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  • Shannon Lynn

Design Tips for Small Spaces

The first principle of design is a very simple one:

Go with what you like and what makes you comfortable!

Here are some ideas and tips to help you make the most of your space, whatever your style preferences or budget may be -


Selecting the right scale (size) of furniture for your home will ensure your space feel bigger rather than overcrowded. Here are some stores that specialize in furniture sized and styled for urban living spaces:

Use furniture pieces that allow for different layout options (2 chairs instead of a love seat, dining tables with leaves) allowing for more flexibility and adaptability to suit your needs. Use glass tops on dining or cocktail tables to keep a space feeling open and airy- it can also show off a beautiful area rug or floor treatment. Place lamps near walls so light will reflect and keep your space feeling light and bright. Select furniture pieces that double as storage (ottomans or tables that lift or slide open, beds with storage underneath) to utilize your space to its full potential. Use area rugs to help define a space- in a space where you have a living/media seating cluster, and dining table, or a home office, using decorative area rugs can add color and interest and clarify the different “zones”.


Keep main paint colors light to keep your space feeling open, but use bolder, darker colors to accent individual walls. Paint niches, insets, and backs of cabinets a richer color to draw attention from the middle of a room to other parts of a room, expanding the space. Painting stripes is easier than you think! Striping, in any variety or color, can be a cost effective yet dramatic substitution for wallpaper. Check out for step-by-step instructions on creating flawless stripes in your own home.


Use mirrors to reflect light and makes spaces feel vastly more open. Creating a gallery wall of mirrors, in different shapes and sizes, makes for an interesting display while expanding the whole room.


Use sheer or gauzy fabrics, they allow more light through and help create a light airy feel (sheer fabrics can be used with other window coverings if you need to windows to be covered completely part of the time). Here are some stores that sell sheer panels in many varieties of texture and style:

Hang window panels just to the side of, instead of directly over, windows- this creates the illusion of the window being larger and also lets in the most light. #gritatgraves #tacomainteriors

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