7 Design Tips For Making A Small Space Feel More Luxurious

Just because a space is small doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious. After all, even average-sized to larger homes can have small rooms such as powder rooms and secondary bedrooms. While smaller spaces can be challenging to design, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a big statement.

Here are seven tips to make a small space feel more luxurious. Whether it’s a complete renovation or simply refreshing the home, these tips are easy to implement.

Start With A Neutral Design Scheme

Start your home improvement project off on the right foot. If you’re renovating a small room and not sure exactly what direction to go in, you can’t go wrong with neutral bones. While highly stylized design schemes can be beautiful, it’s a riskier choice in smaller spaces. You can start with a simple design scheme such as a white or marble kitchen or bathroom and then go bold for details such as hardware. Then go with some of the suggestions below. This is also important to consider if you plan on selling your home in the not-so-distant future. 

living room inside 136 East 64th Street New York, NY, USA

A blue-hued shelving background pops against the white walls and built-ins at this Lenox Hill residence. (Warburg Realty)

Don’t Be Afraid Of Color

Once you start with a neutral design scheme, you can go ahead and add color. Sometimes people can be afraid of color, especially dark-colored paint in small spaces, because they believe it makes a room feel more closed in. But that’s simply untrue. Using color is a great way to make a room stand out without taking up any extra space. 

This elegant pre-war apartment in New York City is a great example of this. Paint is used in a multitude of ways, including in the living room behind built-in shelving. The paint colors in the bedrooms coordinate with the linens. There are so many things you can do with color.

lavender colored apartment in new york

A lavender hue in the bedroom keeps the space light and bright. (Warburg Realty)

Install Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a major design trend that isn’t going away any time soon. It’s the perfect way to decorate any small space and a particularly good choice for powder rooms and bathrooms. The shiny blue damask wallpaper at this Sierra Towers condominium is a perfect example of this. It takes the bathroom from basic to glamorous instantly. 

Consider installing wallpaper in most rooms, from bedrooms to home offices and even kitchens. With so many different styles and designs available, you really can’t go wrong.

blue damask wallpaper inside Doheny Rd #2003 Los Angeles, CA

Bold wallpaper, such as the blue damask variety in this Sierra Towers residence in West Hollywood, is another way to make a smaller space seem larger. (Hilton & Hyland)

Add Architectural Wall Embellishments

Like paint and wallpaper, embellishing the walls is a great way to make a big design impact without making a home feel smaller than it already is. Wainscotting, chair rail, millwork, or any kind of molding is a true designer’s touch.

This luxurious Upper West Side Co-op, for example, is filled with custom wall embellishments in nearly every room. Even the kitchen has exquisite crown molding as well as molding around the doorways.

luxurious marble bathroom inside 255 West 84th Street, Apt 2AE in new york city

Luxury window treatments are another way to make a small space stand out. In this chic Manhattan bathroom, the treatments create a sense of height and volume while providing privacy. (Warburg Realty)

Hang Luxury Window Treatments

If a room doesn’t have a ton of extra space, window treatments can make it feel bigger. But it is best to skip out on basic blinds and opt for luxury window treatments that attract the eyes to the outdoors.

Looking for some inspiration? The second bedroom at 740 Park Avenue is hardly kid stuff. This bedroom isn’t very large and has two twin-sized beds somewhat crammed in. These cream-colored textured curtains give this petite room style and pizazz that it wouldn’t have with just those simple blackout shades alone. There are practically infinite ways you can go with window treatments. 

kid's bedroom in a luxury manhattan apartment for sale

Textured curtains add pizzaz to the kids room inside this Park Avenue residence. (Warburg Realty)

Add Sconces

Sconces are ideal for smaller spaces, such as the sconces in the bedroom in this South Harlem apartment. This bedroom isn’t even large enough for two nightstands. Because table lamps are not an option, the owners installed these chic and contemporary sconces. Plug and play sconces are easy to install yourself, but you can always go with a more traditional sconce and have the cord hidden behind the wall. Just be sure to hire a licensed electrician. 

contemporary bedroom with sconces in south harlem, new york

Because table lamps are not an option, the owners of this South Harlem apartment used chic and contemporary sconces. (Warburg Realty)

Declutter Your Space

There’s nothing that makes a space feel smaller than having too much stuff around. The simple act of decluttering and organizing a room costs nothing and instantly feels like an upgrade. Try the Konmari method to choose what to get rid of and aim to have as many clean lines and clutter-free surfaces as possible. 


I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.