modern Kitchen by Studiodwg Arquitetura e Interiores Ltda.

13 ideas to make your small home look modern (and stylish!)

Roland Bull Roland Bull
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When decorating a small dwelling, it's sometimes difficult to try to balance form and function. You may have to compromise on the size or quantity of your furnishings, or soften your colour palette to one that will expand, rather than constrain, your home's interior aesthetic.

The good news is that there are plenty of options to create a stylish and modern home within a diminutive floor plan! What follows are 13 great ideas on how to do just that. 

Have a read and tell us if you think of anything to add!

2. Keep it light and bright

When decorating a small dwelling, it's often a good idea to showcase a sense of modern simplicity. That way, compact rooms won't appear busy, cluttered or constrained. Paler colour palettes work well in tandem with plentiful windows and lighting, in order to invite light to circulate around the home, creating a sense of visual expanse within. Pale tones need not be boring, however, with stylish, modern furnishings and vibrant patterns also able to be employed to breathe a sense of personality into the home.

3. Understated earth tones

In keeping with the pursuit of pale decor to modernise and expand your home's interior, its a good idea to explore the use of earthy tones to create a soothing atmosphere that will affect the mood of occupants and visitors. Earth tones can be used to calm spaces, making them appear inviting and appealing to those who wander in. Pale greys and browns, such as those seen here, can be used to wonderful effect, appearing muted but still sleek, elegant and stylish.

4. Decorate with mirrors and artwork

A plentiful use of mirrors is another way to aid in creating a sense of visual expanse in a small home. Mirrors add depth within a room, reflecting both incoming light and the home's interior. 

This interior designer has used a floor-to-ceiling side mirror to achieve this end, with the walls also featuring an array of vibrant, modern art, that is beautifully lit by the sunlight flowing in from outside.

5. Vibrant colours and geometric patterns

Vibrant colours such as the yellow seen here add a wonderfully fresh element to a small home, drawing focus within the room alongside the geometric rug lining the floor. 

The beauty of this rug is that it draws the gaze into an optical illusion. This helps to create a sense of expanse within the limited proportions of this home, alongside the vast windows and engaging furnishings also decorating the space.  

1. Open-plan living spaces

When designing a diminutive home, its important to use all space to the fullest in order to reduce the feeling of being constrained by walls and partitions. An open-plan living and dining room is a great way to create a versatile space that combines two necessary functions. 

This narrow room would feel ultra-cramped were there walls or partitions separating the living and dining spaces, with the interior architect choosing to combine them. A clever move, as the furnishings can be shifted around at will, and the entire room each benefits from the view and sunlight streaming in from outside.

6. Choose furnishings wisely

When furnishing small homes it will sometimes be necessary to compromise between form and function, with the proportions of the abode often dictating exactly which, and how many, pieces of furniture will fit into any given space. Choose furnishings that are at once stylish, functional and serve to convey your personality. 

This modern chest of drawers is a prime example. Compact in size, it provides plenty of storage space at the entrance to this apartment, and gives you a taste of what you can expect from the remainder of the home.

7. Include an indoor garden

Garden space is hard to come by in small dwellings, but, if you think outside the box, you can still find space for a small, leafy sanctuary that will add something extra special to your home. These home owners have opted for a small courtyard at the entrance to their abode. Populated with low-maintenance plants, this small garden conveys a sense of tranquility that balances the vibrant red of the home's facade.

8. A sleek, modern kitchen

Sleek, reflective surfaces are a must when decorating a small kitchen, with those seen here proving a case in point. Nothing oozes modern style like hints of stainless steel, which also serve to reflect the sunlight flowing into this room, expanding the space, balancing the deep grey of the kitchen cabinets, and highlighting the softness of the cement breakfast bar!

9. A balcony or small terrace

If you're lucky enough to have a balcony or outdoor terrace in your small house or apartment, be sure to make the most of it! Potted plants, small patio furnishings and an array of cushions can really dress up your balcony, and provide ample space for visitors to relax in your private sanctuary!

10. A luxurious bedroom

The bedroom is by far the most personal space in the home, and a great opportunity to express yourself through decoration! Investing in a large bed with storage beneath such as that seen here is a great way to combine luxury and functionality, while the muted, earthy palette of this room lightens the black bed frame and invites light in to augment the scene.

11. Dressing up a narrow bathroom

Apartment bathrooms can often be constructed in inopportune or cramped spaces, such as the narrow room seen here. The design of this bathroom offsets its proportions perfectly however, with the vibrancy of the patterned tiles serving to brighten the space, and balanced perfectly by the industrial gloss of the room's grey finish. 

12. Use furnishings as partitions

While it's a good idea to try to combine spaces in smaller dwellings, sometimes its also necessary to try to section off various rooms as well. This can be achieved through the clever use of furnishings, with the kitchen bench-cum-breakfast bar seen here creating a wonderful and functional division between the kitchen and dining room in this home.

13. Create a mural in lieu of windows

It's possible that in some small dwellings, the availability of natural light may be limited, at times because the dwelling doesn't have any windows at all. If this is the case in your abode, think about creating a mural or feature wall to engage the space instead. A mural, such as that seen here, still works to create a sense of depth within the room, and is a great reflection of the personality of the owners!

For more tips on space saving, have a look at Small kitchens: 7 great ideas to optimise your space!

Do you have any modern decor tips for us?
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