Ways to Design Statement Pieces in Small Spaces

Decorating small spaces can feel like an impossible puzzle. You want to fit as much in as possible, but the room mustn’t feel cramped. You want it to be filled with personality, but it can’t look chaotic and cluttered. But it’s possible to have a small space that’s as stylish (or perhaps even more so) as their sprawling counterparts.

If you’ve got your eye on a piece of furniture you absolutely love but it’s a bit of a statement-maker, don’t be afraid to buy it. There’s always a way to make even the most eye-catching pieces work in your home, and as the great Bunny Williams said: “If you love something it will work, that is the only real rule.”

Go back to the basics

Don’t be afraid to go back to Art 101 and pull out your color wheel. “You’re going to want to stick with accent colors that are a compliment,” says Hayes. “Whenever I get really stuck with color pairings, I pull out a color wheel and start playing with it. Maybe you won’t be using the same tone, but if they can complement or stay in an analogous color scheme it will create balance.”

Keep the Floor Clear

You need space for the essentials, but even the most perfectly decorated small room doesn’t work if you can’t walk in it. Try floating pieces, such as shelves and nightstands, to keep the ground clear of obstacles and create space for extra storage beneath if needed. 

Opt for sconces and wall lights rather than floor lamps.

Focus on Lighting

Small spaces can often end up feeling dark due to small or nonexistent windows. Make up for the lack of natural light by adding plenty of light sources in every room, from the kitchen to the bedroom. 

Combine striking ceiling fixtures—either a pretty pendant or elegant flush mount, depending on your ceiling height—with sconces or table lamps for a cozy and bright atmosphere.

The rule of three 

When incorporating a piece of furniture forget about matching everything. “We’re in a time now, where there isn’t a lot of matching,” says Starin. “Instead, when adding color to a room it’s good to pick it up in three different accent areas. You don’t have to use that much color to make it feel like there is color in the room. When you start using a lot of different colors it can be hard to make it all work without looking too busy.”

Play with pattern

If your statement-making piece has a pattern on it, don’t be afraid to combine it with other patterned accents says Hayes. “For pattern, it’s generally best to not mix a lot of patterns that all have the same scale,” explains Hayes. “Instead a large pattern like a bold stripe pair best with a smaller print, again it helps to create balance, where two or three large patterns thrown together could look garish.”

Create a focal piece and then add finishing touches:

Start with a large piece, such as a tall vase or sculpture. Add a collection of smaller pieces, like a grouping of books with bookends, as the finishing touch. Using one large piece as a focal point is sophisticated and extremely impactful without incurring a large expense.

Key takeaway

Make the most of your space by finding furnishings that also boast storage. Opt for a bed with built-in drawers or benches and ottomans with space to hide away extra blankets or sweaters. In a small space, every piece needs to pull its weight.