Are you faced with a small space in your home or apartment?
These simple and do-able small space decorating tips will help you look at decorating your space in a fresh new way.


Decorating fears? Don't miss these low cost and doable tips to make a small live big from


Since getting married, I’ve been moving around the country.  It’s provided a great opportunity for learning to overcome space and decorating challenges which every home has.

Our most recent move to a small two bedroom apartment has been the most challenging.  In order to make my new small space feel spacious and inviting, I implemented a few easy small space decorating tips I’ve learned through my many moves.

This wasn’t our typical move and not one we had planned on.  We had put everything in storage because our house sold and came to Michigan with a solid job prospect. We were grateful to have found a sweet little furnished beach house apartment for the short term.  But, that position and then another and then another fell through.  Still living “in between” the best option for us was to leave everything in storage until we got a house and find an inexpensive apartment to rent. We secured a place less than five minutes from the beach and I made it my goal to furnish and decorate this small space AND make it feel like home on a next to nothing budget.  A tall order for sure.

After we signed the lease on our new apartment I started scouring Craig’s List and local thrift shops for the essentials… a table and chairs for our dining area, living room furniture, and bedroom furniture. I wasn’t having much success.


Small space decorating ideas with a coastal flair at


Moving day came and we still didn’t have anything more than our kitchen essentials and an inflatable bed. So after cleaning the beach apartment and making it guest ready, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and embarked on “Plan B.”

It was imperative that we find some comfortable and very inexpensive seating. And after a little “outside the box” thinking, we were successful.   A pair of wrought iron patio chairs for less than $25 each came home with us.  Yay! We finally had someplace to sit!

A short while later, my dear friend messaged me and asked if I would like to use her card table and chairs.  Wonderful!  Now I had dining room furniture and living room furniture. However, the card table and chairs would not be a long-term solution, as my friend would need them for a party she was hosting.


Make a Small Space Live Big with these Easy Decorating Tips from


Little did I know that those black wrought iron chairs were going to become a key element in my dining area decor.  

How in the world are those wrought iron chairs going to be the key?

Good question.  But, first, I had to find a table.  The ReStore outlet in our town had a small, but grubby looking table that was the perfect size for our very small space. And… because it had a 60% off tag… it was less than $12.

After investing in elbow grease, sandpaper, and white paint we transformed the table into a sweet little farmhouse table.


When you purchase lighting for a dining area, it's important to select a fixture that is large enough to make a statement. See more tips that work for decorating small spaces at AnEx


Why white?

In a small area, a white table recedes into the space, helping to give the tiny dining area a more spacious feeling, especially since the walls are a shade of white as well.  If I had left the table in its original dark wood color it would have overwhelmed the space.

After finally finding a loveseat, chair, and ottoman at a thrift store, we no longer needed to use the patio chairs for our main seating. I tried the pair out with the new dining table.  They not only worked great, they were a wonderful contrast to the style of the table.  Sort of industrial-modern meets farmhouse. 

My decorating project was starting to take shape.

One thing I knew for sure was that I needed to employ a key design technique to make my new dining area feel pulled together.

And just what is that element, you ask?


Industrial Style Matte Black Iron Cage Pendant Light from Parrot Uncle gives the substance for this small dining area at




Repetition makes small spaces feel larger and more cohesive.

I knew that I needed to duplicate the black in my dining area.  But how?

My answer came when I received an email from the lighting company, Parrot Uncle.  You might remember my post about farmhouse lighting last year. They have a wide selection of lighting so I knew I would be able to find just the right look for my dining area.  I chose an Industrial Style Matte Black Iron Cage Pendant Light for its style and under $50 price tag.

Even though the light is a big contrast to the white farmhouse table… it repeats the black design element wonderfully and is perfect for my space. I love the juxtaposition of its industrial style to the rest of the decor.


Small space dining area makeover with lighting from Parrot Uncle at


Remember how I mentioned that the white table receded and helped the area feel more spacious. The old grimy hanging light sort of disappeared (Not that that was a bad thing for that light).  The disappearing design trick was important for the table… it wasn’t what my space needed when it came to selecting a pendant light. We needed the light to act as a statement piece, a work of art if you will.

