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By Ginny Gaylor

Whether it is your first apartment or you are an empty nester preparing to downsize, at some point you are likely to live in a smaller place. The trick is figuring out how to make the most of what space you do have. You also want to decorate your small house in a way that expresses your personal style. Smaller homes and apartments provide a great opportunity to create cozy, inviting spaces, if you follow some basic do’s and don’ts. They also give you the opportunity to live smarter, by reducing any unnecessary items that will cause clutter.

The enemy of any small home or apartment is clutter. Having too much stuff around is not only frustrating in a small space, but it will make everything appear even smaller. When decorating a small house, do de-clutter. Start by giving away or recycling anything you haven’t used in the past six months. Now is the time to shed any items that you have never liked as well. Certainly keep something if it has sentimental value or is a treasured keepsake, but understand that you may not have the space to display everything.

Storing things is the secret to small space living. If your home allows, you can stow non-essential items in hidden spaces such as closets or under beds. If that isn’t an option, you can artfully hide things in decorative boxes or inside storage ottomans.

Decorating Tips and Tricks

Decorators have many tricks to make a living space appear larger than it is. One way to maximize your interior is by using variations of the same color throughout. Don’t paint each room a different color; instead, use different shades of the same color to make your house seem bigger. This especially makes sense if you have an open floor plan, where many rooms are visible to each other.

Another trick when decorating a small house is to let light in. You can do this through lamps or recessed lighting, or by selecting lighter drapes that allow more of the sun’s rays inside. In the same vein, mirrors are a great way to give the impression of more light and room in a small living space.


When it comes to furnishing a small living space, it is important to commit to either smaller pieces or larger pieces. If you opt for smaller-scale furniture when decorating your small house, you are more likely to have everything fit the space. The key is to not go overboard with too many smaller pieces so that you do not end up looking cluttered.

Many people have shied away from larger-scale furniture in small houses, afraid that the rooms would be overwhelmed by it. However, some decorators would advise you to embrace larger pieces. Not only can bigger items be inviting, they create a more dramatic decor. Focus on selecting a few streamlined furniture designs that will anchor the room.

www.StLouisHomesByGina.com The Gina Koerner Team