Simple interior design ideas for small houses

When living in close quarters, it can be a challenge to fit everything you need into one small space, especially when you want your home to be on-trend and functional in equal measure. Yet, smaller homes are on the rise as architects, designers, homeowners and renters are discovering more and more ways to optimise spatially-challenged interiors.

Small spaces mean thinking bigger, and there are plenty of solutions that really maximise a small home. If space is at a premium in your property, read on to find out how you can utilise every square metre.

How do you maximise space in a small house?

Light colour palette

White office desk and sideboardHove desk / Hove small sideboard (@mrs_roobottom_home)

If you’re decorating a room that you want to feel cosy and inviting then there’s no reason why you can’t use darker hues in your home. If however, you want your space to feel bright and airy, opting for a palette of light neutral shades is the way to go in a small space. A key trick for creating the illusion that you have more space is to keep your decor light and bright. This encompasses everything from the colour of your walls and floors, to the shade of your soft furnishings, even to the furniture itself. Lightly hued painted ranges – such as Kemble, Shay and Hove – can make shady corners feel flooded with sunshine.

Love this home office look? Read on for more ways to style a home office in a small space.

Lighting

Peach tones living room with hanging ceiling light

Bevel side table

Along the same lines, the natural and artificial light you use can make a world of difference. Gather your everyday furniture around natural light sources wherever you can, by arranging armchairs and sofas close to large windows. If you have a particularly dark nook, use accent lighting to illuminate it.

Minimalist furniture

Industrial bookcaseBrooklyn small bookcase (@athomewith_mrsm)

Minimalist furniture tends to focus on clean lines to create a feeling of space and airiness. These gaps give the furniture a translucent effect, making the interior space feel less enclosed. Our industrial-style Brooklyn range encompasses this austere effect.

Mirrors

Industrial style dining table with chairs and benchBrooklyn dining table with one bench and four chairs (@victoria_no1)

In any home, mirrors are a style solution that are both aesthetically pleasing and inherently practical. Particularly in small homes, they do a wonderful job of elongating the room by playing a trick on the eye and creating the illusion of space. Placing a large mirror or triad of mirrors across one wall will bounce light around the room, which also contributes to the mirage.

Take a look at our blog for more tips on making small spaces look bigger, even when they aren’t!

Furniture with legs

Herringbone bookcase in a living room Parquet tall bookcase (@thecolourfulcottage)

Giving your furniture room to breathe is key. Whether you invest in pieces with elevated legs – such as from our slimline mid-century modern-inspired Parquet range – or opt to move furniture out from right against the wall, the goal is to make things feel more roomy by creating a sense of airflow.

Hanging plants

Hanging plants over oak bedside tableSt. Ives double bed / Original Rustic bedside table

Love cultivating your urban jungle but hate the floorspace big, leafy plants take up? Hanging plants are a resourceful way to avoid using precious surface space in a small room. This is an incredibly easy DIY hack, too: just hammer a nail or hook into the wall, cut and loop some rope and affix onto the pot and voila! Remember to keep the pot, soil and plant as light in weight as possible to avoid botany crashing from the ceiling!

Got a green finger but a small space? Fear not – our blog has the answer.

Decorating a small dining room

Extendable dining tables

Painted wood dining set with natural oak top

Kemble extendable dining table with six chairs (@basnet_raisu)

Foldable furniture is extremely popular right now, which is testament to how useful it is! Pieces like extendable dining tables can be easily adapted according to need thanks to simple, in-built assembly and disassembly mechanisms.

Round dining tables

Round dining table in a kitchenShay extendable round dining table with four chairs

Round dining tables tend to take up less floor space than a traditional rectangular dining setting and, if they’re extendable like many of ours are, they provide the kind of flexibility a small dining room or functional living-dining space requires. They also offer a beautifully intimate dining experience as well as having plenty of aesthetic benefits.

Glass dining tables

Glass dining table in a conservatoryReflection dining table with six chairs (@ourhexhamhouse)

Along a similar vein to the minimalist furniture, glass also makes a space feel less cramped. Not only is it translucent so you can see the floors and walls through it, but it also has a reflective quality that bounces light around the room. A glass dining table would make your dining room feel infinitely less crowded.

Select a singular, reliable storage option

Grey painted dresser against yellow wallBrindle small dresser (@homeatnumber08)

While it may seem pieces like dressers and sideboards take up a lot of space, imagine how much more space you’d have if you utilised just one of these products to organise your dining room and all its crockery, glasses and pans? Making best use of their organisational capacity will de-clutter the rest of your space and create a feeling of clarity.

Small living room space-saving ideas

Storage footstools

Grey 2 seater sofa and footstoolGainsborough two seater sofa / Gainsborough storage footstool (@thegosfordmama)

Love to lounge but don’t quite have the capacity for a sprawling sofa? Our storage footstools do double duty; not only are they extremely mobile and easy to move around the home, but they also have clever in-built storage for helping to hide excess home clutter that would otherwise be out on display. We love the coordinated look when using a sofa and footstool from the same range, which add function and style to even the smallest of homes!

Creating space in a small bedroom

Swap wardrobes for tallboys

Oak tallboy next to desk and stoolOriginal Rustic tallboy / Mantis desk / Square stool

While wardrobes are fantastically spacious bedroom storage options, they’re not always fit for every home. Tallboys can be a brilliant alternative thanks to their space-saving narrow build, meaning they’re easily paired with other bedroom essentials like desks if you’re needing to work from home.

Wanting to know which wardrobes are best for small bedrooms? This post goes through the options.

DIY bedroom storage

Industrial chest of drawers below hanging clothes rail
Brooklyn chest of drawers (@notanotherhanbury_)

If you have low-hanging furniture like a wide chest of drawers or a blanket box, utilise the space above it and install storage options like shelves and clothes rails to create a one-stop shop for all your bedroom storage needs.

Loved our tips and ready to revolutionise your small space? Show off your home updates on Instagram using #OakFurnitureland.