Its dramatic geometric elements give the room substance and help the small spot to seem more spacious.


Select the right light…

When you purchase lighting for a dining area, it’s important to select a fixture that is large enough to make a statement, but not too large as you don’t want to overwhelm your space.  I know… that can be a little tricky.  The most common mistake is to purchase a light that is too small.

Make it your space…

Keep in mind… if you live in a rental, house or apartment, you most definitely can switch out light fixtures. Don’t let someone else’s decorating style be an eyesore in your home.  Just be sure you know what you’re doing or have someone do the installation for you so there are no unfortunate injuries, electrical issues, or fire hazards and be sure you don’t damage the ceiling.  We have switched out light fixtures in past rentals, carefully packing away the original fixture, and re-installing it upon moving.


You can makeover a small space dining area with these easy doable decorating tips at


Once the light was installed I needed to do two things…

ONE… add another element in black. There’s something about the repetition of threes in design that makes a space feel complete. This is especially important when you’re playing bold colors against neutral backgrounds.

As you can see in the before photo, a very old set of vertical blinds graced the sliding door.  Because we LOVE lots of natural light, live on the upper level, and don’t walk around without clothes, we didn’t feel the need to keep the blinds for privacy.  So, we stored those away and replaced them with an inexpensive curtain rod that repeats the black wrought iron look.

That brings me to number TWO… add color!

My black rod was perfect for the new curtain I made from bargain bin fabric that added a fun punch of coastal blue and a repetition of white.

I didn’t stop with color on the curtain…

Because every space needs art, I created my own art by painting a thrifted picture and its frame. And because I can’t draw… I added a sailboat from my nautical Christmas tree.


Repetition of color is just one tip for decorating a small space. Learn more tips for making a spacious looking small space at


Between the new drape and wall art… I just gave my dining area a coastal theme.  

Now all I need to do is support that theme throughout the space.

Here’s how I did just that…

A little texture and natural color were added to my space with a lovely thrifted vintage tray basket. The basket repeated the tone of the driftwood on the sailboat and hid an ugly and no longer functional phone jack. And fit so well into my coastal theme.

My farmhouse table is small, so when the table is set there just isn’t room for a centerpiece. However, I’m making up for that with cheery coastal blue placemat in a deeper tone of the curtain.  My dishes are the ones I got from a giveaway at The Inspired Room. They have a turquoise “wave” on the ivory white which works with our coastal theme.  I topped them off with plain white napkins and two very small sailboat Christmas ornaments that I also made. Sweet, simple, and refreshing.


Lake Michigan coastal decor completes this small space dining area makeover at


Since the black wrought iron chairs are fairly deep, I thought it would be fun to add some pillows. I have a little sewing job where I stuff and sew pillows designed by a friend of mine and these are two from the line.  Of course, I had to have the Lake Michigan pillow; you all know my love for the big beautiful lake.  Both pillows are coastal blue and white on the front… another blue and white repetition. Did you notice that the pillow backs are coral?   In my design mind, there always needs to be a complementary color someplace in the space.  These add that little, unexpected pop of a contrasting color in a subtle way.

The black pendant light still remains the focal point of the space and that’s precisely what we want.  It takes center stage, partly because it hangs in the center, partly because of its strong geometric design, and partly because the black stands out while all the whites recede and the blues are calming.Pin It! to remember for Later -

Got a small space that needs a makeover? Don't miss these tips that work to make small spaces beautiful from


The next time you start to decorate… think about repetition.

It really is the key to a cohesive design and a space that feels comfortable.  And it’s essential in planning small spaces.


I’m totally enamored with my new dining area.

It feels bright, cheerful, and so very refreshing.  And I’m loving how my new pendant light was the perfect design element. I’m not expecting to be here long-term, but believe me, in the in-between, it feels so good to have a space I’ve created myself.


A nod to nautical and beautiful lake blues on the dining table for this small space dining area makeover at


We rarely eat out, so having a great space to enjoy our meals means a lot to us.

You might even find me and Tim playing a round of Yahtzee or two while we eat dinner. Does anyone else do that?

