10 Outdated Rules You Can Break When Decorating Small Spaces


Colorful Smart Decorated Room - Decorating Small Spaces

Decorating Small Spaces | Small Space Design | Interior Design Tips

When it comes to decorating small spaces, it’s time to break free from the constraints of outdated rules. The traditional advice of white walls, downsized furniture, and unadorned surfaces is no longer the only path to follow for small space organization. In this article, I’ll guide you through 10 outdated rules that you can confidently break when decorating small spaces. By embracing a fresh approach to creative small space solutions and thinking outside the box, you can create a home that is brimming with style and personality, regardless of square footage. So let’s dive in and discover how to transform your small space into a haven that defies convention.

Stick to White Walls | Maximizing Small Spaces

White Wall Picture for Decorating Small Spaces

Traditionally, decorating small spaces were advised to have white walls to create an illusion of spaciousness or maximizing small spaces. However, breaking this rule allows you to inject life and personality into your small space decor ideas. Embrace colors that resonate with your style and add character to your walls. Consider warm neutrals, soft pastels, or even bold, vibrant shades. By painting your walls in colors that speak to you, you can create a unique and inviting atmosphere that reflects your personal taste.

Additionally, don’t shy away from incorporating patterns into your small space. Wallpaper with intricate designs or accent walls adorned with geometric patterns can add visual interest and depth to your room. The key is to strike a balance between colors and patterns, ensuring they complement each other and create a harmonious ambiance.

Downsized Furniture Only | Breaking Outdated Rules

Downsized Furniture for Small Spaces

While downsized furniture is often recommended for small spaces to maximize floor area, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or comfort. Breaking outdated rules allows you to mix different sizes and styles of furniture, adding visual interest and personality to your space. Consider combining a statement piece, such as a large sectional sofa or a plush armchair, with smaller complementary pieces. This creates a focal point and adds a touch of elegance to your room.

Furthermore, mixing furniture styles can bring a sense of eclecticism and uniqueness to your small space. Combine modern and vintage pieces or experiment with contrasting materials and textures. The key is to ensure that the furniture pieces you choose work together harmoniously and provide both functionality and visual appeal.

Less Is More | Small Space Living

Less Coloured Wall Paint to make your Cozy

The concept of “less is more” has long been associated with small spaces, advocating for unadorned surfaces and minimal decor. However, breaking this rule opens up a world of possibilities for small space living. Embrace layering and texture to add depth and dimension to your space.

Start by layering rugs of different textures and sizes to create visual interest and define separate zones within your room. Mix and match cushions and throws in various fabrics and patterns to add coziness and comfort. Consider incorporating textured elements like woven baskets, decorative pillows, or textured wall panels to create a tactile experience while decorating tiny spaces.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to display decorative items that reflect your personal style. Showcase your favorite artwork, sculptures, or collectibles on shelves or walls. By carefully curating and arranging these items, you can infuse your space with personality and create a visually captivating environment.

Light Ceilings Only | Designing Compact Areas

Conventional wisdom suggests that light-colored ceilings make small spaces appear larger. While this advice holds true in many cases in designing compact areas, breaking this rule allows you to experiment with dark ceilings to create a unique ambiance.

Dark ceilings add depth and drama to your space, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Consider painting your ceiling in rich tones like navy blue, charcoal gray, or even bold black. This unconventional approach draws the eye upward and adds a sense of architectural interest to your room. To balance the darkness, ensure that the walls and other elements in the room are kept relatively light and bright.

Use Multiple Area Rugs | Small Space Decoration Ideas

The rule of using multiple area rugs as your small space decoration ideas to define different zones in a small space can sometimes create visual clutter and make the room feel smaller. Breaking this rule simplifies the design and gives your space a cohesive look.

Opt for a single large rug that anchors the room and ties the elements together. This creates a sense of continuity and spaciousness while minimizing visual distractions. Choose a rug that complements your overall design scheme and consider placing it under the main seating area or centrally within the room. This approach creates a visually pleasing and unifying effect.

