Design Solutions | Large Furniture. Small Spaces.

The battle between schools of thought when it comes to what makes rooms feel bigger or smaller is still raging.  For years we were told that dark colors make rooms feel smaller, but that's not always the case.  Now, we're discussing furniture scale and how that can affect the way a room feels in size.  Smaller, more minimalist living has become increasingly popular when it comes to the size of homes but furniture hasn't necessarily decreased in size to accommodate smaller living space.  Beyond that, it's kindof nice to have some bigger furniture pieces to mix things up.  So, if you're like us, and you have a mix of furniture sizes, here are some ways you can make larger scale furniture work in a smaller space.

Go big or go home should NOT be your motto.  While incorporating SOME larger scale furniture is good, it shouldn't all be big.  So be selective.  Choose a few impact pieces.  These may be visually interesting or they may just be really comfortable.  Whatever your reason for selecting them, be sure that you're ok with them being a focal point in the room.  Also, when selecting your impact pieces, consider the shape and pattern.  It's better to have larger scale pieces that are solid colors with cleaner lines because the movement and pattern can quickly create visual "noise" that can make a room feel busy.

Use all of your space.  Don't just place the furniture in the room, try to incorporate all usable space--walls and ceiling included!  The same rule stands for wall treatments that it does for your furniture, though.  You can go big, but don't go busy.  Since the furniture, or at least one piece of furniture, is going to be the focal point, you don't want to confuse the eye by putting something in a room that competes with it for attention.  If you do a wall treatment or shelving, it can be large, but make it neutral so it simply adds function without creating a distractions. 

Follow the basic rules of form and function and vary the heights of the items in the space.  You don't want everything to be at one height because it makes the room feel bottom heavy.  Incorporate some taller pieces so the room flows and the wall space is used.

Fill it up and dress it up.  If you have an odd shaped small corner or some little nook or cranny you want to use, get a piece of furniture that fills the space so it looks like it was made for it.  Make use of the entire space.  Then, build it up to create a vignette.  No one will pay attention to the small space, rather they'll see the good use of space and will want to put it to use right away!

Finally, if you have a smaller home, one simple way to make it feel larger is by using few pieces of large art rather than a lot of little pieces of art.  A lot of small items can make any space feel choppy and detached.  Pick something that you like and make it big.  It's not only better for your living space but it cuts down on the number of decisions you have to make!  Win-win!