Susanna Salk’s Tips for Decorating Small Rooms

Susanna Salk's Ideas for Decorating Small Spaces

Decorating small spaces can be tricky, especially if you love to use color and pattern. Fortunately, design expert Susanna Salk has a few tips that will help make outfitting a tiny space anything but boring.

Inspired by the idea of spending New Years Eve at home, in comfortable pajamas, Susanna recently designed a room in Holiday House NYC that perfectly illustrates some of her tried and true tips for turning petite spaces into impactful areas of the home.

Bold color and pattern is at home in this small space

Patterned Wallpapers in Small Rooms

Using a large patterned wallpaper in a small space helps the room come alive better than simply paint. A gentle repetition — in my case, peacock feathers — can delight and also soothe the eye and envelope a space. It feels scary and against instinct, but small spaces need big moments to feel worthy.

Use bold colors in a small room, like this hot pink velvet sofa

Use Bold Color

Susanna says, “I’d rather see big patterns of quieter color than big colors which can tend to overwhelm. At the end of the day, filling any sized space with things you love will look right simply because you’ve decorated with confidence and whimsy. The worst thing you can do in small spaces is to decorate too safely.”

Mirrors make small spaces seem larger

Use Mirrors

An ideal way to add depth — not to mention mystery — to a small space is to use mirrors to reflect light around the room.

Consider Furniture Scale

You don’t want your pieces to loom over the scale of the room like it’s the set of Gulliver’s Travels, but by the same token, make sure every piece you do use is full of personality. To strike a balance, a room should be equal parts carefully edited and throwing caution to the wind!

Ballard Designs team at Holiday House NYC with Susanna Salk

The Ballard Designs Team with Susanna Salk (seated), from left to right: James Pope, Mollie Kitchens, Ryan McKelvey, and Jean Jones

Holiday House NYC showcases spaces designed by 24 top designers all decked out for the Holidays and benefitting breast cancer research. Learn more about Holiday House NYC or purchase tickets to tour all of the expertly designed rooms!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.