4 Simple Ways to Update a Small Home’s Design

If you’ve got a small room in your home that needs a fresh, updated look, you don’t have to spend a ton of money, time, and effort to accomplish the goal. In fact, with small rooms, small changes can have a huge impact. Whether you’re planning to sell your home quickly or simply want a fresh look for your home, here are four simple ways you can update a small space with a fresh new look.

1. Choose the right color of paint for the walls

One of the easiest ways to update a room’s look is to give it a fresh paint job. But what color should you choose for your small space? It might be tempting to look at the extremes. All white is a popular choice for people who want to make small rooms appear bigger. Others go to the other end of the color spectrum and look at dark colors like navy or deep slate gray.

A better choice is to aim for lighter colors by selecting pale shades of your favorite color, with another pale shade that complements your primary color for trim. If you crave bright colors, add them with small accent pieces like throw pillows or artwork.

2. Lighten things up with fabric and mirrors

Leave the heavy window treatments and luxe drapes for a bigger room. You can increase the amount of light in your small space by choosing simpler window treatments. Roman shades and blinds are a great option since they’re easy to install and provide a tailored, clean look. You can also select lighter or even sheer panels, which give an airier look and feel to the room while simultaneously providing privacy when closed.

Then bring in mirrors of an appropriate size for the room and vertical space you have available. Ideally, mirrors should be positioned across from windows or light sources to reflect that light back into the room. This helps brighten the space up and make it seem roomier, as well.

3. Choose furniture with the right size and design profile

While it’s true that small rooms don’t really look bigger when they’re sparsely furnished, it’s also true that small rooms can get swallowed up by furniture that’s scaled too big or with too exuberant a design profile. Overstuffed sofas that comfortably seat five people are overwhelming to a small living room, while an extra-thick king-sized bed makes a bedroom feel crowded.

Instead, look for pieces that have been scaled and sized for smaller rooms. Sleeker design profiles can be just as comfortable without looking out of place in the room. For example, a full or queen-sized platform bed is striking while still allowing you room to move, and a smaller loveseat or three-person modular sofa still feels substantial in a small living room.

4. Curate displayed items carefully

Keep your shelves and tabletops looking clean and uncluttered by displaying items sparingly. Choose the items you want to keep out in full view as carefully as if you were curating a museum exhibit. Try to envision groupings in terms of color, style, and impact. For example, 10 ceramic figurines of barnyard animals create a crowded display. Instead, choose three or four that are grouped around a theme—the same kind of animal, for example, or different animals in the same color.

Make a design statement with everything you display. A couple of decorative items can be grouped in front of or near a piece of wall-hung art that all share the same color scheme. The effect can be dramatic and eye-catching. This approach also has the benefit of making your home more attractive to potential purchasers. However, if a home sale is in your short-term plans, make it a point to consult first with an experienced real estate agent who will undoubtedly have the best understanding of your local market.

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