Designing the interior of a large room or a home with an open floor plan certainly has its perks, but who says a small space can’t produce even cooler results? You may feel cramped in a small area, but with the right techniques, you can create an open and spacious oasis. I am totally into tiny homes right now, and even though I don’t have one – sigh, I am always dreaming up ways to maximize efficiency and design creatively for even the smallest of spaces.
Make the most of your teeny room and check out these interior design ideas and tips that will help create a roomy illusion for smaller spaces.
Light and Bright
When working on the interior design for a small room, I recommend gravitating towards lighter shades on the color wheel; darker hues tend to make a space seem smaller. This works when you are going for drama, but when you are looking for a roomy feel, go for lighter color. Begin looking at softer options like a warm white or light gray, and go high gloss on the ceiling – trust me. I just LOVE this look and – bonus – it bounces light like nobody’s business.
An all-white palette showcases an airy and bold style while creating an open and roomy space. All-white interiors smooth out the dark corners and edges where walls meet, allowing the eye to keep moving. This creates the illusion of a larger, seamless design.
This all-white bunk room feels light, bright, and roomy. Some may call it itty-bitty. I say it is super cozy!
Allow me to point out another key feature of the bunk bed example above: copious amounts of storage! Providing built-in storage and/or seating in small rooms allows you to remove bulky dressers and chairs that would otherwise eat up critical space. Some great built-in pieces are in the form of hidden drawers and reading nooks. Not only do nooks save space, but their cozy appeal also serves as extra seating where cumbersome chairs or sofas just don’t make sense. These nooks also create useable space where once there was an awkward landing or hallway.
Enhance a reading nook with fun accents. In the image below, I added cream-colored drapes with a patterned trim on the leading edge, a copper-barrel side table and a fabulous pendant light featuring stained glass. Details like these truly make your home uniquely you.
In my classically current designs, I am always looking for the perfect opportunity for extra cabinets within built-in pieces. With twin 4-year-olds that have laid claim to a mountain of toys, I am constantly designing a new hiding spot (for the toys, not the kids). I do the same for my clients: storage is an essential!
Raise the Roof (or at least your drapery)
To create the illusion of a more voluminous space, consider mounting drapes at a higher level than usual to draw the eye up. Similar to how high heels seemingly elongate legs (uh-hem, for some of us), the same concept works with interior design: tall drapes lengthen a room to provide a heightened appearance.
You would think that the higher the drape, the bigger the illusion but, at some point, high drapery can start to look strange. Don’t go more than a couple of feet above your window. If you do, opt for a stationary shade above the window to fake the height.
For more tips on interior design techniques for drape installation, head to to learn the ins and outs on measurements, fabric selection, color and pattern.
For now, I will continue dreaming about my future tiny house with all of the efficient and hidden storage. Hope you can use these tips when you are working on your own small space. If you get a tiny house, please tell me all about it! Can’t even deal with how cute they are! For more of my classically current inspirations, head to my and !