Once you’ve decided what roles your space needs to fill and outfit it with the appropriate furnishings, you’re on your way. Then the look you want can come after you’ve ensured that the different elements work for you. If you don’t want your room’s size to limit what you can do, purchase furniture that meets your needs and then add customized elements like free-floating shelves or odd-angled bookcases. It helps to work with a designer who can visualize the great ideas you have and pare them down on paper so you can get an idea of the end result before you go shopping for your major furniture pieces. That way, you save money by making wise design decisions without the influence of impulse buying.
Versatile furniture that serves dual purposes or that folds away when not in use allows your rooms to act as if they were more expansive. For example, in a small bedroom you might want your nightstand to actually be a desk, or you may need your nightstand to function as a dresser. Purchase a piece of furniture that allows you to do the most: make sure there are drawers to hide things, a sturdy surface, and that you can get what you need during the night.
Small spaces do better with excellent organization. Maybe you’ll have to pare down your belongings. Hiding things (such as power cords, cozy blankets, office supplies) will make your room look less cluttered. Consider attractive baskets or wheeled crates stored in the unused space under beds and tables.
When square footage is at a premium, creative use of wall real estate can save the day. Raising artwork to increase the apparent height of a room can provide space for hanging racks, narrow shelves, fold-down tables etc. Judicious use of mirrors can create an illusion of greater space and bounce light around to illuminate dim corners.
Although space may be limited, you should be able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of what you have. Even tiny spots can be comfortable and inspire you to enjoy the time you spend in them.