Category Archives: Living Large In A Small Space

Small Space Solutions #1: Fooling the Eye


Any home might have a tiny room as part of the whole, but often times,  a tiny room is the home.


Don’t despair or turn a blind eye. There are a multitude of tricks to fool perception and maximize the use of space.

First off, stop thinking your space is “small”, as if that’s a bad thing. Think of it as “intimate”.   Surprisingly, medium or darker wall colors add to this feeling of comfortable enveloping warmth, rather than make the room seem smaller.  That said, you don’t want to use a lot of different colors, as this will read as too busy. Try to confine yourself to two colors and the rest neutrals or natural materials.

In fact, a monochromatic color scheme is the most effective in expanding your horizons within the envelope.  Not only would you paint the walls and trims the same color, but also use the same color for the drapery and upholstery too. The trick to making a one-color scheme look great, vary the shade of color to get lights, mediums and darks, and add a variety of textures.  Use reflective and/or shiny surfaces contrasted with course textured fabrics.

If you find that your low ceilings qualify as “unfortunate architecture”, then wallpaper can do wonders. You can bring a low ceiling to new heights visually by using vertically striped wallpaper. Also, the larger pieces of furniture should be low slung and lean. Think twice about a high backed wing chair. There are times when a few pieces of large scale furniture and nothing else is very effective, but that’s a discussion for another day.

A patterned paper can disguise irregularities in old walls too. Hopeless little attic rooms with the ceilings sloping on all sides can be transformed by using a small patterned paper on all walls, including the ceiling.  The weird wall angles become un-noticeable. Not for everyone, but using the same patterned fabric on the upholstered furniture, window coverings, bedclothes (if applicable) and walls can look spectacular.

Bad Attitude. Don’t be so focused on what’s dreadful that you neglect to play up any good features that might exist such as a fireplace, great views, or even beautiful molding.

Take a positive point of view (and a few clever tricks), and you will find that a beautiful tiny home is not an oxymoron.
Related Posts

(Small Space Solutions Five Part Series)

Small Space Solutions #2: Multi-Task Mantra

Small Space Solutions #3: Change Your Mind

Small Space Solutions #4: Subversive Tactics

Small Space Solutions #5: Stuff It, Etc.


Large Photo: – by Ben Teitelbaum, June 4, 2007

Article Photo  – – AP

The original version of this post was published on It’s presented here as a foundation for further discussion.