6 Mistakes To Avoid When Decorating Small Spaces

In land constrained Singapore, we all know that space is a major concern, with flats and apartments getting smaller and smaller over the years. Rooms can get so small sometimes that there’s really not much you can do about it. While there are certainly various tips on how to make small spaces look larger and more spacious than they really are, it'll also be worthwhile to familiarise yourself with some common mistakes to avoid when decorating small spaces, so that you don't end up making your small spaces appear even smaller than they already are! Here are 6 common mistakes to avoid when decorating small spaces: 

1. Cramming your space with too much furniture

A major mistake that many people tend to make with small spaces is cramming it with too much furniture. When dealing with small spaces, you have to accept the fact that you're going to have to let go of certain pieces. Insisting on keeping these pieces will only backfire on you, accentuating the limited amount of space available. For instance, forcibly squeezing a bedside table into your shoebox-sized bedroom will only make your room feel more cramped. Instead, swap it out for a stool that can can hold your remote controls, phone and a tiny lamp

Using a stool as a bedside table   Small, narrow bedside table placed beside bed

2. Choosing the wrong-sized furniture

One of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to decorate and furnish small spaces is the use of wrong-sized furniture, and more specifically, the use of furniture that's too large for the particular space. In general, regardless of the size of the room, a general rule of thumb is to pick pieces that are proportionate to the size of the room. You'd want to ensure that there's still sufficient clearance and walking space after the addition of furniture in the room, without it feeling too crowded and suffocating.

Thus, as tempting as it might be to go with larger pieces of furniture, try opting for pieces that are proportionate in size to your space. For instance, while a king-sized bed would certainly offer a greater amount of space for you to roll around when sleeping, a queen-sized bed could probably offer a similar effect whilst being a better fit (in terms of scale and proportion) for your small bedroom. 

Wooden bedframe with black edgesDark wooden queen sized headboard bed

Dakota Queen Bed  $1299 | Shop here

Cadencia Queen Bed  $999 | Shop here

3. Having too much small furniture

Furniture selection plays one of the most important roles in making a small space appear larger. When decorating small spaces, an instinctive move is typically to decorate it with multiple small pieces of furniture. However, contrary to popular belief, having fewer pieces of larger-sized furniture might actually work better! Having too many small pieces of furniture in a small space often results in the room feeling more cluttered, making it feel even smaller than it really is. Thus, instead of buying multiple small furnishings, stick to a few big pieces to keep your room decluttered and minimalistic. Consider investing in statement pieces like a comfortable sofa, or a classic table that can transition seamlessly even as your interior design preferences change.

Bedroom with minimal amount of furniture Bedroom that has few pieces of furniture in it

4. Failing to maximise vertical space 

When trying to figure out how to furnish and decorate small spaces, we tend to focus more on how to maximise the square footage of the space, often forgetting that vertical space can also provide viable space that we can work with. Often left untapped, vertical space can actually offer a large amount of additional storage space through the use of floor-to-ceiling shelves, tall bookshelveswall shelves, etc. 

Maximising vertical space with the use of wall shelvesUse of bookshelves in home office

Juan Tall Wall Shelf (Black)  $149 | Shop here

Kreman Shelf (Black, Oak)  $599 | Shop here

5. Being a maximalist  

The fact of the matter is that storage space is limited in small rooms. However this doesn't mean that you have to resign to fate and accept that you'll have to live with a space that's filled to the brim! Stop being a hoarder and maximalist and take some time to evaluate what belongings are truly meaningful or functional. Then, incorporate some smart storage solutions that can help to multiply the amount of storage space available. Apart from helping to keep your belongings organised, they'll also be able to hide all the clutter in your room, making it seem less cluttered and packed. 

Storage boxes placed on shelves  Hanging wardrobe organiser hung on clothes rack

Clayton storage box with lid (3 sizes)  $8.90 (8L) to $19.90 (28L) | Shop here

Cindy 3-Tier Hanging Wardrobe Organiser (Cream)  $12.90 | Shop here

6. Underestimating the power of lighting 

Lighting can make a room look larger or smaller, depending on how you utilise it. Rather than blocking out natural light and preventing it from entering your room which could make a small room feel more enclosed and smaller than it already is, try maximising the amount of natural light that enters your space! During the day, let that Singapore sunshine in through the use of woven blinds or sheer day curtains that will filter sunlight, instead of blocking it. When the sun goes down, try using multiple light sources like table and floor lamps throughout your space to create depth and guide people’s vision around the room instead of focusing on one spot.

Additionally, you could also maximise the amount of light in the room through the use of mirrors, which is another useful trick for small spaces!

Sheer day curtains which allow lots of natural sunlight to enter the room Large windows to allow natural sunlight to enter the house

While we might be limited by small spaces here in Singapore, we hope this article will provide some useful tips and tricks for decorating and furnishing small spaces, so you can take full advantage of your limited floor footage! For any questions regarding our products, feel free to reach out to our customer support team at wecare@hipvan.com or our live chat and we’ll be more than happy to help! 


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