Small house interior design is something of an art.
Execute it well and you can gain what seemingly looks like extra square meterage, making your home feel bigger and more spacious.
If you fail the art, your space can suddenly seem even smaller, and appear cluttered.
Trying to find ways to make a small house feel bigger is one of the most common conundrums when it comes to interior design.
Let’s face it, small rooms and houses are easily found in the UK, unless you build your own home from the ground up, it’s likely to be somewhat of an issue.
It’s time to start seeing small house interior design as a welcome, and exciting challenge.
Tips to Make your Small Home Look Bigger
- Avoid using White
- Add mirrors
- No short curtains
- Use Alcoves
- Skirting boards
- CRI Lighting
- Minimise furniture
- Use natural light
- Use size cleverly
- Focal points
- Glass lighting
- Contrasting colors
- High hanging drapes
- Furniture scale
- Vertical lines
- Multifunctional furniture
- Use white space
- Hidden storage
- Large accessories
- Area rugs
- Creative lights
- Track lighting
- Clever wall art
- Seemless flooring
- High bookcases
- Small scale patterns
27 Small House Interior Design Tips To Make Your Home Feel Bigger
Having a small house or small room shouldn’t be a hindrance.
With small house interior design choices that are thoughtful and well considered, you can make your home feel bigger in no time with these 27 top tips to transform your small spaces.
1. Bright White Is Not Always The Answer
When someone has a small room the almost instant reaction is to add a lick of bright white paint to the walls. Mistake number 1.
Small rooms can be dark for any reason, including having no natural light whatsoever. But understanding why your room is dark in the first place is an important step to deciding the best paint shade.
Paint colours do not give you light, they reflect it. Bright white only thrives in a sunny south facing room that has lots of lovely warm light to bounce around the walls.
In the case of a small room that has little natural light, adding a bright white will make the walls feel flat as there is no light to bounce around.
Whites with yellow bases, creamy and beige neutrals help to naturally counteract the blue light that can make the room feel cold, and small.
Always compare paint charts to ensure you match up the rest of the house with other colours that feature the same undertones.
2. Small House Interior Design – Incorporate Mirrors
Image: Covet House
A great interior design hack for small spaces is by simply adding a mirror. Mirrors help to reflect what light and space there is around the room which gives the subtle illusion of more space.
3. Say No To Short Curtains
Curtains that stop beneath the windows are one of the biggest cardinal sins when it comes to interior design, but even more so in a small space.
Short curtains can make the height of a room appear even smaller because there is no flow to the floor.
Always opt for curtains that fall straight to the floor, and try to avoid heavily patterned curtains that can make the room feel strangulated.
4. Utilise Alcove Space
Empty alcove space does not make a space appear more minimal, it creates dead space that can not be filled effectively, and provides no storage space for a small living room or bedroom.
Whether you choose to add a cabinet or TV stand, building in shelving and cupboard space is one of the best ways to maximise alcove space in a small room.
It creates welcomed additional storage space, and the shelving can be thoughtfully styled to showcase your interior style.
5. Don’t Forget Skirting Boards
The devil really is in the detail, but even more so in small homes where every metre of space matters.
Opting for taller skirting boards and painting them in white can create the illusion that the ceilings are higher, and that the walls are further away, helping to make the room look larger than it actually is.
6. High CRI Lighting
A small room that has no natural light at all needs to rely on artificial light to brighten it.
The colour rendering index is a scale between 0-100 with 100 being the highest levels of CRI.
Anything above >97 offers the truest representation of colour of objects, and paint. Ever heard yourself say “why does this look different in different lights?”.
It’s down to one thing called CRI, and it delivers a huge impact on interiors when CRI levels are poor. Always check the CRI of bulbs when buying and opt for >97 where possible.
7. Small House Interior Design Trick – Minimise Furniture
Image: Essential Home
A large living room can easily hold a sofa and an armchair or two, but the same can’t be replicated in a small living room.
When it comes to small house interior design things need to be done differently, and assessing furniture is key to getting it right.
A small living room would be much better placed with a sofa and a stylish ottoman that can double up as a seat, and be moved to the wall when not in use.
It keeps the main floor space free and actually makes the room feel more spacious.
8. Let Natural Light Do Its Thing
Image: English Blinds
If you have a small room but ample natural light from windows, you’re already halfway there to making your home feel bigger.
If it’s a window with privacy, don’t cover them with anything in the day and use semi sheer or linen curtains to allow light to filter through them.
9. Use Size To Your Advantage
Small rooms should never be considered a hindrance, in fact, small spaces can be used to your advantage in an interior.
And using the right small house interior design will make those rooms all the better.
Suddenly, the lack of space no longer becomes an issue.
10. Create A Focal Point
Image: Garden Trading
Creating a singular focal point or centrepiece in a room helps to visually draw your eye as you enter the room.
