How to Decorate Your Condo and Live Lavishly in a Small SpaceFiner Details, Tips for Downsizing
Living in a condo doesn’t mean you can’t live large—even the smallest suites can feel spacious if you plan your space well. Here are five important tips to help you decorate your new home.
Lean into Trendy Colours
Keep your space feeling fresh and of the moment by simply painting your walls or even just picking up affordable accents (like throw pillows or bowls) in the hottest hues.
Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year, Classic Blue, is a great grounding colour and works for a variety of decor styles. Pair it with whites and lighter blue tones, as well as some lush plants, for a serene coastal vibe. Or if you have a taste for the dramatic, paint all of your walls in this bold yet calming shade, and choose furniture in blues for a monochromatic look or cognac tones for a touch of rich contrast. (Bright spaces can handle a deep colour on the wall.) For mod punch, layer in pops of strong colour—think fiery orange, vibrant yellow or hot pink.
If blue isn’t for you, you might prefer Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year, First Light. This soft, airy pink pairs wonderfully with whites, neutrals and greens and adds a touch of colour without closing in small spaces like darker hues tend to do.
Stick to a Defined Colour Palette Throughout
One way to make a small space feel larger is to use a single colour palette consistently throughout your home, rather than treating each space separately. The harmony and flow created by a single palette makes each room feel like an extension of the adjacent rooms, which makes you feel as if you’re in an expansive space rather than a series of defined rooms. If you have a balcony, consider carrying the palette out onto it too.
Always Consider Scale
Nothing makes a small space feel cramped like oversized furniture. Scale is important when you’re decorating a smaller space, but that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to buying only scaled-down condo-size furniture—it just means you might opt for streamlined shapes or fewer pieces of furniture overall.
Consider it like this: A sofa with simple lines and a lower back (like this one) is going to look a lot more light and compact in a smaller space than one that has a higher back and thick rolled arms—even if the sofas are the same width. If a higher back on a couch is more important to you than being able to stretch out, then a loveseat of a similar style is a nice option that won’t look overly bulky in a smaller space.
Of course, if you really want that full-size high-backed sofa with deeply padded arms, then you might pair it with a single compact armchair and side tables or nesting tables (like these) rather than a coffee table that would make the space feel cramped or disrupt the flow. Or if you need a king-size bed, then you might opt for a low bed frame (like this) and floating shelves rather than bedside tables.
Go Big When It Comes to Rugs
One of the biggest design mistakes people make is choosing an area rug that’s too small for the space. A too-small rug disrupts the balance of a space and makes tight spaces seem even smaller—not the look you’re going for. As a general rule, your area rug should be large enough that the front legs of all furniture are sitting on it—which means it needs to be longer than your largest piece of furniture (usually your sofa). If you’re wavering between two sizes, opt for the larger so you have more flexibility in decorating your space in future.
Shop with Flexibility in Mind
When you have a small space, furniture that offers you flexibility is great. If you like to have people over for dinner but don’t have the space for a large everyday dining table, opt for an extendable option (like this one). In the living room, a beautiful stool or ottoman (like this) can serve as a side table for everyday use or extra seating when people are over.
By choosing versatile pieces and keeping your design simple and streamlined, it’s easy to decorate a small space without compromising—after all, you want to feel comfortable and at home in your new space and our design partners at Kesay can help.