9 Small Space Design Trends

small space bedroom with large mirror and gray art design on wall

Great design means breaking some rules every now and then to make it work. Just because you don’t have a lot of square footage to work with, doesn’t mean you can’t have a space that functions, and looks great at the same time. Here’s a collection of some of the best small space design trends going.

1. Funky Wallpaper

Wallpaper with cool patterns and designs are really popular these days, and can be especially chic in a small apartment. You might be able to get away with just one “feature” wall, or be adventurous and choose a style to do the whole space. Small laundry rooms are especially hot spots for this kind of wall treatment.

2. Large Wall Art

The idea is to draw your focus to something large and beautiful that catches the eye. You could blow up a favorite photo, or invest in a professionally framed piece, or canvas. If you can’t find something, or are having a hard time choosing between images, smaller, mismatched frames placed together in geometric patterns can achieve the same effect.

3. Functional Dividers

Consider breaking up a larger room into different areas with things that will naturally divide the room. A wide, sturdy shelf can act as a faux wall, for example. Place the headboard side of your bed against it, or let it divide a living area from an eating space. Ladders, window panes, tables, and even a sofa turned the right way can act as room dividers, as well.

4. Live Plants

small space with live plants by chair and chest of drawers

Live greenery is a wonderful way to add some vibrancy to a room, especially small spaces. You may not have many spots available, so consider hanging them from the ceiling. Vertical shelving units can also be great spots for some foliage. If you find yourself with an open corner without a purpose, one large standout plant to fill the space is a natural way to make a trendy statement.

5. Chic Light Fixtures

A unique, oversized light fixture will draw the eye and create the feeling of a larger space. You don’t want to sacrifice head room, so pendants might not be the best choice. Find something that sticks close to the ceiling but still feels grand. Re-purpose a vintage chandelier, or go for something modern; just match the rest of the room's decor. Edison light bulbs can also add a modern look to the right fixture.

6. Brighten the Corners

If you have a tiny living room or live in a bachelor apartment, make use of a corner and make it into a workspace area, or perhaps a secondary entertainment spot. Maybe your TV is the focal point, but a desk or a record player and table could act as a way of separating the living space into something else. Built-in cabinets and floating shelves can help with storing things like books, records, and/or movies.

7. The Mirror-Effect

Mirrors are very functional, but they also allow light to bounce from one wall to another. Try adding a full-length mirror in a small bedroom or hallway which is useful while giving the illusion of extra space. Place small-to-medium sized decorative mirrors in any room to add dimension and offer reflective beauty. Tip: put a plant on a table close to a mirror, and from certain angles, it will look like there are two!

8. Utilize Unused Space

small office space with drawers in closet under stairs

Using empty space is a great way to add a “mini” room. Popular re-claimed areas like the space under the stairs can be turned into a small office space, book case, or shoe storage. Swap out an open coffee table for one that includes storage. Floating shelves or tall shelving can make use of space you wouldn’t think of, especially above the couch, bed, or TV.

9. Texture, Texture, Texture!

Small spaces tend to veer towards minimalism, which makes sense, but don’t let it limit your fabrics. You may not be able to imbibe in lots of furniture pieces, but you can relish on what those surfaces feel like. Textures like soft suede couches or pillows, waffle cotton bedding and towels, and faux fur throws and rugs will implement some warmth to a small space.

It can feel like a daunting task to outfit a small room or apartment, but some of the coolest ideas come from a challenge. The smartest designs aren’t just creative, they’re functional, too. Look at the unused areas in your home, and then find a purpose for it. When it comes to small space designs, make a bold statement: go big and stay home.