6 Secrets to Styling Small Spaces


Hey there, hope your all well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Some of you may know that my hubby and I have been renovating a little mountain house in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges Melbourne Australia. This gorgeous property sits on the side of a mountain and although cute and cosy, is a little lacking in the square footage department (as a good cottage should ;). During the last year I have really been pushing all of my space maximising ideas and I have been able to implement lots of design rules to open up the space. With so many people now embracing apartment living or the new tiny house culture, I thought I'd share my 6 'Secrets to Styling Small Spaces".


1. Glass Furniture - Glass furniture is my favourite way to take a space from crowded, closed in and dull, to open, airy with a touch of lux. Now it doesnt matter what style your into , you can always work in a couple of key glass pieces. Why does glass open up a space? Think of how your eye views objects, take a moment to look around the room your in now. Find something large and solid, perhaps a bookshelf, dining table, desk. Now notice the space it occupies. now, imagine if you could see through it. Obviously if the piece became transparent, your eyes continue through the object to the wall/objects behind. This creates the illusion of more space. When I’m designing small spaces, replacing one large piece with a glass selection is just a no brainer. It’s such a win win situation in any interior, ✔️yes we have a functional piece, ✖️no we haven’t lost any visual space. Glass furniture, ticks lots of tiny home boxes whilst bringing in a reflective piece that will lift and inject a little high end vibe.

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 2. Mirrors- Aghhhh I love playing around with mirrors and again, it’s all about creating an illussion of space. What better way to trick the eye into thinking their is more space than to make a wall disappear or open up. If you have a really small space, let’s say a living or dining room, try installing mirror pannels on a full wall or even just a large framed rectangle mirror placed horizontally, at eye level, across the wall. If you do have the funds to get full wall paneling, think about suitable complimentary tints available, then watch your room instantly double in size. Even if you just strategically place a framed wall mirror, (works fantastic opposite a dining area ;) you will magnify light and create the illusion that the room has a window, which again opens up the eye to feel the room is larger/brighter than it is with just a flat opaque wall. Place a beautiful hanging pendant in line with the mirror & watch your space illuminate with a ‘WOW’moment.

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3. Wall Mounted Cabintery- Get as much off the floor as possible! Mounting large cumbersome pieces off the floor is a must in a tiny house. Pieces to consider mounting are  TV units/bathroom vanities/ bed side tables/fold down dining/change tables/banquet seating or perhaps even a fold down bed. Using all that empty wall space and keeping your floors as free from bulk as possible is a logical , practical way to not only keep the flow & function of a tiny house happy, but again it’s creating that illusion of more space available, less space occupied. When furniture is mounted it allows our view of the floor and wall edge underneath to continue, another trick on the eye that works so so good! If the budget permits, it’s a great opportunity to get some custom pieces built tailored exactly to your space. This is when working with an Interior Designer can be so impactful in getting the absolute most out of your tiny house!

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4. Furniture With Feet- using the same rationale as I explained above with mounted cabinetry, furniture with feet creates exactly the same illusion. Furniture that sits directly on the floor will always make a space look smaller. Choose furniture with feet to keep the line of sight continuing beyond the piece. Your mind may not think the space is bigger but your eyes will fall for the illusion and we all know that we think with our eyes! Chunky bedsides are great in large spaces, but not a great idea in small rooms! Get them off the ground with some sexy cigar legs, contemporary metal, or even just a beautiful typical timber leg. It doesn’t matter your style, just get rid of the bulk! The same goes for Buffett’s/sideboards, the more space your eye can see around the rooms perimeter, the happier they will be!

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5. Storage -We all know that in every tiny house, getting clever with your storage is a 101 must. Choose pieces that have a double purpose and keep it clutter free!  Choose beds that have underneath storage or that fold up to the wall and become your wardrobe ( I know cool right!) . Install a bench seat at your entry with shoe storage built in. Create banquette seating with draws underneath. Use your stairs as storage boxes or build in pull out draws. Design a full storage wall that frames your tv and includes entertainment unit, pull out desk and hidden away cupboards + shelving to store books/files/paperwork/ photo almbums (do people still have those?) If you’re in a really really tiny house, I have even seen some really clever dining tables that convert into a bed or beds into desks. 

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6. Colour Choices - Keep your floors and walls in a similar tone. I prefer a white on white situation to really open up the space, but I have seen this done with some light to mid grey tones and also blonde/warm timbers will create a similar effect. Why keep the floors in the same tones as walls? Again it’s that word illusion and in a tiny house , it’s all about illusions. When the walls and floor flow together seamlessly, the eye can’t distinguish when the room ends and the walls begin. When you have two strong contrasting colours, ei. white walls/black floors your basically creating a space that says ‘ hey look at where the floor ends, right there, I’m so frigging small hey’ lol sorry but you get my point.  Steer away from using too much heavy, dark coloured furniture & accent pieces.  I think if yo do pair your floors and walls in similar tones you can get away with a few black/darker timber pieces in a tiny house, but I feel it’s important to bring in some fresher lighter  pieces to keep the balance right. Too much contrast between your furniture and walls again starts to create that ‘hey look how small I am’ feeling because your really seeing those walls end against the heavy furniture. Lighter pieces soften the space and don’t highlight things we don’t want to highlight, like the space perimeter. The eye is an amazing part of the human body, but at the end of the day, it is a little silly so we can maximise our experience in a tiny house buy taking advantage of the eyes ability to believe pretty much most of what it sees. Try some of these styling/design solutions yourself and let me know how you go! If you have any more you want to add for others, feel free to below. I could stay here all day and list everything but I need to go get away from my desk for a bit and have a walk! So feel free to help us out with your own suggestions below.

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Enjoy your weekend everyone and if your shopping around for some pieces for your tiny house or your large house ;) Be sure to come and check out my store http://www.soulmarkethome.com.au.

We have some beautiful light , fresh pieces perfect for small spaces. We also have our super popular Moonstone Dining table, a compact glass dining table that our tiny house clients love!  (pictured above)

Oh and one more thing, we  now have AFTERPAY which is a super convenient interest free payment option that allows you to shop now + pay later! We are so excited to be able to offer this option to you all!


Thanks all


Melanie SherwellComment