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Throw out the rule book and give these refreshing ideas the green light.

| By Rachael Thompson | Interiors

Got a Small Space? You Should Totally Break These 6 Design Rules

Throw out the rule book and give these refreshing ideas the green light.

If you live in a smaller home, you're likely familiar with the common suggestions for making the most of your space. We're often told that small rooms should be painted in light colours to create an illusion of spaciousness, that furniture must be scaled down and limited to fit within the confined square footage, and that clutter is the enemy!

But we like to think the days of following hard design rules are behind us and that we should all create spaces we love despite the size of our homes. And while there's no denying that living in a small space comes with its limitations – there really is only so much room for all those indoor plants – what if we challenge some of these outdated rules?

Below we're looking at six common design rules for small spaces we think are worth breaking so you can create your dream home.

1. Only use light colours

Swathing your home in lighter tones has been the go as far as making a room appear larger than it is. But contrary to this rule, painting a small room dark can actually make it look bigger. Why? Because dark colours add depth and this helps to visually enlarge a space. If you prefer the idea of a moody study or a cosy bedroom but your space is limited, don't be scared! Grab those darker tones and get painting.

2. Only use small-scale furniture

Just because your home is small doesn't mean you need to make it look like you're Alice in Wonderland after she's sipped on the 'Drink Me' potion. It’s better to select fewer, large pieces to help make the room look bigger and airier. We recommend modular pieces and a large, light-toned area rug. Area rugs will dictate the size of the visual space and help make your space look bigger than it is.

3. Only hang small artwork

We're often told to stick with small artworks in a small space. But hear us out! Large-scale artworks are a great way to make the most of your small space. Rather than hanging several small-size wall artworks, opt for one large piece to decorate your small space – you'll create drama and an impressive focal point.

5. Only used closed shelves

Open shelves do have the potential to expose mess, but when styled correctly they can make for a beautiful display in your home. As open shelves don't have the visual heaviness of doors, they make even a tiny kitchen feel larger. If you're still not sold on open shelving, cabinet doors with glass fronts create a similar effect.

6. Keep it minimal

The idea behind this rule is to minimise visual clutter. But 'maximalism' – the rebel of the design world – is in and we're seeing designers reject this minimalism rule for more unique, extravagant spaces that reflect the homeowner. is in and we're seeing designers reject this minimalism rule for more unique, extravagant spaces that reflect the homeowner. Don't be afraid to display the items you love and to get experimental with colour – keep the palette consistent for a more harmonious look.

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