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Decorating Tips for Small Spaces

via STADSHEM REAL ESTATE
via Stadshem Real Estate

I think we’ve probably all served our time living in small spaces – whether it’s a dorm room, studio apartment, or even a small one bedroom home. While they can be the more charming of spaces, sometimes you’re left wondering how to make them feel a little less charming and a little more chic.

Let’s get started. The one thing you’re sure to notice in all of these photos is that they have one thing in common: they’re light and bright. Using a clean white paint on the walls, floor, and anywhere else opens a space right up to create an airy feeling that instantly creates an illusion of more space. It also allows your furniture, your wall art, and everything else, shine all the more.

Another great tip is to take advantage of small and unusual spaces to add shelves because we all know what a premium storage is at. Aside from being functional, shelving can add personality, allow you to display your favorite items, and free up precious floor space. The room above installed a shelf across the upper border to house their book collection. I love how out of the way it is as well as the unexpected visual statement it makes!

Tessa Neustadt
Tessa Neustadt

One of my very favorite decorating tips – for smaller spaces and homes in general – is to hang floor-length drapes in light, sheer fabrics. By also setting the curtain rod a little wider than the actual window, your home will appear to have higher ceilings and larger windows. All of that diffused light that can now pour in feels so luxurious and opens up a space beautifully.

via Fantastic Frank
via Fantastic Frank

A small kitchen might be the trickiest of all small rooms–there are just so many necessities to cram in that you really need a strategy. By eliminating the four dining chair the kitchen table is able to be pushed against the wall (store the extra chair somewhere else useful and bring it in for guests). If you have cabinets with space above them, baskets are your new best friend. Use them to store things you use less often to clear up cabinet and counter space. Pattern in a tiny area can feel overwhelming, and that rug offers just enough.

via Homedit
via Homedit

In the bathroom, as well as in every other room, large mirrors act as a magician. Instantly add more real estate and make small areas expand visually by adding in the largest one you can afford or find. Pro Tip: Flea markets are a great antique mirror source. The tiny bathroom above capitalized on counter space as well by installing the smallest sink needed. I’m willing to bet that even with the door closed it feels airy and chic!

Monica Wang
Monica Wang

Living in a small space might have you thinking that larger pieces are out of the question, on the contrary, they’re not the decorating faux pas you may imagine. A large piece of art that draws your eyes toward the ceiling or a large storage piece is definitely worthwhile. Stick with neutral, light colors to help them blend into their surroundings and clean lines that won’t distract.

Floor rugs can help a room feel wider and give a more polished finish to your home. Here are a few favorite new arrivals that would look fantastic in any space, no matter the size.

Rugs Direct Rugs

1/ Paramount by Surya   2/ Hygge by Loloi Rugs
3/ Riviera Stripe by Liora Manne   4/ Monaco by Momeni
5/ Polaris by Jaipur Rugs   6/ Bella by Safavieh

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Defining a Mini Library

Livet Hemma
Livet Hemma

The moment you set foot inside my home, you know I’m a book lover. They’re everywhere. On shelves and benches in the living room and entryway, stacked on my dresser, and even more hidden inside boxes in the attic. While there’s nothing more I’d love than to have an entire room as a dedicated library, I satisfy my need to display books by creating little nooks full of them here and there. Long after being read, your favorite books can serve other purposes – two large stacks of mine even bring the television up to eye-level on top of a low console, and I love how the Ikea desk above replaces one side’s legs with a tower.

Surrey Homes
Surrey Homes

This glass-fronted armoire makes for the perfect book nook, keeping your tomes protected and in full view at the same time. A bonus that any book lover will surely appreciate is that they’d also be kept dust-free! Wouldn’t a wall of three or four mismatched armoires filled to the brim with books make for a beautiful compact library that makes a statement? The wheels are turning…

Vaaleanpunainen Hirsitalo
Vaaleanpunainen Hirsitalo

If lots and lots of books aren’t your thing but you’d like to hang onto and show off your favorites, then this idea might be the one for you – a slim but sturdy set of shelves turned on its side. Fill the cubbies with the books and magazines you already own, then add to it as your collection grows! When the shelves fill up make freeform book stacks on top of the piece and create a real focal point of the room it sits in.

Curbed
Curbed

If coffee table books are more the type of library you want to create, consider taking shelves of any type out of the equation. Fill your empty fireplace and display their spines, stack them on the floor against an empty wall and create your own art installation, or consider filling a bar cart to make a makeshift library on wheels. Any little nook or cranny in your home can become a mini library with a little creativity.

