Light and semi-sheer shades maximize the light brought in from smaller windows.

Mirrors make small rooms look larger, try propping a large mirror in the corner or tiling a section of wall in mirrors.  Not only will it reflect the room, making it appear larger, but also reflect the light in the room, making it brighter.


When selecting additional lighting, consider wall-mounted or hanging lights to avoid taking up precious floor space. Swing-arm sconces can be found in stylish designs and will eliminate the need for space on tables like traditional table lamps - in fact they eliminate the need for tables!


Even in small spaces creating contrast and points of interest are possible. But there can be a fine line between a well-curated look and cluttering up the room. Dramatic hanging lights like sparkling chandeliers, a large ottoman covered in an interesting pattern or an over-sized ornate vase can help create the contrast you are looking for in what could otherwise be a drab looking room. 

Embracing the size and shape of a space will help you enhance the feel to your room. Keeping seating close together and intimate, has been well advised if you're decorating a small family room, where you want the room to be welcoming. Creating space behind some furniture contributes to making a room look wider than it may be, try pulling some pieces out from the wall. Varying proportion and scale will create a visual effect of higher ceilings. Lower sofas and settees help change the perception of the room. Using ottomans in place of a traditional coffee tables will make better use of your space.  Top them with a tray holding flowers and candles to look pretty while being on standby for extra seating or to put your feet up on at the end of a long day.

Sometimes, the only option is to get creative and make rooms multi-purpose when space is an issue. Not all homes are large enough for separate living room, family room, and home office, and all three spaces need to be combined in one area.  Arranging furniture to create divisions within the room can help, area rugs will break up the continuity in the floor space and contribute to defining the various uses of the room.  Be mindful of traffic flows, if you don’t at first you will be rearranging the room after banging your toes for the umpteenth time!


Take advantage of vertical space! Make tall windows light and airy with high, full curtains and fabulous wallpapers curtains.  Hang artwork to trick the eye, depending on how it’s hung, artwork can accentuate the height of a room or seemingly expand the height of lower ceilings.  Gallery walls done to the ceiling can make your space feel larger, especially if a few mirrors are incorporated in with the photos.

Have fun with color!  If you love bright, vivid colours but are afraid of it being overwhelming, pick a tight colour palette, two or three colours you enjoy the most and work around them.  Over time you may find a way to add in a few more! Mix in some patterns to create interest.  Do you already have a pattern you love?  Base your colour palette around some of most or least used colours in the pattern, sometimes its actually easier to start with your favourite pattern and build your room around that!


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