How to Design for a Small Space

July 31, 2018


design tips
follow @almahomes

Welcome to the Alma Homes blog! Our team of designers and architects share weekly design cheat sheets, product roundups, and frequent updates on our current projects. Enjoy reading!

Design Tips
more categories

welcome home

As much as we love the big, luxurious homes we see on Instagram, the reality is, most homeowners have at least a few small rooms in their home, whether that be a bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. And let’s be honest, it can be really difficult to curate a small space that is both pleasing to the eye as well as functional. Today, we’re sharing 5 tips you can follow to achieve just that — a small space that is not only practical but looks beautiful!  


First things first, choose your paint color wisely. It will set the mood for your space and is the color you will build off for the rest of your design. Many people think you should completely avoid dark paint colors for small spaces, but we think otherwise! If you’re going for a rich and cozy look, dark paint can be the perfect way to achieve this! If you’re still intimated by this idea, but want to give it a try, the perfect solution may be a dark statement wall. This way you have a splash of color without completely overtaking/darkening the space.

For a bright and airy room, we recommend choosing a neutral paint tone (white, cream, light gray). This also has a way of making the space feel more open.


Who would ever have guessed that an area rug can be the game changer in your small space? While it may be tempting to use small area rugs in your small space, we would actually tell you the opposite! Large area rugs not only add pattern and texture, but can also make your small space appear bigger. If you are using a large area rug in your living room or dining room, make sure the rug touches all of the furniture pieces. For a living room, you want the rug to be under your sofa and chairs. For the dining room, your rug should be large enough that when you pull out your chairs, they are still fully on the rug.


This is a biggy when it comes to small spaces! We promise you that the more simple you go, the better your space will look. Make sure your room includes plenty of negative space. For example, if you’re accessorizing a shelf in your bathroom, include 2-3 essential items in layered sizes. This will prevent a cluttered look. But what about all of the things I need to store in my bathroom (or kitchen, bedroom, etc.)? Well, that leads us to our next tip…


Just because it is a small space doesn’t mean it cannot be functional. We like to use decor items that also double for storage or practical uses. This might be using a decorative bowl on your kitchen counter to hold your keys, hanging wire baskets to store you potatoes and onions, or finding a cute storage container for all of your toiletries. These are great ways to fulfill your rooms’ needs without having to completely rid your space of all your stuff.


Want to make you small room look a more spacious and less claustrophobic? Incorporate a mirror into your space! And we say, go big! For example in your bathroom, instead of using two regular sized mirrors over the vanity sinks, use one large one that extends across the entire vanity wall. Believe us when we say that this will make your room look 10x larger than it’s current size!

Design: Alma Homes

Photography: Laura Rae Photography, and Melissa Oholendt Photography

leave a comment 

Leave a Reply

What's Your Design Style?

take the quiz

take the quiz! (in just 60 seconds)

Discover your design style so you can start creating a home you love.