Elle Decor Espana
Elle Decor España

As can any piece of deep furniture house some of your collection – a desk, a console table, an armchair, an end table. Not every book needs to be in the same place if you don’t have the room for it and you can think out of the box. Help define your mini library space by adding a rug, some of my latest favorites are shown below:

Rugs-Direct-Collage

1/ Kaleen Rachael Ray Highline   2/ Company C Handwoven Chromatic Plaid
3/ Surya Mountain   4/ Company C Hand Tufted Diamond Lattice
5/ Karastan Cosmopolitan French Affair   6/ Surya Jax

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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How to Use Rugs in Small Spaces

Mademoiselle Claudine
Mademoiselle Claudine

There’s an argument to be made that when you’re living in a small space, whether out of choice or necessity, that it’s even more important to hone in and establish your interior style. Having fewer square feet to work with doesn’t mean you have to compromise on aesthetics, but it does mean you need to make better decisions because every inch of space counts for more. One decor element that can make a huge difference is the right floor rug because it can serve any number of purposes.

If you’re dwelling in a studio, drawing an invisible line between areas of use can get tricky because you want your space to feel as open as possible. Opting for a floor rug that coordinates with the area you’re putting it in is a great place to start. For example, if it’s the living room, bring in some tones from your couch. That’s not saying you have to go super trendy or make a huge statement; sometimes sticking to a more neutral, budget-friendly option is the way to go.

Just laying down a simply designed floor rug can make your place feel instantly more pulled together, particularly if you have a collection of mis-matched home goods. An extra soft rug will add layers of texture and a feeling of homeyness that we can never get enough of. Pro Tip: Think outside of the norm and place your rug vertically rather than horizontally for an unexpected design decision.

Bring an entire space together with one large floor rug that compliments everything from your bed to your sofa, and it will also serve to create a great focal point for your living area. Go with a bold pattern or unexpected rug shape to make a real statement.

Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you need to skimp on color! Choose an unexpected hue that gets along with whatever other colors are present for a bit of energy. This is also a great technique for delineating space between bedroom and living room – you’ll spend far less time watching TV from bed. Using a rug with an unusual texture or layering several together is another good way to achieve this separation when using multiple rugs in your small space.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Dreamy Sheds

What’s not to love about having a mini-getaway right in your own backyard? Whether you opt for a garden retreat, backyard art studio, party shed, or solo relaxation zone, a shed to call your own can be a fantastic way to de-stress, practice a craft or hobby, or even start a side business. Read on for five totally swoon-worthy examples of backyard sheds, plus tips on decking out your own tiny backyard dream shed.

PeasAndNeedles2

PeasAndNeedles
Peas & Needles

First up is this glorious shed created by a textile designer in the UK who wanted her own weaving studio where she could set up her loom, work on projects, but also relax with a cup of tea. I love how the layers of cozy rugs, cushions, and weavings create a cocoon-like effect — don’t you just want to jump in and snuggle with all of those fluffy pillows?

Lesson learned: If your shed isn’t feeling as comfy or inviting as you would like, add more soft stuff!

AliceInScandiland

Alice
Alice in Scandiland

Next up, we have an adorable little backyard office and studio for a Cornwall-based blogger and work-at-home mom. The interior style is very clean and Scandinavian with a natural fiber rug, light blue armchair, and mirrors reflecting the greenery outside — but my favorite part has got to be the fort addition for her daughter! This seems like the ideal solution if you want to be outdoors with your kids, but also perhaps sneak in a little work or (ahem) write a blog post.

Lesson learned: A shed doesn’t have to be just one thing. Make it work for your family by incorporating a fun element or two.

BHG
BHG

If you’re looking for complete and utter relaxation surrounded by nature, this is the shed for you. A converted greenhouse design, this shed is all fresh air and glass, so you can enjoy birdsong and fresh breezes as you read a book or cat nap on the daybed.

Lesson learned: Context is everything. What makes this space so great is that it’s tucked back into a quiet corner of the garden and completely surrounded by lush green foliage.

BHG1
BHG

It’s shed party time! From the black-and-white striped floors and hanging chair to the bar cart and fringed chandelier, this super fun space has a lot going on, and it totally works. If you love to entertain but are getting tired of having everyone in your house, an entertaining shed could be just the ticket.

Lesson learned: You don’t need a shed big enough to fit a crowd to count as a party shed! If you can fit the drinks cart and a seat or two, you’re good. Guests can drift in and out, and the party fare will stay out of the sun.

Emily-Henderson3
Style By Emily Henderson

Sometimes you just want somewhere to get away from it all and relax. If that’s the case, may I recommend outfitting your shed with a daybed, topped with loads of soft blankets and cushions? Add a tree stump table and oil lamp for a back-to-the-woods feel, but keep the palette light with shades of cream and driftwood.

Lesson learned: Sheds are awesome, no matter how you use them. Now if you need me, I’ll be in the greenhouse with my dog-eared copy of Anne of Green Gables and a tall iced mint tea.

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide (Clockwise from top left): Boho Paisley Elephant II by Danhui Nai; Not All Who Wander by Katie Doucette; Momeni Boho rug in ivory; Surya Jute Natural Woven rug in natural.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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