Interior Design: Tips for Smaller Rooms

Small and Homely

Photo Credit: Love Chic Living

It’s been awhile since we wrote an interiors blog, and this post is long overdue.

Many of us with growing families, would love nothing more than to live in a large property.  A property with endless rooms and storage space.

Most of us live in the average size family home, with some smaller ‘challenging’ rooms.  And, if you are anything like us we never seem to have enough storage space.  Whilst we are not hoarders, the minimalist lifestyle doesn’t suit all of us. 

Many of us have a mix of old and new items in our homes. And, often so many of the older items we have all inherited may not have a use, but have great sentimental value.  They are keepers! 

To us, the mix of old and new makes for a family home.  

Shepherds Huts

Last weekend, Lea (@thecowbarn on Instagram) shared her families experience of staying at Hesleyside Huts on our blog.  (Blog located here).  

Shepherds huts interiors are a great examples of making the most of the smaller space. 

Serendipity Loves Homes

Our own homes are by no means mansions. Far from it!   We live in average sized family homes, which are Grade II Listed and are Arts and Crafts style.  

Photo Credit: Home building and Renovation

We are fortunate our properties have most of the original features retained – including wooden doors, cast-iron fire places, beamed ceilings, quarry tiled floors, leaded light windows, original stained glass panels, pantry (with slate cooling slab), iron door furniture – to name but a few.  The Arts and Crafts movement and style, is one of our favorites and we feel incredibly fortunate to live in a period style home.  

Design Tips

Through both the renovation of our own homes, our interior qualifications and styling we have utilised many different options to maximise the space we have available.  

We love nothing more than to pass on these tips.

1. Lighting and Mirrors 

Natural light can often be a challenge in smaller rooms, windows may be smaller or located in the corner of a room.  

Placing a mirror on the wall opposite a window helps to reflect light into the room.  Mirrors also add depth and space to a room through their reflections.

Lighting can make a big difference to a room.  There are options for ceiling lights and lamp lighting.  Lamps, generally offer a softer light and when placed close to a mirror will help to reflect the light during the evening. 

Photo Credit: Modern Interior Design

Both the use of light walls and large round mirror help to reflect the natural light in this hallway.

Photo Credit: Home Run Services

The large mirror over the fire place helps to reflect the natural light from the window in this narrow living room.  During the evening the table lamp and the wall lights placed on the opposite wall to the mirror, are reflected to help bring a soft light to the room.  This room has also been decorated and furnished in neutral tones.

2. Office Space

Many of us work from home, but not everyone has the pleasure of an extra room for a study.  There is always the option of using a kitchen or dining room table as a desk.  If you are anything like us, moving all our paper work each meal time becomes a real pain.  On the other hand, it can be challenging to find space for a desk.  

A console table has the potential to work in a hallway, dining room or living room and provides a suitable option for a desk.

Photo Credit: Macys

The console table used in this living room has a fold down leaf, this make it multi purpose.  Providing and option to use as a desk or table when required.

Photo Credit: IKEA

We solved our problem by buying the Ikea Norrasen Laptop table (above  more details here) – this is more the size of a console table.  Placed in our guest bedroom it doubles up as a dressing table.  The space for the laptop wires in the side is very practical and works within the space we have. 

Photo Credit: Decoholic

Another alternative is this drop leaf table which is fixed to the wall.  A shelf ledge when the leaf is down.  This can either be used as a desk or small dining table when the leaf is up.

3. Furniture

Within our Guest bedroom we had the challenge of adding storage space, a full sized wardrobe dominated the room.  It was almost like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this one is to big, but this one too small.  The size and scale of the furniture can make a big difference to a room.

We opted for the Little White Company Furniture designed for children.  The wardrobe doubles up as a linen/fabric cupboard.  Because this furniture is designed for children, it is smaller in size and is not floor to ceiling in height. We have room on the top for hat boxes and fabric covered storage boxes.

Photo Credit: Project Nursery

This nursery is in a small room and the use of cupboards under the windows for storage instead of using a wadrobe makes the space look bigger. 

4. Colours

It is always difficult to know what colours to paint a room.  We posted a blog on colour (blog can be found here). Colour is always down to personal preference and taste.  Generally, darker colours on walls and ceilings can make a smaller room feel like it is closing in on you.  On the other hand, some may find this cosy.

Photo Credit: BHG Style Spotters

This small WC room has made use of using a dark colour on the top and white on the bottom.  This together with the horizontal placing of the ship lap helps to make this room look longer.  This room would look very different if the darker colour was used throughout.

Lighter colours with light undertones on the walls and ceilings are often a better solution for smaller rooms. Splashes of colours can be added through soft furnishings.  

5. Window Dressing

Photo Credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott
There are many alternatives for window dressings.  Shutters provide privacy and let the light in.  They can be folded back to allow full natural light.  Roman or roller blinds, fitted within a window recess provide an uncluttered window dressing. The use of horizontal stripes on blinds will visually widen a narrow window.

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Design Space

Both of the use of the shutters and blind in the above interior designs provide maximum natural light from the windows without them being overly cluttered with window dressings.

6.  Storage

One of the things we nearly all need is storage space.  Adding floating shelves, shelving in an alcove or across a wall can provide a great feature to display books, treasured items or photographs.

Photo Credit: Beneath My Heart 
Photo Credit: Lush Home
Photo Credit: Giseleterato

The use of the shelving in these designs highlight overhead or wall space which would otherwise be unused.  They provide an option for both storage and displaying items.


We have rain scheduled for the weekend here.  Rain stops play on the garden preparation.  We are close to planting out, and a blog on our progress to date.

Enjoy your weekend,

Serendipity Loves x

Copyright: All contents of  Serendipity Loves blog has rights reserved. Photos used throughout the blog are fully credited to the original owners who have coprights


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome tips you have here! I'm sure this'll be very helpful for everyone. You can also try visiting Bonifacio Global city. I'm sure you'll like it!


  2. Wow. I just want to share this real estate in Cebu is really innovating! Thank you for the information. I'm planning to live in Cebu and buy a property their with my family.


  3. THank you. Pleased to hear you found the blog useful


  4. Oh wow, those properties look amazing. Pleased to hear you found the blog useful


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