In doing so, the focal point becomes the star of the show rather than how small the room is. A focal point in a living room could be a fireplace, whilst in a hallway it might be a sensational lighting fixture.
Lean into adding something special, and let everything else in the room work around that.
It’s no secret that decluttering your home is one of the easiest, and FREE ways to make your small home appear larger.
Try to keep things neatly arranged and only keep a minimal amount of items on show that work with your interior design scheme. Not feeling brave enough?
Assess each item and think like Marie Kondo, organisational extraordinaire, if the item doesn’t spark joy anymore, it’s time to get rid.
Decluttering your space will help everything to breathe, whilst the minimalism will help the room to flow better.
12. Use Glass Lighting
Image: Soho Lighting
When choosing light fixtures, glass lighting is a smart choice for small rooms.
Why? Glass lighting will reflect, disperse and retract the light around it, whilst they can also help to open up the room.
If you have a kitchen island, always follow the rule of odds. Hang in a row of 3, 5 or 7. This delivers a perfect balance of symmetry around each light, creating an impactful focal point which looks great too!
13. Carefully Considered Contrasting Colours
Image: Olive and Barr
Another optical illusion that can be achieved in a small room is by soft, neutrals contrasting with darker colours such as blues and greens.
This adds more warmth to the space to avoid it feeling clinical, whilst the contrast gives the illusion of the walls being further back, helping the room to feel much bigger.
14. Hang Drapes & Curtains Higher
Image: Tori Murphy
Fitting a curtain pole directly above the window is what most of us do, but a secret small house interior design trick is to hang your drapes and curtains higher than this natural point, maybe 4-6 inches from the ceiling.
It’s going to immediately make your room feel taller, whilst making the rest of the room feel larger.
15. Check The Scale Of Furniture
Image: Furniture Choice
Always check the size of furniture before buying, bulky furniture in a small room is going to make it feel ever smaller!
Getting the proportions right is so important.
If you still want to fit the room with the same amount of furniture you would in a larger room, then you’re going to need to source smaller pieces of furniture.
For example, think about smaller scale chairs, smaller round tables, and 2 seater sofas instead of 3.
16. Small House Interior Design – Vertical Lines
Vertical blinds are another way to achieve the appearance of elongated ceilings in a small space.
But you can also add vertical lines in your home decor scheme as it helps to bring the eye up. Install vertically lined panelling from floor to ceiling, or create a Beverly Hills Hotel esque look with striped walls with paint or wallpaper.
Adding vertical lines helps a room to feel bigger, and more expansive.
17. Multifunctional Furniture
Image: Searle Taylor
Small interior design hacks are all about making your space work smarter, not harder.
Multifunctional pieces of furniture are ideal for small homes.
By doubling up what you can do with a piece of furniture you are avoiding the room feeling cluttered.
In a kitchen you could have a stand alone sideboard that could be used as an extension of your kitchen worktops, whilst built underneath it there could be a series of drawers for maximum storage opportunities.
Or a sideboard that doubles up as a working from home desk, there are so many great opportunities to limit the furniture you need when you identify what your lifestyle, and home requires.
18. The Value of White Space in Small House Interior Design
When decorating a small room, it’s important to leave something called white space.
You don’t need to fill up every nook and cranny in a room, from floor to ceiling.
Leave places whether it’s on the wall, shelving, on top of a coffee table, or the floor that there is nothing but white space. Those pockets of open space will help the room to feel less cluttered, and larger.
19. Create Hidden Storage Solutions
Image: Annie Sloan
If you have a small home, storage can be somewhat of an issue.
So, why not create some clever storage solutions that are hidden from sight.
For example, in a small living room you could have a small sofa, then create a window seat for extra seating that doesn’t eat into the room, whilst doubling up with creating hidden storage underneath the seat.
Out of sight, out of mind! The more opportunities you can do this, the more enjoyable it will feel to be able to hide that clutter.
20. Opt For Larger Decor Accessories
It could feel counterintuitive, but listen out.
Lots of tiny decor accessories instantly achieves that ‘cluttered’ look, making a room feel smaller and unfocused. Instead, opt for larger decor accessories that create a focal point.
Remember, you don’t need stuff everywhere, let that blank white space do the talking too.
21. Small House Interior Design Hack – Area Rugs
Image: Covet House
Adding a rug to a small room can help to define and zone the space, by also helping to create the illusion of a larger space.
Rugs also add texture, warmth and interest to a space, where in this case by using an area rug they have a unique way of bringing all the elements of a room together.
A bare floor can make furniture feel like it’s otherwise floating.
22. Visually Interesting Lights
First impressions count! Ceilings are one of the first things that people are drawn to when they step into a room, so you might as well make it count.
A visually interesting light can be used as a focal point, drawing attention to a sensational light fitting that completely detracts from the size of the room.
23. Track Lighting
Image: Woodworks Brighton
If you are trying to create a more abundant feel in a narrow hallway this can be achieved seamlessly with track lighting.
