Decorating Tips for Small Spaces

Mentor Jacqueline Corea, Principal of Corea Sotropa Interior Design, shares inspiration and decorating tips for small spaces!

Designing a small space can test even the most seasoned interior designer. Having said that, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge! I find it exhilarating creating a plan that makes the best use of the space and doesn’t sacrifice style. This was the case in the design of this apartment suite my  Calgary interior design firm, Corea Sotropa Interior Design completed a few years ago. With some careful planning and keeping stylishness at the forefront we were able to create this chic and cheerful apartment. Here are a few of my best tips to keep in mind when designing and decorating a small space.

  1. Instead of patterns, try bold blocks of colour and textures. Patterns can make a room look busy so in a small space opt for a minimal amount of printed fabric and go with a variety of textures instead. Using textures adds interest without being overpowering. Don’t be afraid to use bold colour, just keep the overall scheme simple.
  2. Keep the furniture clean lined and classic. Ornate furniture details add visual complication to a room. In a petite room stick to simple lines for most of the pieces. For a dramatic effect, select one piece of furniture that is more elaborate so that it stands apart from the others.
  3. Extend the drapery past the window and cover the wall with panels. In actuality, this window is only as wide as the area between the drapery panels. By running the drapery wall to wall and covering the walls on either side it appears that the window is much wider than it really is. This is one of my very favourite tricks to make a window appear larger.

  1. Provide ample storage in the kitchen. For this tiny galley kitchen we gave up some counter space and instead included a pantry cabinet (right side). Nothing makes a kitchen look smaller than a cluttered countertop and this cabinet allows for countertop appliances to be concealed. You may also notice that we opted for storage instead of seating at the island. Since it is such a little kitchen, having two areas to sit and eat was not the best use of space. The island cabinets act as a room divider and dining room credenza.
  2. Glass cabinets open up a kitchen. By utilizing glass inserts in your kitchen cabinets the feeling of more space is created since you get the sense of more depth. However, select an opaque glass like this ribbed version so mismatched china and glassware is hidden. Looking into messy cabinets would create visual clutter making it appear smaller.

These tips will make the most of your limited square footage both for function as well as style. With careful planning for storage and a few designer tricks you can create a sophisticated and comfortable solution for small space living.

Corea Sotropa Interior Design, author of this feature, is a full service Interior Design firm in Calgary, Alberta. Jacqueline would love to talk to you about designing a space expressly for you.

You can also find a full list of all our global mentors [ who are top professional interior designers ] on our Mentors Page.




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