Does walking into your bedroom bring back memories of Harry Potter’s cramped haven under the staircase at the Dursleys’ house?

Even if you aren’t living in a storage closet, chances are you have at least one smaller-than-average room you’d like to get more out of.

The rise in popularity of tiny homes proves that you don’t need hundreds of square feet to make a space fabulous. This is a good thing since most of us don’t have that much space to start off with — we need to work with what we have.

And what we have is pure potential. So how do you take a tiny room and make it grand? There are a number of decorating ideas for small spaces. Depending on which room it is and what exactly you want to get out of the space, you can spruce it up any which way you want to.

What to Avoid When Decorating Small Spaces

Before we get into what works, you should probably get to know about a few mistakes you may have been making.

  • Too much stuff: There’s nothing worse than cramming to turn a small room into a cell. While you certainly don’t have to throw out your entire collection of vintage chrome hubcaps, a bit of organization goes a long way.
  • Choosing the wrong color: Most people assume that painting a small space white will open it up and provide the best visuals. According to House Beautiful, this may not actually be the case.
  • Using only tiny furniture: It stands to reason that you’d use small furniture when decorating a smaller space. According to Architecture Digest, big furniture will help to make the space seem bigger. Instead of drawing the eye to multiple places around the room (and noticing how little it is) you’ll be wowed by big accent pieces and wind up not noticing the limited square footage.
  • Too many patterns: This goes hand in hand with too much stuff. Too many patterns will overwhelm the viewer, closing off the room and emphasizing its smallness.

The biggest mistake of all (warranting its very own paragraph) is also the most common: Underestimating the power of your small space. If you’re feeling discouraged about your lack of area, that’s no reason to let it degenerate into a maze of unloved spatial delinquency.

Small space decorating is all about love, care, and attention. If you want to get the most out of your space you have to put time and effort into it. Don’t worry! You’ll be rewarded. Need a little inspiration? Check out these small room ideas on Pinterest.

How to Create a Big Personality in a Small Room

Tiny apartment decorating is something of a trend now, with studio apartments being the norm for many working professionals and students in cities. These are a few hard-and-fast rules to follow when creating a castle from a closet. They can be used for entire apartments as well as for individual rooms.

1. Expand Storage Spaces Upwards, not Outwards

Storage space can be a problem in small rooms. This means you’ve got to get creative when planning where to put your treasured possessions. A great way to extend the space and make it seem more well-organized is vertical storage.

Creating vertical storage area, even one as simple as wall shelving will draw the eye upwards, giving the illusion of a lofty ceiling. It will also help keep the room decluttered and fresh. You can create vertical storage for books, clothes, even food if you’re lacking a pantry — get creative!

2. Create Proper Flow of Color and Lighting

This may seem like a doozy. How do you create a nice, positive energy flow around a room the size of a bathtub? The first step is to paint it correctly. Generally speaking, lighter colors give the illusion of more space while darker colors create a cozy vibe. That doesn’t mean you have to go with all white! In fact, all white can seem sterile and lacking personality.

Instead, use neutral shades with bright accent pieces. If you really want to open up the room, add lots of lighting. Emphasize whatever natural light you have. If you have none, add some artificial light. Use lamps, wall sconces or overhead fixtures to brighten up your room.

3. Deck the Halls With Mirrors and Practical Accessories

Decorating walls doesn’t end at painting them. According to Houzz, hanging mirrors is one of the best ways to increase perceived space at home. Hang them strategically so they reflect natural light, giving the room a bigger feel.

Use wall space to hang accessories as well. For example, a desk takes up tons of room but you can install one that folds up nicely into the wall when you’re done with it.

Having a small room or a tiny apartment is one of the most fun decorating challenges out there, so don’t be scared—grab your measuring tape and get started today!

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