It’s a great solution for this style problem because it will allow you to custom target the deepest and darkest corners of the space, whilst also helping to illuminate artwork you may have on the walls.
24. Small House Interior Design and Wall Art
Image: Sweetpea and Willow
Whilst clutter is bad, we don’t want completely bare walls.
Beautiful wall art can transform a room, try to hang artwork at the average eye level so there is still plenty of white space above the prints, this also plays into the illusion of elongating the walls..
25. Seamless Flooring in Small House Interior Design
Creating an interior flow that pulls you seamlessly from one room to the next is when you know interior design has been done correctly.
This can be carried all the way through to your flooring choices.
For a seamless step from one room into the next, use the same type of flooring throughout. If you have dark wooden flooring opt for lighter walls, and darker walls if your flooring is lighter, this creates a charming, and workable contrast.
26. Small House Interior Design Tip – Ceiling High Bookcases
Image: Covet House
Whether it’s a built in alcove space or a custom made bookcase, get it fitted to full ceiling height. This design trick leads the eye up the whole length of the walls, giving the appearance of a larger space.
Just be careful not to overload the shelving with clutter and learn how to style your shelves!
27. Opt For Small Scale Patterns
Image: Tatie Lou
Small room ideas are not just centred around whites, neutrals and creams. You can still have plenty of fun with pattern and colour, in small doses. Small scale patterns on wallpaper, textiles or furniture produces balance, whilst it helps to create the right proportions with the size of the room.
Small house interior design is just as exciting as it is for larger rooms and houses.
In fact, you can be even more creative and savvy with the space you do have to create something really special, whilst giving the illusion of a much larger space.
So, when you’re having doubts about renovating that small room, don’t instantly think of selling up, that small room has so much potential to exploit.
Why is Interior Design Important?
Interior design helps to improve your current space, whilst designing it in such a way that it mirrors, and works with the function of the room. Interior design is often an extension of our tastes, personalities and history.
It can enrich, lift, make a home feel more relaxing, and even add value to a property.
What makes a small home?
It’s difficult to define what is considered small as this is subject to interpretation.
But as a general rule of thumb, a bedroom must measure at least 7′ x 10′ to legally be called a bedroom, so this is the starting point at what is considered a small room in a house.
Measurements aside, other things that could make a home appear small are lack of natural light, no windows, low ceilings, clutter and poor interior design choices.
This could include choosing the wrong paint colours and window coverings, to the height of your skirting boards.
Can you be happy in a small home?
You absolutely can be just as happy living in a small home.
This is still your space to create something really special, and small home interior design perhaps becomes even more important.
You can be considerate with your furnishings, decor choices and colours, there are also many different space saving hacks and interior tricks that can give the illusion of a larger space.
If we’re talking about advantages, a small home is much cheaper to furnish and decorate too!
Why does my house feel smaller?
Image Caffe Latte Home
There are many different reasons why your house might feel smaller, despite it not actually being small.
The most common reason is to do with your layout and positioning of furniture.
Placing a big coffee table in the middle of the room blocks a large proportion of space, and when it’s the first thing you see when you step into a room, it instantly makes the space feel smaller.
By simply removing that piece of furniture or positioning it against a wall, it can help to make the room feel bigger. These are a just a few small home interior design tips that we recommend.
Poor paint choices are another reason that your house may feel smaller.
It’s not just dark colours, bright white in a room with no natural light will not give the illusion of a larger space as there is nothing to reflect against the walls, making them appear flat instead.
Whilst there is no straight answer for each home, the main cause does usually reside in what your interior choices, furniture and current layout is.
How can you make your small home feel bigger?
There are lots of clever design tricks you can employ to make your small home feel bigger, the answer normally lies with your interior design choices.
Trying to declutter your space is the best place to start, survey the layout of your furniture, is there anything bulky that blocks the way or diverts visual attention?
In small rooms with no windows, or lack of natural light, employ mirrors to give the illusion of more space, and don’t always think a bright white paint is best!
Do small home design hacks really work?
Successfully executing small home design hacks can add imaginary square meterage to your house and maximise space in a small home.
A smaller home often requires a little more creativity, and it’s much about keeping the space free from clutter and maximising every opportunity you can to be super savvy with your space.
Can a small home look nice with small house interior design?
Small homes can be just as relaxing, homely and luxurious as larger homes, it’s all in the detail and execution of interior design that comes in here.
Create an energetic, and easy flow through rooms with a good lighting design, and a cohesive colour scheme. Use mirrors where possible, and carefully consider what colour palette you want to use throughout the house.
How do you decorate a small house?
The number one key thing you need to decorate a small house is a consistent, cohesive colour scheme.
- Don’t use red in one room and then black in another.
- You can use different colours, but they must all share a similar undertone so the rooms work, and flow together.
- Getting the foundational colours right in a small house is key to really helping the size work for you.
Have we missed anything?
What are your favourite small house interior design tricks to help make a small home feel larger?
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