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Big Ideas for Styling a Small Space

We partnered with Christina Murphy, designer at Christina Murphy Interiors. Recognized as one of the nation’s top designers, she brings her unique style to a new collection of furniture available exclusively at select Tuesday Morning stores. Check how to use these stylish pieces with her expert tips on small living space and apartment decorating.

Whether you are a an urban dweller settling into cozy quarters or a college student moving into your first dorm room, decorating a small space does not have to be a frustrating experience. As a designer working and living in New York, I can tell you that there is no shortage of ways to make a big statement in a small space!

Here are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your area when you’re not working with a lot of square footage.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Regardless of the size of the space, I always work with its existing features when I am designing. This is even more important in cramped quarters because you obviously want to bring in as few items as possible. If a room has incredible light, I go for a bright, clean look. On the flip side, a dark room can become a cozy cave with furnishings in luxe materials and rich colors. Creating a focal point is also critical in small-space design, so look to existing architecture for inspiration. If your living room has a magnificent mantle, for example, focus on that rather than bringing in a different statement piece.

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Keep It Simple

When decorating a small area, simplicity is key! I recommend staying away from layered patterns or combining furniture styles. A busy design creates visual clutter, which makes a room seem smaller. Instead, pick strong, high-quality pieces that will work hard for you. And remember, simple does not have to mean boring! There are plenty of options to add interest without clutter. To keep things fun, include a pop of color with a chair or table in a bright hue. A great chair in eye-catching fuchsia – like this slipper chair from my collection at Tuesday Morning – creates contrast and provides a good distraction from the lack of extra room.

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Mind the Scale

This may seem like a no-brainer, but pay special attention to scale when selecting your furniture. You want items that won’t overpower your room. Instead, go for items that create the illusion of space. Armless chairs and open tables work well because they allow flow among all the pieces in a room.

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Hard At Work

When picking out pieces for tight quarters, I am always looking for great pieces of furniture that can do double or even triple duty. These nesting tables from my Tuesday Morning collection are a fantastic solution. The smaller and larger table can be paired for an interesting surface, used separately or nested for extra space.

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The biggest thing to remember when trying to maximize a small space is to make it yours! No matter how much room you have, this is truly the only way to make it feel like home.

Find out about Christina Murphy’s product collection exclusively available at select Tuesday Morning stores HERE!

For even more dorm room and apartment decorating ideas, follow Tuesday Morning on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Furniture, Home Decor
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Christina Murphy

Meet the Contributor

Recognized as one of the nation’s top designers, Christina Murphy brings her unique style to a new collection of furniture available exclusively at select Tuesday Morning stores. With clean lines and fun colors, Christina’s designs perfectly combine beautiful and practical in an exquisite package. Her versatile pieces are perfect for any space.

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11 Comments

  1. Reply shirley buttolph

    I like the blog..and the ideas….thanks Christina.

  2. Reply Lillian Temple

    Thank you, I enjoy reading Christina’s ideas as well the pictures…plus I like Tuesdaymornig

  3. Reply Carmen Olivas

    I love Tuesday Morning. It’s so nice to see so many pretty things after working all week staring at a computer. And now, there’s Christina’s decorating tips…great! I’ve got a 1950’s ranch style home with really small bedrooms, so I’m really looking forward to Christina’s tips for decorating small rooms. Welcome, Christina!!

  4. Reply Janine Woods

    Thank you for your advice and expertise concerning small spaces. Your ideas will definitely help in the smaller guest bedroom I’m currently updating.

  5. Reply Esther Vasquez

    Luv the ideas

  6. Reply Helen Beasley

    Tuesday Morning is my favorite place to shop for gifts.

  7. Reply Anita

    VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT OUR ROCKY RIVER OHIO STORE NO LONGER CARRIES FURNITURE! PLEASW RECONSIDER…IT IS TUESDAY MORNING AT IT’S BEST…OTHERWISE IT’S JUST A JUNK STORE!

    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Hi Anita! It is our intention to be in stock on all advertised items. However, because of the closeout nature of our store, quantities are often limited and availability is subject to stock on hand by location. We apologize for any inconvenience!

  8. Reply Linda Williams

    Love reading about decorating in small spaces. Would lice to find the two small side tables but no luck so far at local Tuesday Morning.

  9. Reply Barbara

    I love the Button Bananza

  10. Reply Joan Delight Plaster

    Excellent advice for always living BIG‼️