How to dress up your small space to make a big impact!
Have you ever just looked around your house and thought… I need to update that? Or you have that one nagging corner that you just keep ignoring until you “find the right thing.” Well what’s great about these areas is that you can typically do a small space decor update and change the entire feel in your home.
A lot of times when I have friends ask for help decorating their homes, they’ve actually done all the hard work already (i.e. buying all the big expensive stuff). But what seems to stump a lot of folks is the little stuff. They end up with accessory anxiety, where you don’t know where to start so you just don’t do anything. I think I end up doing the exact opposite, I like to buy a cart full of stuff that I like. Once I get home and put it all together if there are pieces that don’t work, I just take them back.
At any point in time, you can probably find at least 3 things in my house that still have the price tags on them because “I’m not sure, and may return them.”
Don’t feel bad if something doesn’t work. All home design is an evolution. If you wanted it 100% the minute you moved in, be prepared to hire a team of designers and spend THOUSANDS of dollars!!! It’s okay to have a work in progress… it’s part of the fun actually. But, these small space updates make it easy and cost effective to do little projects.. one at a time.
Sometimes you can just take accessories that you have in your home already and just swap them out. Many times, I’ll hit up my local HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, or go to Wayfair or Overstock for some great accents to use. I’ve said this over and over, but don’t underestimate the power of some green. A pretty potted house plant can go a long way in the decor department.
I think it’s easy to forget about your bathroom. In your day to day life it becomes more of a utility space than a decor focal point. But let’s be honest, we all spend more time in there that we care to admit. It’s usually the first room you visit in the morning and the last before you head to bed. Why not make it fabulous? We’ve discussed how to tackle the big pieces like the mirrors here.
But let’s take a look at the details. I have a pretty typical pattern in my bathroom accessories. I love to find a good tray as a starting point. This creates a great base layer. Then I love to find glass jars to fill with bathroom necessities. I aim to fit 3 on my tray if possible (I love odd numbers). Here is a great set that would work perfectly in a bathroom space. Depending on what your home decor style looks like, you could go with oversized mason jars for a farmhouse look, sculpted glass for a more traditional feel, colorful patterned jars if you wanted something more eclectic.
Here are some of the glass options I found at my local HomeGoods. You can see they are very inexpensive options and the look great. You won’t find these in the bathroom section, my stores always keep them in the glassware section (by the dishes, decorative glass and vases).
Add some cotton balls, q-tips, a plant, a jewelry box, some miscellaneous bathroom goodies and you have a designer worthy bathroom.
The goal is to create some visual interest on your countertop while still maintaining the function. Then throw in a couple accents. I lean towards a scented candle or some small greenery. Small succulents are very trendy right now, but they are low maintenance and you get individually planted ones that don’t require a lot of space.
Coffee Tables & Console Tables
Be sure to give your coffee table a little love. Again, I like to start with a tray… surprise… I know! But it grounds the accessories in the middle of the table. It also defines the extra “usable space” which at my house means you can put your feet up and/or put your dishes, etc. (Don’t judge!) But, within the tray is MY space to put pretty things that don’t get messed with.
Try to find a couple books. If you’re looking for coffee table books, make sure the colors work with your decor. If your home is all blue and white, a bright red book may create a distraction rather than a compliment. Size is also important. I like to stack books so check to see that the bigger book is both bigger in width and length than the book that you’re putting on top.
Again, adding a little green of some sort is an added bonus. A sculpture, geometric shape, photo frame, or any other miscellaneous accent just adds interest to your table. What all these items do is give you a multi-level site line to an otherwise flat piece of furniture. This is what creates the visual interest and allows it to be a great focal point in your living room.
Most bedrooms consist of 4 main pieces.
Well, that’s certainly enough to get by. But it’s not as pretty. I realize space may be limited, but I recommend you maximize what you can fit in your space. By doing so, it makes the room feel full and you have more room to accessorize. For instance, if you have 4 feet between the side of your bed and the wall on each side, aim for 3′ wide nightstands instead of traditionally smaller ones. I also think that “standard” nightstands can actually be too short for some of the bigger beds we all have today. It’s totally okay to go with a taller table or dresser and use it as a bedside table instead.
I know… I’m getting to why this is important…
I love symmetry… especially in a bedroom. So adding matching lamps on each side of the bed is the best practice. It is also important that the lamps sit at the same height visually. So… let’s say you have 2 different heights on your bedside tables, you can add accessories (like books or a storage box) to build up the smaller side.
For beside details, I like to keep them simple. I will typically include something personal, like a framed photo. Add some stacked books, a small plant and possibly a small tray or decorative box if space allows (I know… all the trays). That’s really all you need to do.
Dressers tend to have more surface area to cover. In the event you do not have space on your nightstands for a lamp… put one (or two) on the dresser! In any room, it’s important to have a couple layers of light and a table lamp is the perfect way to achieve that in a bedroom.
Now, I know dresser tops can become a landing space for anything and everything. Pockets get emptied, jewelry gets taken off and it just ends up there. So I always like to include a place for all of that to go. There are some really pretty and modern looking jewelry boxes that you can find right now. Paired with a catchall (trying to find another word for tray so y’all don’t shoot me) it can create a pretty space but still maintains the functionality that you truly need to stay organized.
As you know, some homes have grand foyers with 2 story ceilings, beautiful waitscoting and room for a gorgeous entry setting. Others are a narrow hallway that you’re lucky you can fit a small table without the door hitting. Well either way, it’s still the first thing your guests will see when they walk in your home. So it’s important to make sure it’s put together well regardless of the size.
I’ve also noticed a lot of my favorite designers have started focusing on small vignettes. An entryway is a great place to try and recreate those designer looks. And you know what they typically include? Yep, you got it… stacked books, a photo frame, with a pretty vase, some green plants, a lamp…. IN A TRAY!
As I was searching for foyers on Pinterest for ideas, I noticed the one common theme was plants / flowers. Every. Single. One. They all had a big beautiful plant or floral arrangement. The good news is that it could be located on a table or a pot on the floor depending on what the space allows.
A work in progress:
This entryway was dying for a new foyer table. The Pottery Barn Dawson Large Pedestal Table was a perfect fit! Take a look at the design evolution of this space. I’m sure there will be a few more tweaks before its complete… but that’s just how it goes!