Interior design is as appropriate for smaller homes as it is for larger ones. Many of our clients live in smaller homes or condos in order to be close to city amenities, jobs, or family members. It should not be assumed that just because your home is small, that your furniture must also be small. In fact, done correctly, large pieces can actually make the space seem spacious. Using many smaller pieces can have the result of looking cramped, cluttered and apologetic! A few well-chosen larger pieces can spark a beautiful décor scheme, as opposed to trying to cram in too many small pieces. Many of us love a dramatic look in décor, but some think that this is not possible in a smaller home. It most certainly is possible. The smaller home can have décor just as dynamic and vibrant as that in a much larger home.In a very small room, attempting to find a pleasing arrangement that includes a sofa, coffee table, side tables, ottomans and side chairs is going to be next to impossible. It’s much more likely that a sofa, one table, perhaps a bench, and maybe a side chair will work. It may even be possible to use a large, interesting armoire in the space for much needed storage. In a slightly larger room, where storage is not as critical, it is possible to convey a look of more spaciousness with pieces of lighter scale.It goes without saying that all the pieces in the room must actually be useful as well as ornamental. Tiny homes simply are often too small to house pieces which hold only sentimental value. Luckily, though, these days, we are able to digitize many elements of out lifestyle so that we no longer need the hard copy version. This allows us to substantially reduce clutter.

transitional living room with turquoise chaiseA large mirror, even a floor length one, lends a feeling of space and lightness. A mirror or a glass doored cabinet placed across the room from a window can lend the impression of an additional window in the room. The mirror or glass doors will make the room appear larger because of the reflection of space and light. The way to vibrant room designs is by using a little surprise now and then. It may be an unusual colour combination. It may be a striking furniture piece. It may be both.casual and comfortable loft style living room with painted exposed brick wall and yellow sofa

A dramatic piece of artwork or a wallpaper mural in a huge scale in a small room can lend a cozy and interesting ambiance to the room. There is a sense of “living large” while remaining in a small home. Large abstract artworks add a sense of contemporary uplift to a room design. There’s no need to feel that your home is less deserving of dramatic interior design features than a larger home. Go ahead. Bring some excitement into your home! Coffee tables with mirrored surfaces, or that have clear glass or are made of acrylic lend lightness also. The base can be made from interesting stone, wood or what have you, but will not overpower the space because the surface can be seen through. By using materials that you can see through, anything beyond will appear farther away. Mirrored furniture pieces have a place in small homes for the same reason. Notice in the room below that there are not just small, timid furnishings. Instead, there are large, comfy pieces with nails head detailing on the chairs, and the coffee table, though small, is eye-catching. This pushes the design envelope outside the norm. It looks wonderful. There is room to relax and enjoy this small home.In a tiny bathroom, some materials should also be clear, glossy, or light to lend a spacious feel. All of the elements, however, do not have to be light or clear. Dramatic textural surfaces in dark colours can be introduced into a small bathroom, as well, adding sparkle and glamour.

grey paired arm chairs with nail studs

The key is lighting. Many enormous homes are poorly lit because the home owner has never upgraded the lighting from the minimal offering that the builder installed just to sell the place. In full bathrooms the use of glass shower enclosures accomplish this, adding 3 feet to the view, while glass tiles reflect light and add glitz. The room may still be tiny but it does not feel oppressive. How much more fun this form of interior design is than merely painting everything a light colour. Enjoy some dramatic elements in your home decor!Open shelving performs a similar function well, as long as clutter does not accumulate. When you have a spectacular bathroom with very little storage space, make use of nearby storage for spare items in bedroom storage. All of the bathroom necessities do not need to be stored in a miniscule bathroom. That only creates stress and looks terrible. Often we can find storage in a nearby guest room since guests tend to travel light and they do not need the whole closet.
charming and elegant master bathroom in older home with painted floor and marble sided bathtub
Colours need not always be pale or light. Many of our clients love colour and pattern and would be very unhappy if they could not enjoy colour in their homes simply because they are small. The colour scheme should be simple and confident, however and employ large blocks of colour that blends from one space to the next.Comfort and calm is the aim. There is room for pattern but it will overpower if used in excess. Texture is a wonderful thing in that it creates interest without confining the occupant of the home. The drama of dark colours is such a fun part of interior design, as long as the client enjoys rich colour palettes as much as the designer does. Dark colours can actually be quite uplifting for those who enjoy them. It would be a shame to think that they cannot be used in a smaller home. A mirror can add sparkle to a room design that is very dark. The grass cloth wall covering used in the room design below lends texture as well as a heritage feel. Grass cloth is almost a form of faux panelling and many clients find that they do not tire of it. This goes for wallcoverings, in general. They add lasting impact to a room design.
alpaca wallcovering made to look like horse hair
Window treatments can be sumptuous and flowing, but should be simple designs, sheer fabrics, and light or neutral colours. Some clients love dramatic, formal window treatments, even in a small space. It is possible to have a beautiful small room with complex or highly coloured draperies, but the balance of simplicity and formality would need to be adjusted to prevent an oppressive result. A layered treatment of stationary drapery panels with beautiful blinds underneath can be spectacular. The room below makes use of rich colour and strong pattern in the area rug, but it is balanced with simplicity in the remaining features of the room design. The sheer blinds add just enough detail and interest while controlling in-coming solar rays.
upscale contemporary dining room with white leather chairs, metal and glass table, and abstract area carpet in pale blue, pale gold, and red
Who says you can’t have fun and a little drama in the interior design of a smaller home? We disagree! Dining rooms, casual and formal alike, often become overcrowded due to the use of large, old school  furniture pieces. A sideboard or buffet need not necessarily be closed storage only. Open storage looks airier and more informal. Clients often worry that it will be difficult to keep things looking tidy and nice with an open piece. Items stored in a dining room are usually fairly nice looking so this is not likely to be a problem. In the room below, we see dramatic use of colour and accessories in a small space. The room is lovely and not oppressive in the least. There is plenty of texture and drama, as well as sparkle. There is no need to wait until you are in a large home to enjoy colour. Enjoy the home that you have!
upscale casual dining room with clean lined dark wood furniture, chevrom pattern area carpet, vases with branches, and turquoise stained wall panelling
The choice of tables in dining rooms relates not only to the size of the room but the desire to accommodate the preferred number of guests. If the table is too small, some desired guests cannot be accommodated which is unfortunate. A round table is an excellent choice. Many round tables have an extension leaf so that the table remains small until it needs to be larger. A narrow table in a narrow room can work extremely well. It may need to be customized to make it narrow enough so that the room is not too crowded during a dinner party.A pedestal base allows extra guests because there are fewer obstructions. A narrow dining room may require a narrow table. This may need to be custom made. The dining chairs may need to be lighter in scale than in a larger home. Some clients prefer to have fewer chairs but in a large scale for comfort and dramatic look. There is a trend toward the use of transparent Lucite furniture in contemporary dining rooms. This is a fun, eclectic look. The lighting in any room is a crucial part of the interior design of the room. In the dining room, a large chandelier can be used, but it will likely need to be of an airy style. Bigger is not always better or even desirable. A small home is still a castle.

Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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