It's your lucky day. You can forget calling back that outrageously expensive interior designer that your over-the-top friend recommended. This month top designers open up to Elle Decor on their tricks and secrets on how to decorate small spaces. See the sages' advice below on how to turn your overmatured dorm room into a mature, sophisticated apartment.
- "A generously scaled sofa, mirror, chair, rug or piece of furniture will trick the eye," says designer Mariette Himes Gomez. In the picture above is her Manhattan apartment, where the oversized bookcase is making you forget about the room's low ceilings and narrow design.
- "Always make sure that every piece is multiuse," says designer Alessandra Branca. So, for example, use your table as a desk and an eating table.
- "Use larger patterns on floors. Stencils the floors and upholster the walls. With a small room, think grand," says interior decorator Alex Papachristidis. The idea is creating an illusion to distact the eye, so that it's hard decipher the exact size.
- Designer Suzanne Kasler says "add a wall of mirrors...to make the room look exponentially bigger." Yet again, it seems like another device to trick the eye into seeing more where there is less.
- Against the grain of most design advice, which advises painting rooms lighter shades to make it look brighter, designer Amanda Nisbet thinks you should embrace the "inherently cozy" nature of a small apartment. Her instructions: paint the room a dark glossy color or cover the walls with wool or velvet. Add a large, fluffy sofa, a small chair and try to incorporate different sources of light. The last touch? But of course--a cashmere throw.
In line with the motto of these designers, it may be a small world, but you should always think big.