How To Decorate A Small Space

Interior design is rarely easy, but those who live in particularly tiny quarters know that it’s even trickier to decorate without the luxury of space. As a college senior, I have lived in my fair share of dorm rooms… and plan to move into an equally tiny apartment wherever life takes me after graduation in May. Good things come in small packages, right?
Mirrors provide an easy and inexpensive trick for making the most of what you’ve got. There’s no better way to create the illusion of more light and more space than what you’re really stuck with. We all know this trick works in bathrooms, but I think you’ll be surprised at what it could do for other small spaces in your home.
Place a mirror over the bed or dresser in your boudoir to reflect artwork — or bring in a piece of mirrored furniture to do double duty!
A strategically placed mirror lets you check your hair on the way out the door or, in the case of this dining room, multiplies your view of a vase of flowers or the glow of candelight during a dinner party. 
Mirrors need not be hung, though that’s a great way to maximize use of floor space. Doesn’t this oversized mirror steal the show in this glamorous home office? The combination of black and gold on both the desk and the mirror create a sense of continuity that small spaces often lack.
Go big or go home, right? Channel the all-out allure of Versailles and hang square mirrors in a symmetrical grid on one wall. The effect here is that of a stately ballroom but would open things up in your home too. 
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How have you used mirrors to open up your small space? What are your tricks for decorating a small space?

17 thoughts on “How To Decorate A Small Space

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  1. You’ve posted some great examples – thanks so much for the inspiration. I’ve been stuck in a dorm room the past 4 years, and know that in May, I too, will live in an equally cozy (read: small) space. Can’t wait to add mirrors to my walls!

  2. the room with the pink and yellow is my FAVORITE! Yellow is quickly becoming my favorite color to decorate with. So crisp and fresh. Perfect for spring.

  3. I love the drama of mirrors and these are great examples! I have a few mirrors in my NYC apartment and they really help double the space. You know what I love? Pieced together panels of antiqued mirror instead of traditional mirror. Antiqued mirror has a gorgeous patina and to me, a distinctly Parisian feel. (Not to mention they are a bit more forgiving to be surrounded by when you’ve had a long day! :)) LOVE the beveled panels in your last pic! Now I’m dreaming of Elie Saab’s Paris bedroom with its amazing mirrored four poster and panels….oooh come to think of it you’ve just inspired a post for today 😉 Love visiting your blog for your beautiful images and inspiration.

  4. What a brilliant post, Mackenzie! Hm. At the moment I don’t have a lot of mirrors in my apartment, but that is all about to change when I move into a new one in a couple of months. I really look forward to decorating my new room there and your blog honestly holds a whole lot of inspiration for me! xo

  5. I agree with Krissy that the best place to put a mirror in a small apt is across from the window. It magnifies the light and makes the room look even bigger. It helps a ton in my itty bitty NYC apt.
    We have a mirrored wall in my parents house from the 80s. They’ve been meaning to take it down for years, bu that last Elle Decor photo is making me reconsider!

    Love your blog!

  6. Love this post. I am all about using mirrors to make my apartment feel bigger.

    I also have several pieces of mirrored furniture and use metallic and shiny accent pieces. It makes my apartment feel lighter, brighter and super glam. You’ll have to come and see it for yourself the next time that you are in the city!xx


  7. I loved this post! Great tips and photos.

    My favourite mirror trick is to hang one opposite a window to bring in extra light. I, unfortunately, don’t have that option in my itty, bitty apartment at the moment, but you’d better believe if I could, I would!

  8. I love this post, and definitely agree! We have lots of mirrors hanging in my house, and they really do make spaces look bigger, while providing me and my sisters the constant opportunity to check our reflections 🙂

  9. I am definitely going to invest in some mirrors! Great idea–and I hope to be living in NYC after graduation so I am anticipating a really tiny apartment (with tons of mirrors!)