7 Decorating Mistakes that Make Your Space Look Tiny

Dreaming of more space? We've got you covered.

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Gibson Cottage in South Carolina
A discontinued white four-poster bed from Ikea makes the small room feel grander. With no room for table lamps, sconces (the Paulo Small Bracket Light from Circa Lighting) were the only choice. The bedposts also help hide their cords. Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Don't let these decorating mistakes cramp your style. We're sharing our no-fail tips for making the most of your square footage—no contractor required.

An Oversized Bed

It's time to say goodbye to that four-poster and think on a smaller scale. Upholstered headboards are a great way to make an impact without leaving your room feeling closed in. Whatever you do, don't break the bank on this purchase—you should be able to find beautiful, statement-making options for less than $300.

Dark Colors

If your space is already small, skip the dark hues and think light and bright walls. Bring bold pops of color with throw pillows and fresh flowers.

Busy Wallpaper

If you choose to wallpaper your space, stick to one focal wall and be sure to choose a pattern that's easy on the eyes. This is no time for hundreds of flower buds in a dizzy array of colors—actually, it might never be the right time for that.

Bulky Furniture

If you're trying to keep your space open and airy, skip the heavy furniture in favor of clean lines and unassuming silhouettes that won't make the space feel heavy. We love this two-shelf glass nightstand for small bedrooms. And remember, if you have two nightstands they don't need to match. It's all about coordinating.

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Maybe this should have been enemy number one on our list. Whether it's that stack of mail, tiny knick-knacks, or dirty laundry in the corner, when things are out of place your space can suddenly feel cramped. Having a proper place for everything will help you stay organized and eliminate the potential for a cluttered situation.

Heavily Dressed Windows

When it comes to getting your beauty rest, skip the heavy blackout drapes and opt for an eye mask instead. Even when they're open, heavy drapes still have the potential to block out some of that wonderful natural light that your space needs.

Speaking of Light… Not Enough of It

We might sound like a broken record at this point, but light really is your best friend when combatting a small-space. Sconces hanging on either side of the bed are a great space-saving option for a small bedroom. If you have a reading nook, a simple floor lamp like this one will light things up without feeling bulky.

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