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Dwelling within constrained physical boundaries doesn’t mean you can’t live big with the help of clever space planning and furnishing tricks. However, your home decor should ultimately be centred around your living habits and serve functional purposes. Here are 20 small home design ideas to get you inspired.

Light Colours

Bright and light colours reflect light around a space, making it appear visually more expansive. It doesn’t have to be white — pastels work just as well. As a bonus, they’re easier to maintain than dark colours.

Go For Larger Scale Furniture

A lack of square footage doesn’t mean you have to go for tiny furniture. Conversely, a hodgepodge of small items can create visual clutter. While you should still get furniture that’s proportionate to the space, stick to a few prominent pieces for a well-curated and uncluttered look.


Mirrors instantly double the size of a space without much effort. They reflect not only the room’s interior, creating the illusion of a wider space, but also bounce light around a room. Opt for generous full-height mirrors for maximum impact, or simply lean one against the wall as a stylish, functional accent.

Bright and bold

While light colours widen a room, those looking to dip their toes into a bolder palette can go with vividly-hued accessories, appliances or upholstery. Darker tones on the walls can also impart a sense of intimacy and a dramatic jewel box effect. Balance and brighten the space with light-coloured accents.

Sliding Doors or Glass Walls

Want better spatial flow, but need to keep your walls intact? Opt for sliding doors that can be left open when not in use, or glass walls – perfect for the kitchen if you want to let in more natural light but don’t want the fumes to escape into the living space.

Get Lit

A hero decor piece such as a dramatic chandelier or pendant light can pack a punch in a petite space. Plus, it won’t take up precious real estate, too. Keeping your rooms well-lit and bright also makes them feel larger.

Vertical Space

When every bit of floor space is a precious commodity, storage should take up as little room as possible. Opt for floating shelves, wall lights, and other items that can be mounted vertically to save room.

Striking Art Pieces

An eye-catching art work creates a focal point and sets the tone of your room decor. Largescale pieces, especially ones that extend to the ceiling, can give the illusion of a larger space.

Furniture With Slim Profiles

Heavy furniture is a no-no in small spaces because they take up too much visual room. Opt for furniture with sleek, minimalist profiles, such as floating shelves or a coffee table with hairpin legs that look like they’re barely there.

Float furniture away from the walls

Furniture pressed up against the wall wastes the space in the middle and emphasises the size of the room. If your layout allows for it, creating space behind furniture offers visual flow and makes your room look wider than it is. Ensure enough space in between each to allow “breathing space”, and keep them away from windows so they don’t hinder natural light streaming in.

Keep It Low

Low-profile furniture (ones that sit lower to the ground) like a sofa or TV console with shorter legs gives you more wall surface and the appearance of a higher ceiling. But that’s not to say it applies to every piece in the room. Mix it up with regular-height pieces with a streamlined design; think stools with narrow legs or a sleek floor lamp to avoid monotony and add balance.

Divide & Conquer

Room dividers or screens can give a semblance of privacy, lend decorative personality to a room, define new areas in an open space and offer additional storage. Use them to separate your living and dining areas, carve out a study nook, or even partition a bigger bedroom into two.

Embrace Awkward Corners

Awkward spaces or nooks don’t have to be the bane of those dwelling in petite abodes. Put them to good use with shelves, dedicate it as a cosy home office or use it as your vanity. Bring in an extra dose of personality with plants, art pieces or framed quotes.

Functional Furniture

Get functional decor and furniture that can double up as storage or can fold away easily. For example, plenty of ottomans and dining benches have a seat that can be lifted to reveal hidden storage beneath, and some coffee tables have a nesting system where you can tuck them out of sight or pull them out for extra space as needed.

Things On Wheels

When you have a compact home, it’s essential to have a setup that can be tidied and rearranged in a snap when guests are coming over. Wheels can come in handy on tables, kitchen island, and storage boxes when they need to be moved around or put away.

Multi-purpose appliances

Appliances with dual or multiple functions not only save space, but also time and effort on cleaning and maintenance.

Floor to Ceiling Curtains

Hang curtains from the ceiling and let them flow down to the floor, instead of where your window begins and ends. This visual trick helps to emphasise the height of the room, making the space appear larger.

Wallpaper The Ceiling

Draw the eye upwards and add an unexpected design element to a room by having wallpaper on the ceiling. When choosing one, consider the furniture in the room as well as the lighting. We love this cartography-themed one in a home by Design Intervention — it complements the reading nook well.

Screen Play

No room for a home theatre? Replicate one in your bedroom with a handy compact projector and a blank wall or pull-down screen. You can even do away with a TV, especially if you rely on streaming services for entertainment.

Lightweight Fabrics

Avoid dense fabrics like velvet when choosing upholstery as they absorb light and can visually weigh a room down. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics instead, like linen sheers at the window that can let partial light in.


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