Small-Space Decorating Tips

Five designers offer solutions for the square-footage-challenged

• "A generously scaled sofa, mirror, chair, rug, or piece of furniture will trick the eye," notes designer Mariette Himes Gomez, who placed a large Gothic bookcase in a small alcove of her Manhattan apartment, pictured.

• "Always make sure each piece is multiuse," says decorator Alessandra Branca. "A drop-front secretary provides a bookcase, desk, and chest all in one, and a desk or table can be great for both dining and working."

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• Interior decorator Alex Papachristidis recommends creating a glamorous jewel box: "Use larger patterns on the fabrics. Stencil the floors and upholster the walls. With a small room, think grand-I always do."

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• Designer Suzanne Kasler says: "Add a wall of mirrors. Immediately the space will seem exponentially larger."

• According to decorator Amanda Nisbet, a petite room is "inherently cozy," so it's best to make it warm and inviting. "Paint it a dark glossy color or cover the walls in a deep, sumptuous velvet, felt, or wool. Add a large comfortable sofa and one small chair, and many different sources of light to create a soft atmosphere."


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