Paint Walls White | Redefining Small Space Decor

While white walls have been the go-to choice for small spaces, breaking this rule allows you to experiment with dark colors. Redefining small space decor, dark walls can add depth, drama, and a sense of sophistication to your space.

Consider deep blues, rich greens, or moody grays to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Dark colors can make a room feel more enveloping and create a sense of architectural interest. To balance the darkness, incorporate ample lighting through well-placed fixtures and strategic use of mirrors to reflect light and create a sense of openness.

Remember to consider the natural lighting in your space when choosing dark paint colors. If your room receives limited natural light, opt for lighter shades within the dark color palette to prevent the space from feeling too closed in.

Dining Furniture Should Match | Updating Rules for Decorating Small Areas

Matching dining sets have long been favored for their cohesive look. However, updating rules for decorating small areas, allows you to showcase your personality and create a unique dining area.

Embrace an eclectic mix of dining chairs or a combination of chairs and bench seating. Play with different styles, materials, and colors to create a visually captivating and individualistic space. For instance, you can pair modern chairs with a rustic farmhouse-style table or mix vintage and contemporary pieces to add charm and character.

To maintain a cohesive look, ensure that there is a unifying element, such as similar finishes, colors, or design details. The key is to strike a balance between variety and harmony to create an inviting and visually engaging dining space.

Recessed Lighting Only | Refreshing Small Space Interiors

While recessed lighting is often recommended for refreshing small space interiors to save precious floor and vertical space, breaking this rule allows you to create a more dynamic and inviting environment.

Layer your lighting by incorporating different types of fixtures. Consider adding pendant lights, chandeliers, or wall sconces to create focal points and add visual interest to your space. These statement pieces not only provide illumination but also serve as design elements that enhance the overall aesthetic.

Additionally, incorporate task lighting through table lamps or floor lamps to create warm and inviting corners within your small space. By strategically placing these sources of light, you can create a cozy and welcoming ambiance that is both functional and visually appealing.

Avoid Clutter | Cozy Living

The rule of avoiding clutter in small spaces still holds true, but it shouldn’t discourage you from displaying your cherished items. Breaking this rule means curating and displaying thoughtful collections that reflect your interests and passions in cozy living.

Create vignettes on shelves or mantels that showcase your favorite books, artwork, or unique finds. Consider creating a gallery wall to display photographs or artworks that hold sentimental value. By carefully arranging these items, you can transform your space into a personal gallery that tells a story and adds character to your small space.

To prevent your collections from overwhelming the space, be mindful of proportion and scale. Create a balanced composition by mixing different sizes, textures, and shapes in your creative solutions for limited spaces. Consider using decorative trays, boxes, or shelves to organize and display your collections in a visually pleasing manner.

Avoid Large-Scale Patterns

The fear of overwhelming a small space has led to the rule of avoiding large-scale patterns. However, breaking this rule allows you to make a bold statement and add visual interest to your space.

Incorporate large-scale patterns through wallpapers, curtains, or statement furniture pieces. Opt for bold prints, such as floral, geometric, or abstract designs, that resonate with your style. Introduce these patterns strategically, such as on an accent wall or through bold accessories, to create a focal point and add a sense of drama to your small space.

To balance the impact of large-scale patterns, incorporate simpler elements in the surrounding area. Use solid-colored furniture or neutral-toned accessories to create a visually harmonious composition. By finding the right balance, you can successfully integrate bold patterns into your small space without overwhelming it.


Decorating small spaces should be a joyful and creative experience, free from the limitations of outdated rules. By breaking away from conventional wisdom, you can transform your small space into a unique and stylish haven that reflects your personality and individuality. Embrace the use of colors, patterns, and textures to add depth and visual interest to your walls and furniture. Mix sizes and styles of furniture to create a visually engaging and comfortable space. Layer lighting sources enhance functionality and ambiance. Display curated collections and create thoughtful vignettes to showcase your personal taste and cherished items.



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