Think your home is too small? Having a well-designed space is crucial to feeling at home in your surroundings, but even more important to factor in when looking for inspiration for small room decorating ideas.

How to trick the eye into making a room appear more spacious? How many decorative items are simply, just too many? Decorating a space with limited square footage is tough, but with compact apartments and tiny homes taking hold over McMansions as of late, there are foolproof strategies to energize a space no matter its size.

With small room decorating ideas in mind, we asked our designers to share their wisdom on upgrading spaces on the smaller side so you can create a beautifully balanced, modern room that’s functional and pleasing to the eye. From common mistakes to avoid, to ideas to make a small room seem bigger, we’ve got essential small room decorating ideas covered to maximize your space.

Don’t Be Shy

Don’t be afraid to think big and play with various scales. Everything doesn’t have to be small. No matter the size, any room needs various scaled pieces to keep the eye moving and entertained.

One large piece artfully placed object here and there will not overpower a room as all it takes is one piece to make a room feel grander. Think moderately sized furniture combined with an efficient placement to make the space feel much bigger while creating less clutter and more functionality.

small room decoration ideas

Image via One King’s Lane

Stick To A Concise Color Palette

Since you can’t afford to have decorative pieces visually clashing with each other, bring everything together with either a peaceful monochrome palette or a concise set of complimentary tones while keeping in mind to experiment with texture and pattern, for small room decorating ideas that can bring your tiny space to life.

small room color palette

Image via BHG

Start From The Ground Up

A common mistake is placing a small rug in the middle of a small room as tiny rugs feel inadequate in any living space and will make a room appear much smaller and simply off.

By sourcing a larger rug in a functional yet eye-catching fabrication, you’ll also have a solid foundation to tie together the various elements you’ve configured while adding a cozy option for extra (floor) seating when guests come by.

small room with area rug

Image via Designrulz

Stay True To Your Style

Just because your space is limiting, there’s no need to sacrifice your personal style to accommodate your needs and the room you have to work with. The trick is to incorporate pieces that reflect your personality and tastes just as you would in a larger space.

Look for pieces that evoke emotion and feel natural when placed in your home as you don’t want the room to feel forced or the items fixed in place. Often, the best small room decorating ideas revolve around a few key elements balanced by little add-ons and embellishments that bring everything together. That said, remember to take it easy and embrace slow decorating practices as no space will genuinely feel put together overnight.

small room decor ideas

Image via Hall of Homes

Keep A Tight Edit

When considering small room decorating ideas, we suggest approaching what you put into your home similar to what you add to your wardrobe. Stop yourself from over buying and try not to purchase decorative items if you don’t know exactly where you can place them immediately. Everything should be functional and have the capacity to do double-duty and have multiple purposes – when possible.

In any small space, avoid fitting too many various elements throughout as the key is to create a central theme and work from there. By using fewer extras, you can concentrate on which larger pieces you’d want to highlight in your petite home.

small apartment decor ideas

Image via Spruce

Use Lighting To Your Advantage

When thinking of how to make your small space seem as large as possible, take advantage of any natural light you have and if you aren’t blessed with enough, source smart, petite lighting elements, mirrors and furnishings with reflective surfaces to maximize what you do have.

A mirrored wall, glass top tables, and high-shine finishes will make any tiny room feel more spacious and airy than it actually is and you won’t have to go over your budget.

small apartment lighting ideas

Image via Hall of Homes

Don’t Line Walls

A common mistake in homes large and small is placing furnishings completely against your walls when in reality moving furniture away from walls makes a room look instantly bigger, makes yourself and guests feel more comfortable and gives you more walking space throughout the room – especially if the room is anchored by a statement-making rug.

small room furniture layout

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

Utilize Forgotten Spaces

When it comes to small decorating ideas, there’s nooks and crannies to be taken advantage of no matter how challenging your space seems. Take advantage of areas we often forget above kitchen cabinets, in entryways, and on windowsills, as they’re the perfect spot to prop decorative items that are both functional and beautifully realized and can work as storage spots to conceal items you don’t use often but need.

These can also be areas you can for once go for oversized art on a walls dead space, create vignettes boasting large decorative vases and personal collections as they are one spot to not let the challenges of a small space cramp your interior decorating aesthetic. When it comes to small living, you should be thinking of ideas that trick the eye into making the area appear larger rather than focusing on how oddly you’ve used the space.

small apartment kitchen design

 Image via La Bici Azul

Create A Jewel Box Environment

Even with many younger apartment dwellers having to adapt to small spaces, it’s surprising that there’s still a common misconception that when you have a small space, you have to keep it minimal with furnishings and pattern when ultimately, you should be striving to pack as much punch as possible to create an experience.

Although luxury can’t be stuffed in a box, by cleverly rethinking small room decorating ideas, you’ll soon realize that space is not really a problem by finding balance in compact, simple design. Think bold personal extra’s that bring in personality and warmth to radiate your tiny home’s brilliant design moves. This way, you can make your space sing to you, no matter how bare-boned and small it originally felt.