How to Use Color in Small Spaces

What are the rules for using color in small spaces?Picture of a Color Wheel

There really are no rules, but there are a few guidelines that will help when deciding what colors to paint the walls or to use in your furniture or accessories.

We’re taught that dark or warm colors will make the space appear smaller and light or cool colors will visually expand the space. But that’s not necessarily so! 

Use Color to Create a Focal Point

Remodeling and Home Design

You’ll be able to jazz up a small space with bold or dark colors if you either use the color on a feature wall as a focal point or if you use the color in adjoining rooms.

Contemporary Living Room

Use a Bold Color in Stripes

Photo by – Look for living room design inspiration

Bold stripes on a neutral background is an excellent way to visually expand a room plus it will add a pop of color and draw the eye through the length of the space.

Notice, too, how the designer used four chairs and a round table to define that sitting area. The color of the chairs is echoed in the drapes.

Use the Same Color in Adjoining Rooms

Painting adjoining rooms with the same color will create the illusion of a larger space.  Or try using two or three different shades of the same color.  That’s a great idea regardless of the size of the rooms.  It’s always a good idea to keep the same basic theme throughout the home.

Using the same color in two rooms

Use Bold Colors for Furniture and Accessories

Using bright colors on furniture and accessories in small spaces will give you that pop of color that you desire without making the room seem smaller.

Bold, colorful upholstery, decorator pillows, vases, and drapes are all elements that can be used in small spaces.  Just remember to bring that color into the other rooms in some way, as well.

Notice how these red chairs draw the eye toward the end of the room?  That’s how to visually expand the space with a focal point using bold color.

Colorful chairs in dining area

Get a Punch of Color With Wall Murals and Artwork

Wall Murals and huge pieces of art are available so many places, these days.

I’ve never been brave enough to use wall murals in my decorating but now there are so many removable murals available that I just might give it a go. Because they are often removable, you don’t have to worry about getting in hot water with the landlord if you’re a renter.

This gigantic coral reef mural is available on Amazon (affiliate).  I’d say that’s a heck of a pop of color! They have dozens of them, though, so if this isn’t your style it’s not a problem.

I’d love to put a mural on a tall wall in my master bathroom. If I ever do, I’ll be sure to post it!  I love, love, love this leafy mural that I found on Etsy.

These are all handmade and come in a half-dozen sizes. Here’s what the overview description on Etsy says:

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: Peel and Stick, Environment-Friendly, Vinyl, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly
  • Made to order
  • Favorited by: 176 people
  • Gift message available

 

Add Color with Accessories

Pillows, flower arrangements, books, and other collections are a way to use color to tie a room together.

Adding a colorful area rug is a brilliant way to add punch to a room. Besides, rugs are an awesome way to define an area. Like this bright and beautiful rug from Etsy. I love it!

Experiment With Paint Colors

The best way to decide on a paint color for your walls is to purchase the 2-ounce samples that are available at all home improvement stores and paint stores.  You’ll be able to paint an area about 12″ by 24″ which is large enough to tell if it’s really what you thought it would be!

Here’s a fabulous illustration from Houzz.com of how just changing colors will totally transform a room.

 

Use color in small spaces judiciously but do it your way!

It’s your home and it should reflect your personality.  If your favorite color is purple, by all means, use purple…just maybe not on every wall!

Have you tried a unique way to incorporate color into your small space?  I’d love to hear about your experiences and whether or not this post helped you decide one way or the other so leave a comment if you like.

cooltext138649862867645 (1)

Etsy Banner
 

The Best Small Space Decorating Books

The Best Small Space Decorating Books

canstockphoto0133890Give me a stack of decorating books or decorating magazines and I’m one happy lady.  (Same with cookbooks…I read cookbooks like novels.)

This isn’t to say that looking for ideas online isn’t a great way to go, of course…it’s fast and easy and there’s a myriad of choices.

It’s simply that when I relax at the end of a busy day with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I will most often reach for one of my favorite decorating books!

