Month: October 2017

10 Smart Tips for Decorating a Small Space

If you’re looking for some practical, simple tips to decorate a small space, this is the post for you!  Whether you’re tackling a small room, an apartment, or even a smaller-sized home, the goal is to maximize your square footage while giving the illusion that the space is larger than it actually is.

While Pinterest and magazines provide great inspiration for home decorating, often these homes are ginormous with ample room for furniture and decor!  Given that  not everyone’s home is quite so grandiose, small spaces require a few unique approaches and tricks in order to create a beautiful space.  Here are my 10 tips to give your home a bigger feel.

10 Tips for Decorating a Small Space

 

 

1. Pay Attention to Scale

Choosing the right size furnishings is a bit like Goldilocks – not too big, not too small, but just right.  With a smaller space, it’s important that the scale of your furniture to proportionate to the room itself.  Avoid overstuffed, large-scale furnishings that take up a lot of visual space, not to mention floor space.  Now, this doesn’t mean you should find super small-scaled furnishing either.  If your furniture is too small for the room, it can actually make your space look smaller!  Instead, opt for furnishings that are proportionate to the space.  Proportion is the key.

{via Elle Decor}

 

2. Look for these Furniture Features

Along with scale, pay attention to the features of the furnishing that you choose.  For example, furniture with legs, as opposed to pieces that go all the way to the floor, tend to look less bulky.  Clear acrylic or glass pieces also give a lighter-weight appearance than solid wood pieces.  Round furniture also takes up a bit less space and is easier to walk around, so consider round coffee tables or side tables.  Lastly, avoid overly bulky objects {regardless of the scale} because these tend to look heavy and can weight down the visual space in a room.

Small scale decorating ideas for the living room
{via 2 Ladies & A Chair}

 

3. Maximize Storage

Small spaces are usually somewhat limited on storage, so look for items that can do double-duty.  For example, maybe a coffee table that offers storage for blankets or seasonal items.  Or maybe an accent chair in the living room that can also be pulled into the dining room for extra seating at the table.  Limited space for dining seating?  Try a banquette that also serves as storage.  Make sure everything in the room has a clear purpose and use.

Small kitchen dining decorating ideas with a banquette
{via BHG}

 

4. Clear Floor Space

We’ve all seen pictures showing a cute basket next to a sofa or ladder in a corner or some other object placed on the floor to take up space.  If your room is small, though, try to maintain as much open floor space as possible so as to help eliminate clutter and allow people to easily walk through the room without feeling like they are in an obstacle course.  As a general rule, maintain a clear path of 26″-36″ in order to easily maneuver through the room.  In a large room, objects are often placed in corners or near furniture to add interest and/or take up visual space to keep the room from feeling empty, but a small space just doesn’t have the need for these extra items so keep that floor space clear!

{You can find more decorating measurements HERE.}

 

5. Simplify Decor/Knick Knacks

It’s easy to add new items to your home, but if you don’t edit and purge, it’s equally easy to have too much stuff!  Decor items are a fun way to show off our personalities and give character to the room, but in a small space, be sure you keep them to a minimum for fear of making the room look cluttered.  Evaluate everything you bring into the home to ensure it falls into one of two categories: useful or meaningful.

One exception might be if you have a collection that you want to display.  While a collection includes many objects, they all have something in common which makes them seem less busy and cluttered than a random group of objects otherwise would.  Still, even with a collection you’ll need to edit depending on the size of your space, but don’t let a small space stop you from showing off something you love!

Opening kitchen shelving with bottle collection
{via My Domaine}

 

6. Pull Furniture Away from the Wall

This tip will obviously depend on the size of your room, and actually, applies to spaces of all sizes, not just small spaces.  Here, the idea is that if you line all of your furniture up against the walls, you’re simply outlining the shape of your room and emphasizing its size, whether large or small.  If your space is big enough to allow, pull the furniture away from the walls to create a grouping in the center of the room.  This way, your eye will focus on the grouping and not the dimensions of the walls themselves.  Keep in mind that space needed for a walkway, as mentioned above.

Beach style living room small scale decorating ideas
{via Coastal Home}

 

7. Take Advantage of Wall Space

If you can’t go wider, go taller!  Take advantage of wall space both in order to maximize storage and to help draw the eye up for an added layer of dimension!  Consider using a grouping of artwork hung vertically, floating shelves for added storage without sacrificing floor space, or even a vertical striped wall treatment!

