Design Rebel: Break These Small Space Decorating Rules

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When it comes to decorating small rooms, it can be tricky to know what to do with the space. When searching for ideas you might find some familiar rules for decorating for a small space, but I’m here to tell you that rules are meant to be broken and you can still do all the same things you would do in a normal sized room can be applied to a small room as well.

So, if you have ever been told that you need to paint small rooms white or choose appropriately scaled furniture, take a look at some of my favorite rules to not follow and how you can become a Design Rebel: Break These Small Space Decorating Rules!

Design Rebel Break These Small Space Decorating Rules

Design Rebel: Break These Small Space Decorating Rules

  1. Don’t Paint in White

It’s a widely known rule that you should always paint smaller rooms in a light color or even white to make the most of the space and the light available. It is true that white rooms can indeed feel bigger, but isn’t that a bit boring?

By painting a small room in a darker color, you instantly add drama and intrigue to the space. And whilst you may get more light in the room by painting it white, it’s certainly more exciting to paint it a darker and unexpected color.1_dont_paint_in_white

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  1. Mix and Match Design Styles

Traditional design rules say that you need to stick to just one style in your smaller room and not to mix things up too much for fear of it feeling overcrowded or too busy. Whilst I don’t think you need to have a different style for every item in the room, I think that doing a bit of mixing and matching you can achieve great design in your small space.

You can go with mixing and matching furniture or even mixing the patterns that appear in the room. If you are looking for something on a smaller scale, using lots of different frames for a gallery wall can be a perfect solution.2_mix_and_match

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  1. Play with Furniture Sizes

If you have a small room you don’t necessarily need to go small with your furniture, I would even say that this is a design rule that is just plain wrong.

Using larger furniture in your small room helps to tie the room together. It can help to fill the space without it feeling too cluttered.3_furniture_size

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  1. Dark Ceilings

This is a slightly more unusual design feature that isn’t advised often, especially in small spaces. But seeing as we are throwing out all the other design rules, this is definitely one that just has to go.

This being said, there are a few handy rules to follow when painting your ceiling a darker color. Make sure to use a glossy finish, as this helps to reflect the light and stop the color from being flat and therefore making the room feel enclosed.4_dark_ceilings

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  1. Multiple Rugs

Traditional design thinking says that a singular rug can tie the whole room together and add character to your room. If this is the case, the surely adding more rugs helps to add even more character?

I certainly think so and I would 100% advise you to go with a few different rugs. This adds texture and variety to a room and can really bring the space together.5_multiple_rugs

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  1. Large Scale Patterns

I don’t want you to listen to the people that say you have to stick to small scale prints for a small room, if you love big prints, you can use them in a small space easily. Using big prints helps to make the space more interesting and vibrant and can really make all the difference in a smaller space.

If you are looking to use bolder prints but think that such a huge print would overwhelm your small space, then you can still add in a statement wall with a large pattern. Paint the other walls with a matching color to tie the wall into the room.6_large_scale_patterns

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  1. Use a theme

People might say that a theme will overwhelm a small space and make it feel cluttered. But I have to say that people that say this are just plain wrong. Decorating according to theme is only as busy as you want it to be.

For example, using a coastal theme in a small space can be a great way to lighten the room whilst adding stylish touches and giving the space a little bit of personality.7_using_a_theme

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Are you going to be a design rebel? Following the rules can be a safe way to get a nice home, but if you are really looking to do something different, you have to try some of these ideas to changing up your space. Living by the rules is boring, so go all out and try something new in your home.

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  1. Oh I love to push back the designer rules! Thanks for sharing with us at
    # HomeMattersParty Hope to see you again 🙂

  2. I must be a rebel cause I love breaking rules 🙂 These spaces are beautiful. Thanks for the tips.

  3. I’m definitely a design rebel! I love themed rooms and I detest white walls, they are so boring! I’m not a fan of too much white decor in general. These are all fun rooms! So glad you shared with us at Merry Monday.

  4. Oh my gosh I love the layered rug look!! The Wednesday “To Grandma’s House We Go” link party just started over at and I thought you might be interested in joining it, thanks!

  5. Great ideas! Not sure the multiple rugs would work with my young kids (I could see lots of toys stuffed under the top rug!) but I love all the other suggestions. Visiting from Creative Corner party.

  6. I actually like the dark ceilings and multiple rugs look. Oh the decorating I’ll do when my 3 yr old is not so destructive! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty hope to see you back!

  7. I would happily live in any of these rooms. So many gorgeous ideas for small spaces! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

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