A famous architect said ‘Less is more’.
And that is extremely appropriate when you are designing a small space. Whether it’s a small room or a small house, a small space can be as big as you want it to be. And it gives you a lot of opportunities for elegant design.
And as a leading interior design company in Bangladesh, we want to make sure that you are aware of these opportunities. And that is the topic of this blog.
What is the basic design issue with a small space?
In our experience talking with clients for small home design projects, we have seen that having a small space sometimes tends to make people small-minded.
They think that they should just avoid decoration or design and just give the space a basic coat of paint.
Even worse, some people don’t even think it necessary to plan out the decoration since they think it won’t matter.
Neither of these is the right approach.
You should draw up a clear plan on how to design your small space. In fact, that is the first point we will discuss.
1 – Not planning your design
A small space demands more, not less, planning for a successful interior design. Since space is limited, you will have to come up with innovative ways of making even ordinary things look beautiful.
Say you are planning a small drawing room design. Don’t just start putting things here and there and see how it looks.
Start out with a floor plan. Sketch out the things you want to keep in the room and see how the room looks.
You may need to buy some pieces of compact or multi-use furniture.
What kind of innovative design could one use here? Say you have some books but no space to keep them.
Pile them on top of another beside your chair, place a cloth on top of the pile and you’ve got a small side table of your own.
2 – Not thinking in 3 dimensions
You must always think about both floor area and height and plan your furniture in proportion to both.
As part of our furniture portfolio, we have been involved in wall cabinet design in Bangladesh for a long time.
And more than once a client has asked us to design a wall cabinet that is so large it makes the ceiling appear low!
What is the issue here?
A big wall cabinet is a good idea for small space design. It will distract a viewer from the small floor space the room has.
However, if the cabinet is so tall it goes up to the ceiling, it will seem your room has a low ceiling. Height-wise your room will look cramped.
3 – Not allowing natural light to play its part
Just allowing natural light to light your room up can reduce the cramp factor in a small space.
The problem is that in a small room there is every chance that sunrays will be blocked by one thing or another or that shadows of several pieces of furniture will make the room seem darker and small.
So, hang up mirrors to enhance natural light. Try to make sure that sunrays do not get blocked. And get semi-opaque/’sheer’ curtains that will allow in some light while maintaining your privacy.
And wherever shadows cannot be avoided, consider using accent lighting to reduce the impact of shadows.
4 – Using small furniture
It is natural to think that you should furniture a small space with small furniture.
But that is the wrong approach.
You should always use larger pieces of furniture. You will not be able to use too many pieces of larger furniture and you will have to make sure that they don’t touch the ceiling. You will also have to ensure light doesn’t get blocked.
It is difficult to maintain so many conditions, however, it has been our experience across our many years of interior design that using larger pieces of furniture can give a room a larger and more luxurious feel.
5 – Not utilizing space
‘Where do I store this’ is a typical problem that we have seen our clients face, both in Bangladesh and abroad.
You must use whatever space you have efficiently.
Even a vertical space like a wall could have a number of shelves built into it and you could keep both articles of daily use as well as decorative pieces on such shelves.
In all our years designing homes in Bangladesh we have managed to create quite a few innovative storage solutions like this for our clients.
6 – Not going for bright colours and bold designs
Room size should not determine wall colour or curtain designs. If white is your natural colour, go for it.
But if you like bold colours, don’t abandon it thinking it will look ugly in a small room. In fact, our design experience indicates that bold colours can help draw the visitor’s attention away from the limited foot area of the room.
7 – Dividing the room into smaller spaces
Sometimes you may not be able to avoid dividing your room.
However, generally speaking, using room dividers should be used only if absolutely required in a small space, as this article in Houzz also says.
8 – Shoving everything up against the wall
It may seem common sense to shove whatever you can against the wall because it would leave more floor area exposed in the middle of the room.
However this is not the right thing to do.
One, the room will look odd.
Two, if you make it a habit, pretty soon you will place a lot of stuff in the room without thinking about it and the room will look cramped.
Small space design has to be innovative. It can’t be a simplistic idea as pushing everything against the wall.
9 – Not being innovative
We have mentioned this before and we will do so again.
Be innovative. Try new ideas out. See how your ideas look in real life.
In our long design career, we have seen that clients sometimes have some amazing design ideas. Since we discuss interior design projects with our clients extensively, we sometimes get some great design suggestions from them; maybe we ourselves would not have thought about them.
Even in a small project like a main gate design, it is possible that a client can suggest a particular way of painting the gate or constructing it that will make a lot of difference.
So, believe in yourself to be able to come up with all sorts of creative design solutions for your small space.
Test them out. You are sure to find one that works beautifully.
Do you know of any other mistakes that people make when designing a small space? Be sure to let us know in a comment below!