Designing For Small Spaces

Monet & Tavia Say…

With this project, we were inspired by the size of the space. Because it was so small, we wanted to make sure it was bright, roomy and welcoming. That led us to be intentional with our design from the size and placement to the color and texture of each piece.

Color and Texture

Forbes and Masters designed a small space with neutral color palette with vases and photos Design by Forbes + Masters

When working with small spaces, you want the room to feel larger, so stay clear of high contrast color pallets. Try to stay monochromatic and neutral, and if you want a pop, utilize small papers that will create texture in the space.

We kept the color scheme light and beachy through the light laminate floor, white walls and overall neutral palette.

Adding patterns to a room is a great way to bring texture into the space. When considering small bright spaces, adding BOLD patterns will draw attention and produce the opposite of what you're trying to create. For this room, texture is defined by the pattern of the basket weave for example; it adds depth and texture without minimizing your space.


Make sure you have adequate lighting. If the ceiling height isn’t high, don’t emphasize that with large ceiling drop down light fixtures. Floor-to-ceiling drapes will instead compliment the ceiling height and give the illusion of taller ceilings. In this space we didn’t have room for end tables, so we couldn’t have table lamps. Instead, we brighten up the room with recessed lights or sconces.

Multi-Functional Design

Space planning is important when trying to create separate spaces within a small space. In the bedroom, we created a multi-functional wall panel that served as the headboard, a wall of texture with its wood finish for aesthetic, and held storage. The alcove at the head of the bed also provided task lighting with a hidden LED strip of lights adding to its function.

You want furniture to be oversized in its comfort and plushness but small in stature. Instead of a coffee table in a living room, use poufs to put your legs up to lounge or add a tray on top for a solid surface to put drinks on.

Use furniture that can serve multiple uses when possible. In our space we have an item that serves as a sofa console table, desk, or dining table, depending on the need. Using glass tables will visually help take up less room and keep things minimal and clean.

Design by Forbes + Masters


Consider the purpose and theme of your space. Steer clear of overwhelming the room with an overload of accessories but be intentional with the pieces you add. In the bedroom, the headboard wall panel had a few accessories to bring emphasis to niche design. The room was small and we did not have the real estate for nightstands, so the niche was created to store books, journals, or a cup of coffee. You can take the opportunity to embellish flat surfaces but keep it light, functional, and purposeful.

Final Thoughts

Employ these and other clever solutions to make the most of your small space. Allow form to follow function, be very intentional about where things are placed and make sure everything works appropriately and complimentary in the space.