Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Breaking the 'rules' of Condo Decorating

You can't do that!

You are in a smaller space now you have to change all of your furniture!

A smaller space means smaller everything

For those of you who have downsized or have moved into a chic condo with minimal square footage you've probably heard all of the 'rules' for living in smaller spaces.  But rules are meant to be broken but do it with knowledge and some style.

1- In a small space you MUST have white or light paint on the walls.

NOT TRUE.  If you love the drama and sophistication of a dark painted wall you can do it in a small space without making it feel and look like a cave but you need to create balance.  so have those navy or charcoal walls but use lighter elements like a cream or pale grey sofa, with art with lighter tones or over sized white matting.  Maybe table and floor lamps with light shades.  Balance is key.

2 - Glass furniture is tacky and trendy but when living in a space that is small it's a must.

NOT TRUE.  I love glass elements in any space (big or small).  Glass is a timeless material and certainly not trendy - it's been around for a while and isn't going anywhere.  When it comes to glass furniture it is perfect for smaller spaces because you get the surface space without all of the bulk.  I look for glass furniture that is 'classic' in style (round with a simple base in chrome or wood, rectangular with a base in chrome or wood) stay away from funky shapes and keep it simple.  And don't over do it - glass end tables, console tables, dining table and coffee table it too much!  So try a glass coffee table and maybe a dining table and your other tables in wood or other materials.

3 - Area carpets make a space choppy and look/feel smaller than it is.

NOT TRUE.  Area rugs are very important in open concept spaces as they help define the space.  But again don't over do it.  In an open concept space I would definitely have an area rug in the living room but not the dining room (ugh, more cleaning) and perhaps the bedroom or den.  Area rugs are a great way to add visual interest with pattern, texture and colour.  And be sure to find the right size - a rug that is too small will make the room look small.  Ideally your area rug will be 1-2ft from the walls. also should you go solid colour or pattern? It really depends on what you already have going on in the room.  Look at this image - there is a lot of bright and bold colour with print, too so a light cream shag with lots of texture was the right choice here.

4 - In a small space everything has to be small (art, furniture etc...)

NOT TRUE. Lots of small things in a small space will still look and feel cluttered.  Yes, you do need to scale back on the amount of items but your don't need to have smaller everything.  I love to have lots of sofa seating (for movie nights, games nights and just relaxing at home alone) so still have that 3 seater sofa or sectional and have a smaller scale accent chair.  You can still have a coffee table but you may need to go with a more narrow option.

5 - In a smaller space, you need to get rid of just about anything because you won't have any storage.

NOT TRUE. You don't need to complete purge everything you own, you still need to live!  You just have to be smart.  Your storage pieces will have to play double duty (or even triple duty).  so have an extra long TV cabinet that can act as a TV stand and storage for DVDs, board games, books and even dining room storage that you need access to but not all of the time.  Look for ottomans that can store extra blankets.  Look for bed frames that have drawers for seasonal clothing. I love the look and functionality of over sized bed side tables, you are seeing smaller dressers being used as bedside tables, they offer so much more closed storage for just about anything.   Many condos have the option to purchase storage lockers and those are great for seasonal decor and sporting equipment because you don't need those things everyday.

6 - In a smaller space, you have to keep art on the walls small and minimal.

NOT TRUE.  You can make bold and big statements with your art even in a smaller space.  If you have extra high ceilings an extremely over sized piece can help to highlight that.  Plus now that you are in a smaller space you should make the most of the wall space you do have and display all of your favourite pieces.  think about putting art in unexpected places in the home like an over sized piece powder room or a gallery display in a hallway.

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