And each time I look through them I almost always see something new or in a different perspective. I might be looking at window treatments or rugs or wall decor…so that’s what my eyes will focus on.

Here are three of the best:
Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home

Apartment Therapy – Complete and Happy Home.   I’ve already talked about how much I love the Apartment Therapy website and newsletter. Now you don’t have to be online to browse their suggestions.  This will become a favorite resource, for sure.  They have another book called The Big Book of Small Cool Spaces

Small Space OrganizingSmall Space Organizing – A Room by Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space.  The author, Kathryn Bechen, is a well-respected journalist living in San Diego who blogs about organizing and home decor. This book is also available for Kindle (I don’t have a Kindle but if you do, you’re sure to want to add this.  Just think…you can browse the pages anywhere!

BHG Book

 

Better Homes and Gardens publishes several books on small space decor.  New Decorating Book, 10th Edition (Better Homes and Gardens) (Better Homes and Gardens Home)is a good choice with sensible, down-to-earth suggestions throughout.

These are favorites of mine, but there are so many available that you’re sure to find exactly the resource you’re looking for.  I have a couple of Martha Stewart books on Holiday decor, too, that I can rely on every single year.

Do you have special favorite books on small home decor? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Cheryl K Logo

Open Kitchen and Living Room Design

It’s a big deal in new home design, these days, to incorporate a great room into the floorplan.

(Updated 8/4/2018)

With an open kitchen & living room floor plan, especially in a small home, people are able to watch the news or visit with family or friends while cooking.

Here’s a slideshow that will illustrate what I mean – there are 18 examples of great combination living/dining designs:

One of my favorite slides is #11 (I think) with the purple couch and the pumpkin colored chair.  The next slide with the sassy green tiles is a close second.

But I love them all…just depends on the basic layout of your small space.

Once you choose a focal point, you can separate the areas with a rug, wall color, dining tables, peninsulas, etc.

An area rug defines the living space in this open concept condo.

Another look at an open concept home in Brooklyn, New York.

 

This is simply another take on living large in a small space. We just need to adjust the parameters…a small living area rather than a large living area.

So what’s your favorite?  How can you merge your own living/dining/kitchen space to maximize the size of your small space?

Let me know in the comments!

Cheryl K Logo

Decorating Ideas from Pinterest

Pinterest LogoFind Small Space Decorating Ideas on Pinterest

Pinterest is a goldmine for small space decorating ideas. 

If I’m looking for a recipe or beautiful artwork or a clever quotation, I can always find dozens of ideas on Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks. It’s kind of the photo equivalent of Twitter!

My Pinterest Boards include Small Space Solutions, Home Style, Kitchens, Inspired Garden Ideas.

Except that instead of short 140 character posts, Pinterest is a collection of small photos representing dozens of interests.

For example, if I need ideas for storage in a small bedroom, kitchen or garage or a DIY tutorial for repurposing a dresser or buffet, I’ll check Pinterest, first.

Desert Landscape

Desert Landscape

I live in Arizona and recently bought a small house. The winter climate in Arizona is ideal but summers are sizzling so it was important for me to find landscaping ideas suitable for my small yard.

Pinterest was the first place I looked and I created a board called Arizona Landscaping Ideas. I’m still working on my landscaping but if you check out the ideas I’ve gathered, you’ll see that the desert can be just beautiful!

Search Pinterest for Small Space DIY Projects

I have a Pinterest board called Small Space Solutions where I post photographs and links that are excellent ideas for maximizing small spaces.  Like this clever idea for organizing jewelry:

Several of my related boards are:

Architectural Elements

Pinterest architecture

Home Style

 

Beautiful Homes, Inside and Out 

(including lots of small cottages/tiny houses)

pinterest beautiful tiny

Brilliant Miscellaneous Ideas

Pinterest Brilliant

Inspired Garden Ideas

Pinterest garden

Nearly every day I find something new to “pin”!

So check out my links and then join me on Pinterest…register if you aren’t there, already.

Then, let me know in the comments what your link is.

I’d love to follow you…perhaps I’ll find a new passion!