7 Tips for Decorating Small or Large Spaces

Did you know your décor can let you gain or lose some space?

These powers of illusion are ideal when you have small or large living spaces. And anyone can use them to their benefit.

It’s ideal to apply these guidelines when you plan out a room’s decorating. Each item can add to the overall effect.

And what effect do we want?

  • Ideally small rooms must still feel spacious
  • Large, cavernous rooms need to feel more cozy

But you don’t have to wait until you can do it all at once. Make small changes and you’ll start seeing the effects right away. Keep going until you’ve optimized your space. And remember, it’s not only about letting your rooms look great. They must be functional too.

Which of these can you start doing right away?

Define Spaces

This tip works whether you have a small or large area. What’s important is to allocate space to a certain activity such as:

  • A study area
  • A living room area
  • Kids play area

And how do you do this? A rug, colored tiles or play mat will serve you well. You don’t lose floor space but you achieve order.

In a small space this order will keep the rooms feeling cluttered. In large rooms you’re breaking up the room into smaller pieces. Now people can enjoy the unique areas instead of feeling lost in the vast space.

What Type of Furniture do You Have?

Below you’ll see how to use your current furniture optimally.

But if you ever purchase a new item, use these tips to help you pick.

No, you don’t have to settle for small furniture pieces when you have limited space. You simply have to pick the right pieces:

  • A large bulky chair can actually let a room seem larger if other pieces complement it.
  • Search for tall pieces—such as chairs and décor items—if you have a high roof. This will let furniture seem less dwarfed.
  • Opt for lower coffee tables in low ceilinged rooms. This creates the illusion that there’s more space.

And here’s my favorite tip: Look for furniture without armrests if you have a small living room. The absence of boundaries will let the area seem more spacious.

That’s how powerful a few pieces of furniture can be. Now you simply have to find the right layout.

Use Your Furniture Wisely

Always think of functionality when you look at your furniture.

How can your pieces be optimized? This is especially necessary in small rooms. Rather than having a desk and bookcase, try finding a piece that serves both purposes. You’ll save on valuable floor space. You can even turn art pieces into doors of cupboards for additional storage space.

In large rooms you can place items at random to use up some of the empty space. But always beware of creating a cluttered look. There must be a reason for each item you add to a room.  

Around the Edges

Of course it’s not only about the furniture. What’s happening on the outer rim?

No, people may not look directly at your curtains. But they do create the background for all your furniture.

When curtains hang from the roof—instead of only the top of windows—they create the illusion of more space. This is an ideal effect to use in small spaces.

And next to curtains you’ll find walls. What do you do with them?

  • In large spaces you need to fill them with photographs, paintings or other decorations. When they’re bare they make the room seem empty.
  • In small spaces, don’t simply fill them with random items. Add shelves or cupboards to increase storage space. But keep it simple to prevent a cluttered feel.


Colors do wonders no matter your decorating goal. And yes, they can even help you with space challenges.

There’s nothing wrong with using some color in your small living room. But what about using pastels with the same undertones throughout your home? Because you create less definitive breaks between rooms your home will feel more spacious.

Use the opposite tactic for a large room. Paint walls in two tones to let walls seem shorter.

If you love a bit of drama, why not use patterns on walls, furniture and décor? They make large rooms feel cosy because everything seems to be closer together. Enhance the effect be repeating the same pattern throughout the room.


We already touched on the subject but you must realize how important placement of each item is. And I’m not only referring to furniture.

If you don’t have much floor or surface space, why waste it on a light? Lights can be fixed to a wall or roof and will probably be more effective from that vantage point.

In a small room your biggest asset is floor space. So don’t waste an inch of it. Use corners for square furniture or a lampstand.

If you want to make a large room seem more inviting, don’t place all your furniture around the edges. You’re leaving a large cavern in the middle. This can make people feel awkward as they can’t get close to each other for conversation.

Rather group your chairs and tables closer to the centre. If you really have a lot of space you can create more than one area where tables, chairs and other items create functional spaces.

Once again carpets can benefit you. But don’t simply purchase the first one you like. Measure on which of the common rug sizes your grouping of furniture will fit. Now your room regains its sense of order.


Much of what we mention here is based on the power of illusion. Your spaces aren’t expanding or shrinking, but your visitors may think they do.

If you like the results thus far, you’ll love the next few. Here’s why they work. They’re all aimed at our senses. And our senses determine our perceptions:

  • Remove your small kitchen’s cupboard doors. You’ll feel less cramped because you create the illusion of endless space.
  • Mirrors in a small bathroom or living room do wonders. The reflecting images—and the fact that you don’t see the wall—let your brain believe there’s more space.
  • Fill up empty space in cavernous living rooms with tall plants, lamps or décor. It’s all about minimizing the amount of empty space around the room.
  • Large rooms feel bigger when people see shadows. Make sure small lamps light up corners to counter the effect.
  • Emptiness is emphasized when sounds echo. Prevent this by layering curtains and other fabric. It will absorb noise and create a cosy atmosphere.

Does this seem feasible? It’s not about spending more money or even renovating your home. You simply need to use what you have in the correct manner. And when you know the theory behind the decorating tips it becomes easy & you can incorporate your personal style.