5 More Common Mistakes in Decorating a Small Space

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Written by: the_inspired_room
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Small spaces can be the cosiest! But they need extra special attention through the decorating process to keep them from feeling cramped or cluttered. In this article I'll share some common mistakes that are made when decorating a small space and offer you simple and affordable solutions to help you create the small home or room of your dreams! (See part one of this post with more common mistakes  here).
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1. Too many small pieces

It seems counter intuitive, but small spaces don't feel bigger with a lot of small pieces. The fact is, while appropriately scaled furniture does help, too many small pieces makes the room feel cluttered. 

The best solution for a cluttered room, stemming from too many small elements, is to edit down to the essentials and replace several smaller items with one or two of a slightly more prominent size. 

For instance, several small tables could be replaced with one larger ottoman.  Several chairs and sofas could be streamlined with a small scaled  sectional. Small console tables and little bookcases could be pared down in favour of one or two larger cabinets. 
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2. Not utilising the available vertical space

Small spaces lack floor space and the more you pack into a room, the less available square footage you have. And when the floors are covered with squatty furniture, the room feels cluttered and awkward. 

Solve your space problems and enhance the visual appearance of your room by looking UP.  If you have wall space without windows or doors, use it! 

Short cabinets do not offer as much storage as tall ones. Similarly, in a kitchen, cabinets that go to the ceiling will offer more storage and a more streamlined look than ones hung lower on the wall.  Shelving can be installed on a wall or even above an existing cabinet.
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3. Failure to address traffic flow

Small rooms will need specifically sized pieces and certain shapes to make the people-traffic flow freely and effortlessly through the space. 

Quite often small spaces are filled with furniture and pieces that are set up in a way that makes it awkward for people to come in and out of the room, or to get around the room with ease. For instance, a large sofa blocking the entrance can make a room feel unwelcome or pieces that are too deep against a wall can block the walkways around the room. 

Before you begin shopping for furniture, create a floor plan for your space and make note of features like door ways, windows and narrow passage ways. Play around with your floor plan to figure out the most effective layout for your sofa and other furniture before you shop and select new pieces. Try rearranging the furniture you already have to see if there is a better way to set it up. Unexpected arrangements just might work better, but you will never know until you try it! 

While a small room might not have a lot of extra space to move about, you definitely don't want unnecessary furniture roadblocks that make the room feel particularly uncomfortable or more diminutive than it is.
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4. Not bringing in enough light

Natural and artificial light makes a room feel more welcoming. Small rooms may have some disadvantages when it comes to lighting. They may have less windows or smaller windows and doors, or be less likely to be wide open to other rooms to bring in light from other spaces. 

Fortunately there are some easy remedies for small dark rooms that don't involve remodeling! Maximise the light you have by bringing it all around your room with some of the following simple tricks. 

Use larger mirrors to reflect light to dark sides of a room. 
Use multiple accent lamps around the room. 
Rooms with natural light can be enhanced by light neutral colours on the wall. 
Rooms lacking natural light can be enhanced by artificial light and adding colour in contrasts, such as a darker colour on the walls and bright white trim work. 
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5. Too much clutter

They say small houses are easier to clean and it is true, there's less to take care of. But if you have a pile of clutter in a large room, it won't feel overwhelming at all. But a pile of clutter in a small space can feel like a mountain! Small spaces cannot handle as much mess or clutter as a large room might, so streamlining everything is the key! Keep your floors and other horizontal surfaces as clear and streamlined as possible. Make it a habit to pick up the clutter daily!

Whether you have a big or small house, check out my practical and affordable decorating posts here and at The Inspired Room blog to find helpful tips on making your house a home!
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5 Common Mistakes When Decorating a Small Room
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5 Common Mistakes When Decorating a Small Room
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Written by: the_inspired_room
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