Inspiring small-room ideas: from floorboards to decoration

Designing and decorating a small room can be tricky. It’s very easy to overdo it. On the other hand, stripping it down to the bare essentials turns it into a cold and useless space. Choosing the right floorboards that suit your style is already half the battle. But there are several other tips and tricks to give your narrow hallway, small bedroom or tiny reading corner a more spacious impression. Here are some ideas to help you when designing the flooring and decoration in a small room.

Small-room flooring ideas: get creative with patterns and orientation

When redecorating a small room or narrow hallway it’s always a good idea to start with the floor, because this has a major impact on the end result. Using the right floorboards is the perfect way to set the stage for homeliness in small rooms. Or, in a narrow space, why not go for a lightly coloured or white floor to create a wider illusion? Quick-Step offers you a great range of wood, laminate and vinyl floorboards that will perfectly suit your small room.

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Long planks versus short planks

The human eye is easily tricked. The linear pattern of a room’s floorboards can create all kinds of visual illusions. Long broad planks always emphasize the length of the parallel wall - though they can create a corridor effect.

Keen to avoid that? Placing floorboards in a herringbone pattern is a smart and surprising way to break the rigid symmetry of a narrow hallway. Shorter and narrower floorboards on the other hand can make a less-furnished room feel larger, because seeing more grooves gives the impression there’s more space.

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How to make a narrow room wider with flooring

Wondering how to make a room look bigger with flooring? Good news: there is a simple rule of thumb for small rooms. Is the room more or less square? Lay the floor in the direction of the main light source. Is the room rather long and narrow? Create the optical illusion of broadness by laying the floorboards crosswise rather than stressing the corridor effect.

Do dark floors make a room look smaller?

Do dark floors make a room look smaller?

Yes and no. The idea is not always to make a room look as large as possible, but to evoke the right mood. An all-white interior may look a little more spacious than a room with dark wooden floorboards. But a sterile small room feels cold rather than minimalistic. So, it’s a great idea to use a bit of colour, both on the floor and in furniture or decorations.

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Small-room decoration ideas

Decoration and furniture are a small room’s best friend, when wisely positioned. So don’t be afraid to embrace the cosiness of a small room and add some accessories and furniture pieces to liven it up!

Bring in the right furniture

Furniture turns spaces into rooms, so make sure to add some small tables, subtle shelves or alluring chairs. Just don’t squeeze in too much and avoid pushing every piece up against the wall. This only will accentuate the tight contours of the small room. Instead, make use of round shapes and give showpieces – like your favourite designer armchair – some breathing space. This is a great way to create the illusion that you can freely walk around interior objects.

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Mind the ceiling

The height of the ceiling adds a lot to the overall spaciousness of a room. High ceilings will stress the discrepancy between the tall walls and the compact area. So you might want to bring balance with a lick of ceiling paint, some window curtains or a tall plant in this case. Counter the effect of low ceilings by using low furniture. This makes the ceiling appear higher, especially when you sit down. Also: keep out the clutter. This makes any room claustrophobic.

Trick the mind with natural elements

Nature is often associated with openness. Which means bringing in outdoor elements, such as plants, will make the room feel more natural and wider. If you’re not too keen on green, earthy or stony textures have a similar effect on the mind.

Let there be light

Maximize the effect of windows and open doorways. Light makes a small room feel bigger. If the small room lacks some natural light, add plenty of light sources to blur out the rigidness of framing lines.

Like mounted shelves, mounted lighting also makes the floor feel more spacious. It’s better to make use of walls and ceilings rather than placing lamps down on the floor or on tables.

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Small-room ideas: recap

  • Make smart use of floorboards and play with lines and patterns
  • Add some natural elements like plants
  • Play with colour and contrast
  • Raise the eye using mounted light sources
  • Lower high ceilings by using ceiling paint or tall decoration
  • Optically raise the height of lower ceilings by using low-level furniture
  • Keep out the clutter

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