{via Truly a Lovely Life}

 

8. Hang Window Treatments High

Similar to Tip #6, make sure your window treatments are hung higher than the window themselves to add more height to the room.  Also, hang them wide such that when open, they only overlap the window by a couple of inches.  This will make the window appear bigger and brighter, which tricks the brain into thinking the space is larger than it is.

How to hang curtains to make your window look bigger
{via HomeGoods}

 

9. Add Light

On the subject of making the windows appear bigger for more light, also be sure to bring in lamps and other light sources to brighten the space!  You can also use hanging mirrors to help reflect light around the room and open up the space.

Small entryway decorating ideas
{via BHG}

 

10. Keep Colors Light and Bright

This tip is a bit controversial because sometimes, dark colors create a cozy and unique feeling in a small room.  As a general rule of thumb, though, dark colors tend to make a space feel smaller, so if you want your room to feel larger, opt for light or bright colors, both on the walls, doors, and trim.  If you want to add a darker color, consider using it on the floor as a rug, or in accent pieces like pillows or art.  My downstairs bathroom is so tiny there isn’t even a window, so I opted for light colors with lots of lighting and a planked ceiling and wallpaper to draw the eye up!

Tidbits&Twine Bathroom Makeover

 

A final thought…..as with every tips or rule-of-thumb I write about, there are always exceptions!  And at the end of the day, it’s your home and it should be what YOU want, even if you don’t follow the rules!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NorCal Fire Aftermath – Free Inspirational Printable

As some of you might now know from my recent Facebook post, my hometown of Santa Rosa was devastated by wildfires that started late the night of October 8th and have continued to burn into this week.  While I no longer live in Santa Rosa, my mom and many friends still reside in this beautiful part of Sonoma County and it was such a helpless and terrifying feeling to watch the news from afar while amidst so much uncertainty and active fire danger.

{via NY Daily News}

 

Those first 48 hours were terrifying, as my mom was evacuated and I panicked as to whether she’d be able to save enough memories of my dad during her frantic rush to leave the house.  The devastation is tremendous…as of the time I am writing this, Santa Rosa alone lost 3,000 structures and has a death toll of 34 and counting.  Over 220,000 acres have been scorched across series of fires currently burning in Northern California.  To put that in perspective, that’s over 260 times the size of New York’s Central Park.

{via LA Times}

 

In the days that have followed, what became evident was how many good, kind, generous, and wonderful people there are in this world.  My guess is that most news stations showed video of the fire’s destruction, so what you might not have seen were the photos of police stations overflowing with food for rescue personnel, not to mention donations for fire victims.

{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}
{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}

 

Or lost ones being found.  Or pets being treated for injuries and reunited with their families.  {Izzy, the dog below, survived the fire and waited nearby for her owners to return!}

{via NBC News}

 

Or homeowners providing hot meals to rescue workers or just those that were without power and needed a meal.  Or the free services offered to those in need, no questions asked.

{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}

 

Or the pictures of burned family photos or other mementos that people were gathering and posting online in an effort to find their owners.  {And the owners were found, by the way.}

{via  KTVU and Jessica Riveras}

 

Or those who had power, setting up phone charging stations for those without power.  Strangers helping strangers out of the goodness of their hearts.

{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}
{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}

 

And the help didn’t just spring from within the affected areas, but from ALL OVER.  My mom evacuated to my home in the Bay Area and I wanted her to get some necessary supplies before she returned to her home.  Would you believe that respiratory masks were sold out everywhere??? People here snatched them all up when they heard of the need for them in affected areas and were sending them by the truckload.  Thankfully for me, a kind-hearted stranger donated a mask to my mom so she would be safe to return home.

{via Santa Rosa Firestorm Update}

 

This recent disaster really got me thinking about how much strength we have, both as individuals and as a community, not to mention as a nation.  We have the ability to overcome and persevere through the most challenging of situations.  So today, with this in mind, I’m sharing one of my favorite inspirational quotes with you.  This is a FREE graphic that you can click, save, and then print at whatever size you choose, up to an 8×10.

For those interested in helping victims of the fire, please consider donating to the Redwood Credit Union, a local non-profit organization where 100% of your tax-deductible donations go to help victims of the Northern California wildfires.  For more information, you can visit them HERE.

 

We are NorCal Strong and yes, the love in the air is thicker than the smoke.

