An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Small Apartment Help

Design Question

Hello! I ran across your post about interior design help from the Interior Design Forum.

I am getting my first apartment in August so I have no idea how to best decorate a small room. Attached is the basic layout of the room I will be living in (unfortunately, that is the only perspective I was able to find) and the picture has been taken from the entryway.

I know the trick to make a small room to appear bigger is light, neutral colors, so I was thinking of maybe painting the whole room as such, or maybe have an accent wall behind my bed frame (the bed will most likely be rotated – vertical rather than horizontal) or the small portion of wall behind the desk.

I am currently a college student so a space promoting “concentration”, edgy but fun, or a mixture with sophistication would be great. I am really open to any ideas/themes you might have, so if it would be no trouble, I would love an input from you. Thanks!

Design Answer

The picture is fine – good enough to give me an idea of your new living space.

You’re right about the tricks to make a small room seem larger: maximize the source of natural light in the room and ensure there is a balance of task and ambient lighting; paint the walls a neutral or light shade; and use mirrors to “move” light around the room. I would choose deeper neutrals or earth tones over lighter shades. You could also go light shades of cool colors such as pale blue or green. Your instinct regarding pairing a neutral color with an accent shade is a good one. If you go that route, though, plan on using a bold or intense warm color (reds, oranges, browns, purples).

Match one or more colors in your bedding, curtains and area rug to the accent color you chose for the wall. If you decide not to use an accent wall color and you stick to neutrals, this will give you the opportunity to bring color into the room when dressing the bed and accessorizing the other parts of the bedroom.

The fact that the room already has mirrors in the form of closet doors is a plus. To get maximum mileage from these mirrored doors, place large framed (larger than the ones currently on the wall) pictures or prints with lots of lighter colors directly opposite. This also will help make the room appear bigger.

To attain an interior design look that mixes edgy and fun with some sophistication, selected contemporary bedroom furniture with clean lines and a smooth, darker finish like espresso, chocolate or cappuccino. Another tip to keep in mind when shopping for bedroom furniture for smaller spaces is to choose furnishings that are dual-purpose, like a platform bed with storage drawers; a bed bench that allows you to store extra bedding or seasonal clothing; or nightstand that can hold magazines or books.

Hope this is helpful in giving you a starting point. Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out.

Come back next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

2 Responses to “From the Design Files of Heather B – Small Apartment Help”

  1. Janie says:

    Thank You! I have an idea on what I could do now, it all depends on finding the right furniture/decorations and colors.

    I’ll try to send in updated pictures once I get everything settled in. Again, Thanks! :)

  2. Heather B says:

    Thanks again for writing in Janie. Yes, please, send me some pictures so that I can see how it turned out for you.

Leave a Reply