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Tips for Decorating Small Spaces

If you have a room, apartment or even an entire house that is smaller than what you would like, you're going to have to use some imagination and discipline when deciding how to decorate it.

You will need discipline to understand that you probably can't put everything into that space that you would like to. That six-foot painting you did in college, your king-sized bed, that sectional couch you got cheap -- no matter how much you may like them or how badly you want them to fit -- they may not work in your space and you'll have to get rid of them, store them or come up with another solution so that you can possibly use them somewhere else in the future.

And you're going to have to be more creative when decorating your small space than you would have to be if you had a large space. You'll need to take a fresh approach, maybe even a light-hearted approach, to making your small space work for your lifestyle.

Here are three quick tips:

1. When placing your furniture, don't try to maximize every inch of floor space by placing all your furniture right up against the walls. If you place your big furniture pieces just a few inches inches away from a wall and hang mirrors on that wall, it will give the sense that the room is much bigger and deeper. Granted, it doesn't actually make the room larger, but the mirrors will make the room seem larger.

2. Take advantage of your vertical space. Just like kitchen cabinets that are placed right up by the ceiling store items that aren't used often, shelves mounted a foot or so from the ceiling can do the same type of duty. These shelves can hold display items, collectibles or just practical items. If you can put these things in decorative boxes or containers, even better.

3. Put your collectibles and decorative things to work. If you have a collection of hardcover books, use your heavier books in combination with some thick boards to make a book shelf. Your biggest books will be used as the pillars to hold up each shelf. Your smaller books, collectibles and other display items will stand up in between. You can make this book shelf as high as you like.

Don't try to cram everything you own into your small space. We all try it and it doesn't work too well.

Decorating your small space can be difficult, but with your imagination, discipline and access to a few tips, you can make your living area functional and even fashionable.

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