08/05/2014 04:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Biggest Small-space Mistakes You Are Making

Short on square inches? Dream big with these smart decorating solutions.

photography by ARCHIVE IMAGES

There's no stopping small-space dwellers from dreaming big. Really BIG. Put those premature plans for renovating, moving, or admitting defeat on hold. A little ingenuity can make a huge impact on just about any room. Yep, that means the tiny ones, too.

photography by ARCHIVE IMAGES

Mistake: Too much furniture.
Space is a lovely problem to have. Don't allow the number of square inches to define the place you call home. Since everything is more visible, choose pieces of furniture (such as armless sofas and chairs) that don't weigh down the room. Browse an assortment of armless sofas and chairs.

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Mistake: Filling every inch.
Give yourself a break-and your space room to breathe. Not every sofa needs a coffee table and two side tables. Take advantage of pieces that can work overtime, such as an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table and extra seating.

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Mistake: Having a home office requires a spare room.
Not quite (but nice try). The smallest surface in the tiniest nook can be your e-mail-crafting, note-jotting, call-making command center.

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Mistake: Shying away from color.
Don't fall into the everything-must-be-white trap. If you love color, live in it! Just strike a balance that makes you happy. Rather than taking the all-or-nothing approach, paint one wall a rich shade. Before you know it, you'll have tricked the eye into thinking this room isn't quite so small after all.

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Mistake: Relying on walls to create "rooms."
This applies to the people (we're looking at you, studio-apartment dwellers) who don't have walls between the eating area and the lounging zone. A decorative room divider, panel, or curtain can artfully carve out different areas from one large space.

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Mistake: Using a bookcase for just storing books.
Big mistake. Sure, it's great for stashing novels and displaying art, but it can also separate your work space from your sleeping quarters.

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Mistake: Hanging curtains too low.
Give the illusion of higher ceilings by suspending window treatments from the ceiling, not the top of the window frame.

photography by ARCHIVE IMAGES

Mistake: Wasting vertical space.
No kitchen cabinets? Don't go breaking the lease just yet. Monochromatic floating shelves give the room an airy vibe and allow you to show off a tightly edited collection of plates, glasses, and canisters.

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