Decorating small spaces | Homes

North America will see the tiny house market grow 57% by 2027, according to market research company Technavio.

With people buying more tiny homes, they also must consider how to decorate these homes. Furniture retailer Ballard Designs reports that 25% of those surveyed think smaller spaces are more challenging to decorate than larger spaces.

The Technavio report estimates the steady increase in the tiny home market will continue, considering the rise in housing prices and more interest in pre-built or custom-built homes.

Thinking Smaller

Decorators hired to design the furnishings for a small space like a tiny home have to consider size, function, and form. Dominic Milanese, VP of Retail for Ballard Designs, says, “Your furniture and accessories have to be just as functional as they are beautiful, often doing double duty to add extra storage and serving area while preserving precious space.”

This “double duty” concept inspired designers to consider how furniture could serve many purposes without taking up too much space. Luckily, the right search on Pinterest or Instagram yields plenty of ideas for fashionably filling smaller spaces. There are numerous lifestyle websites that offer tips as well.

Lifestyle website Real Simple features several ideas. Corner cabinets can be used to display items, as well as for under-cabinet storage, without taking up a lot of extra space.

Another idea for thinking smaller when decorating is installing a bar across a cabinet to provide seating for dining. The same bar top could also be used as a desk for a home office laptop.

Decorators also recommend maximizing wall space for sprucing up a tiny home. Either use the area to display favorite art or family pictures or hang small shelves that can be used for houseplants or knick-knacks.

Milanese recommends choosing quality items with good craftsmanship, explaining, “Just because your space is limited, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or quality.”

What Not To Do

If there’s a set of “dos” for decorating, it follows that there must be a set of “don’ts” as well.

According to the home decor experts at Apartment Therapy, the number one “don’t” is when shoppers buy something they really don’t need. Some decorators recommend people live in a space for a while before buying too many things or sleeping on a purchase before deciding whether to buy it or not.

Don’t block the windows. Windows let in light and create the illusion of more space, so obscuring them can make a room feel closed in. Furnishings and accessories should also be placed so the air can circulate throughout the room.

Also, don’t use too many dark colors. In a small room or tiny home, dark colors make the room seem much smaller. Decorators recommend light neutrals to help create the illusion of space.

Remodeling Small

Rising housing prices and mortgage refinancing have dampened enthusiasm for large do-it-yourself home projects, according to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies from Harvard University.

In response, homeowners have switched to smaller projects like necessary repairs, painting individual rooms, or other small decor projects.

Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) offers ideas for mini-remodeling projects that make a big difference and save cash.

Consider upgrading your ceilings for a new look. Using patterned ceiling tiles adds interest and helps give a room some extra pop.

BHG also recommends removing kitchen cabinet doors to create shelves that give a more open look to a room. Painting cabinets or using stencils to add patterns is another option, as is updating cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.

Another mini-remodel option is changing a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. Self-adhesive tiles are inexpensive and can change the look of a room with little cash or effort.

Neal’s Design and Remodel advises DIY-ers to keep the floors uncluttered to maximize the feeling of space in a room. The website also recommends making organization a priority. Any item that goes into a room should earn its keep by helping keep the area tidy and organized.

Home and Garden Television (HGTV) also offers remodel ideas that can be completed in a weekend.

The website recommends one easy remodel: paint the front door, front and back, with easy to follow instructions on how to complete this project.

Another inexpensive update is to marbelize a kitchen table or countertops. Leftover paint and a few other supplies can create a high-end look without the high-end price.

BHG also recommends removing a popcorn ceiling to update a home’s look. These ceilings are magnets for dust and cobwebs. Homeowners should be cautious, however, and test for asbestos in homes older than about 1979. If the result is positive, the homeowner has to let the experts handle the job.

Another easy home update is swapping out the shower curtain and liner. This can help a bathroom look immediately cleaner and more up-to-date.

Major remodels are expensive projects, but most homeowners can make minor adjustments to their home’s decor to increase the space’s eye appeal.

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