5 Design Tips For Small Spaces

Small spaces can pose a unique decorating challenge. There’s only so much storage space, color can be overwhelming when not done right, lighting can either fool the eye into thinking the place is bigger or make it look even smaller. It’s like piecing together a real life puzzle. When done right, however, small places, whether a small weekend cottage upstate or an apartment in the city for staying over after a late-night show, are utterly charming.

To help put the design pieces together in swoon-inducing ways, I turned to interior designer Jennifer Corredor, CEO and Founder of J Design Group. From growing up in Jamaica to establishing herself as one of the premier interior designers of her generation, Corredor finds inspiration in the beauty that surrounds her. She’s learned to embrace her environment no matter how tiny and she shared five tips for small spaces.


Keep the walls in a small space a neutral or very light color and add pops of colors with art and accessories. image: jennifer corredor

Choose Neutral Wall Colors

Having colors on the walls makes a space appear much smaller. While in a large room dark wall colors can create a cozy feeling, in a small room you’ll feel constricted. Keep the walls a neutral or very light color and add pops of colors with art and accessories.

Use Art Strategically

Wall art is a very personal thing, but when done strategically it can help a room feel larger by forcing the eye to wander. One again has to pay attention to the color and also the size of the art and make decisions depending on the size of the wall and the tones being utilized in the home.

Choose the Right Furniture

Not only do you have to keep the size of the space in mind when purchasing furniture for a small space, you need to pay attention of the color. As with the wall colors, you’re going to want neutral, light-colored furniture to help a space feel larger, while using accessories to add sparks of color. Choose furniture with legs so the floor or rug is visible.

image: jennifer corredor

A well-designed space can create proper storage. image: jennifer corredor

Know Your Ceiling Height

Lighting is a key factor in any space, but in a small space it’s important to determine the ceiling heights in order to select the appropriate lighting. Is there enough space for recess lights? Forgo floor lamps if possible and opt for wall sconces.

Well-Designed Closets

Storage is often an issue in any home. Frankly, we have too much stuff and often a hard time letting go of the stuff we don’t need. Look for Dr. Susan Bartell to offer some advice on that problem in our October issue. When it comes to staying organized in a small space though, Corredor said it’s all about the closet. A well-designed closet can create proper storage, more than one realizes. For instance, make sure shelves don’t have too much headroom, make sure they are properly sized and that shelves exist above clothing rods for extra storage.