Let’s face it. If you live in the inner city, you probably have a small apartment. Conventional design rules tell us to paint white, keep away from patterns and choose small furniture. But sometimes breaking the rules of convention can lead you on the path of ingenuity and genuine design. These rules of designing in small spaces can and should be broken, when creating unconventional small room designs.

Mirrors Small spaces can be enlarged with mirrors. But sometimes a room is so small, even if you mirrored every surface; you’d just have a small mirrored room. Instead of reflecting reflections, try decorating the walls with pictures and art.

A wall completely covered with picture frames full of art can give a look of depth that mirrors provide, while maintaining your personal d├ęcor style. Mirrors can still be applied in random picture frames, creating the illusion of depth, without over doing it.

Furniture When conventional small room designs call for small furniture, buck the mainstream with comfortable furniture. Unconventional small room designs should have the furniture you want and need. Instead of filling your living space with two small love seats, why not fill it instead with a sectional sofa. Or better yet, built in furniture looks good, is comfortable enough to lounge in and takes up less space. The basic rule to remember with furniture in a small space is to ensure there is enough room to walk around it.

Patterns Painting a room white is typical of small room designs. However, unconventional small room designs transcend those boring everyday colors with patterns. Varying bold prints and patterns can create space by distracting the eye. While matching prints and patterns can overwhelm a small space, bold contrasting features can enliven it by creating warmth and comfort.

Painting trim, walls and furniture contrasting bright colors can add an element of light and color that emboldens the feel of any small space. Not only are bright paints bold enough to grab your attention, they also focus the eyes away from enclosed spaces, especially when furniture blends in.

Clutter The biggest no-no in small room design, clutter can make any room feel small. But you can use your knick-knacks to your advantage by creating what designers refer to as “visual destinations”. When matching colored objects are sectioned off on tabletops, it leads the eye away from confining spaces. It’s always better to group like objects together in one space, then it is to spread them around.