 

 

For more free printables, you can sign up to receive updates HERE and gain access to all free printables.

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. – My mom’s home is near an active fire, so she has not yet been allowed back home.  The brave men and women that continue to battle this blaze day and night will forever have my gratitude.

 

 

 

Budget Decorating with 5 Everyday Items

Knick-knacks – are they necessary or a waste of money?  Well, it all depends, but sometimes, we want to fill a space – like an end table, coffee table, or shelf – and so rush to buy that special something that will fit the space.  If you love the item, then great!  Your purchase was a good one!  But if you buy something simply to fill space, here are some budget decorating tips that will save you money by allowing you to use everyday items as decor objects.  And my guess is that you probably have all five of these in your home right now…

Decorating on a budget with 5 everyday items

 

Books

Most people have books and they’re probably tucked away in a cabinet or shelf somewhere for future reading or reference.  But books look great when used as decor!  Instead of hiding them away, consider using them as “filler” on your mantel, table, nightstand, etc.  If I don’t love a book’s cover, I simply turn it around so the pages face outward.  Or, you can cover it in fabric for a whole new look {instructions HERE}.

A few books on the mantel help to fill an otherwise empty space!

Fireplace mantel decorated with vintage books and crystal

 

Not only do books add great texture and dimension to your home, but they can also be used as a base to give other items a bit more height.  Simply stack them up for a unique base!  When stacking books, I like to mix sizes and often, stack them slightly askew.

Coffee table vignette with books and branches

Christmas fireplace mantel display

 

Even if you keep your books in a cabinet, don’t feel like you have to line them up side-by-side.  Feel free to break up with books with other items, or even lay some books down!  Doing so will create more of a stylized look to your cabinet.

Styled bookshelf

 

Wooden Cutting Boards

This one might sound a little silly, but wooden cutting boards {or breadboards} can be quite beautiful when incorporated into your home.  As a bonus, if your board is out on display, you don’t have to worry about storing it!  I use a mix of vintage and new cutting boards.  There’s nothing fancy about any of them; I simply chose them because I liked the way they looked and I liked the size.

You can layer a few together along your kitchen backsplash to help break up the lines of the tile.  {Okay, maybe this isn’t the best picture to illustrate this idea, but if you look closely, you can see them in the background on the left side.}

Fall farmhouse kitchen decor

 

I’ve even placed an entire collection on display on my mantel!

wooden cutting board collection on mantel

 

Similar to books, cutting boards also make a great base for other objects.  I frequently use a cutting board on my dining room table to create a large, sturdy base for my centerpiece.  Even a small centerpiece will look larger if used on a base!

French spring dining room
 

Cups/Plates

Dishes can be beautiful and as such, don’t always have to be stored in a closed cabinet.  An empty corner can easily be filled with a collection of dishes.  I used to “store” some of my platters on the wall as a decorative display.

 

Now, my teacups are on display!

If you have an empty wall, consider making a display with your plates and/or platters.  Even your kitchen can be decorated with a beautiful display of dishes and cups!

 

Dried Flowers

Whether you have store-bought flowers or stems clipped from your garden, do your best to preserve the blossoms because they’ll come in handy in the future!  My personal favorites to use in decorating are roses, lavender, and hydrangeas because I like the way they look when they are dried.

You can create a bouquet of dried flowers, or you can simply sprinkle dried flower heads in among other items for a touch of color and an organic shape.

 

With their large flower heads, dried hydrangeas can make a beautiful centerpiece or accent to any decor, so consider adding them to containers or grouping them together in a vase.

French farmhouse fall dining room

 

Baskets

Baskets not only provide storage, but they’re beautiful to look at!  I love when an items serves a dual purpose, don’t you?  Plus, baskets come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles that you’ll easily be able to find one that meets your needs and visually works in your space.  A beautiful basket tucked away in the corner can instantly fill an empty spot.  A messy collection of magazines can easily be organized and stored away in a basket providing instant character and charm.  Shallow baskets are great for grouping items together on a coffee table, under a console table, or even under a bench.

French Farmhouse foyer decorated for Fall

 

A grouping of baskets on top of a hutch and help visually expand the height of furniture.

French spring dining room

 

 

Before you buy something new, look around your home to see what you might already own that you can pull out of storage and put on display in a creative way that will add character, interest, texture, and dimension to your decor without costing a dime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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