I have moved more times than I would like to admit. In college, after college, across the country, you name it. After college I spent year after year moving from one place to the next. I did this up until a few years ago. It was unheard of for me to live somewhere for more than a year, which made feeling settled almost impossible.  And you can bet that pretty much every place I lived was small and needed help and creativity to make it feel bigger and more peaceful and homey. Below are some tips I have learned over the years and found from around the web for those of you that are currently living in small space and need a little help on how to update it for free.


Turn everyday items into functional art.

Taking items you use daily or even weekly and turning them into décor is a great way to upgrade your room, especially if you are low on storage space. This would work perfectly for a kitchen or an office area.


Group similar items together.

Maybe you have a collection of globes, seashells, rocks from all your hiking trips, or postcards from places you’ve traveled. Well get them out of storage, group them together and put them on display!

Get rid of clutter.

Take some time to edit what you have. Things that no longer pulls at your heartstrings or you feel you have outgrown the style, toss it. When you declutter a space you will be amazed and how fresh and clean it feels.

Go vertical.

When you’re hanging items on a wall in a small room, whenever possible hang items (artwork or shelving) all the way up to the ceiling. This will allow your room to feel larger.

Get rid of anything too bulky for the room.

It’s important to have furniture that fits your space. Having a huge bookcase, coffee table or couch in a tiny room will only make you feel like the walls are falling in on you. Opt to get rid of those pieces to make your small space have more breathing room. I did this in my last apartment and it made a world of difference. Check out the before and after here.


Keep a monochromatic color scheme.

When you have a small space keep all items that are neutral and toss the bold crazy items. Not to say you can’t keep one or two, and use them intentionally, but as a small space dweller your space will appear larger when you have a more monochromatic feel to it. Not only will it appear more peaceful, but the eye can move around the room without abrupt color interruptions. You can use varying color values to add depth and interest to your space.

Hang mirrors.

Do you have a collection of mirrors or just one that your not to sure what to do with? Now’s the time to hang that baby up! Reflecting light will make a room feel more open and airy.

Curtains hung high

Raise and widen your curtains.  

Don’t be afraid to extend beyond the actual window (by height and width).  This will make you think the window is larger and the ceiling is taller than they actually are. Also if you have windows side by side, instead of getting two rods just get one curtain for the entire wall—hanging rods separately will break up the room unnecessarily.

Image credit: 1/2/3/4



  1. Nancy says

    This is a great post. You should write a book about your decorating ideas and philosophy.



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