  • What are you loving most about my new dining space?
  • What tip can you implement now?
  • What one thing could you do to freshen up your dining area?

Thanks for stopping by today… I can’t wait to hear your lovely thoughts!


  1. Diane says

    You have done an amazing job of creating a high-end designer look for so little. I appreciate the tips. Now need to start reassessing my rooms or better yet you could just zip out to Wyoming and decorate my house?
    Thanks for your posts. They are always encouraging.

    • Awww… thanks Diane! I wish I had one of those transporters that Calvin had in “Calvin and Hobbes.” That would be soooo very fun to see you. [[hugs]]

  2. Debbie says

    Love it Diane! I especially adore the little sailboat on top of the napkin! Would love to have one. Did you buy it or make it?
    You did an outstanding job!

    • Thank you so much, Debbie!! 🙂
      I made all the sailboats with driftwood I collected along the lakeshore after a storm. I think I need to put together a tutorial. I made quite a few to decorate my nautical tree last Christmas as they went’ together pretty easily.
      All the best for an extraordinary day!

  3. You created a lovely, serene space! Love the colors and the pendant is just perfect.

    • Thank you for your kind thoughts, Charlene! You described the feeling of my space perfectly! Now only if we could enjoy a cup of tea there together.

  4. Gwen says

    The first thing to catch my eye was the light and then the sailboat in the framed art. Funny how the eye does that!!! And I went WOW!!!! This style looks very up to date and lends itself well to fall too and always Christmas and yes January ice and ??? and daffodils….but it looks wonderful wonderful right now!!!! Those chairs are just perfect. The room looks so now. So up to date!!!! You did it. In a short period of time too! I’m totally joyful.
    Yahtzee is one of my favorite games. I knew a couple that played and tallied the total scores nightly to all their other scores. To see at the end of the year who had the most points!!!! Married 72?73 years? So yes Yahtzee is a fun bonding game. We sometimes switch to Farkel. Lately, rest.
    I know you’ll have company and have desserts on the table to take to the living room area to eat and visit over. ✝? I’m so glad.

    • Awww… Gwen you know how to make a girl feel good. 🙂 Thank you for being such a wonderful cheerleader for me in this endless “in-between. One thing I love about you is your ability to not only see the glass half-full… but it’s always a beautiful glass, too. {{hugs}}

  5. Oh, Diane! Your new apartment looks so pretty and definitely inviting. What a difference a few of your thoughtful touches and a new light fixture can make.

  6. I love your creative thinking, Diane. The space is fresh and inviting. I can see why you linger at the table. I loved the art work right off and I’m not surprised that you created it. You have wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Elaine… you just made my day! Thank you for your kind words. I’m loving everything about my new space, especially the geometric light. But, I have to say that because I sit opposite from the “painting” I kind of feel like I’m right on the lake. It’s funny how that art gives me the sense of a window.
      Thanks for popping by! Hope your week is filled with extraordinary goodness. 🙂

  7. Nice job making this space your own! That’s an impressive transformation of a rental space!

    • Awww… thanks, Melony! I am so happy with it. 🙂
      All the best for an extraordinary day!

  8. Malia says

    Your space looks incredible Diane! It all works together beautifully!

    • You are so kind… this process has been humbling. Thank you for your encouraging words, Malia! 🙂

  9. Diane, I just saw a photo on IG by Elyse at Tinkered Treasures where she used a product that creates a textured surface in her little painted water scenes. I thought you might be interested to know about it.

    • Elaine… you are so sweet to think of me. Thank you…. I’ll go check it out! {{hugs}}

  10. Ivory says

    I love what you did to your space. It’s more warmth and inviting. Beautiful color choice. Thanks for sharing

    • Thank you, Ivory… you just made my day!
      Hope your week is off to an extraordinary start! 🙂

  11. Kim says

    I adore what you did here, Diane! I never knew that about white tables. You’ve inspired me to consider painting our game table white (or cream). It’s over to the side in the family room, but it fills a large space visually. Thanks for the new inspiration! I love the repeats you have in your kitchen. God definitely provided some great elements that, when put together by His genius daughter – you, your space is wonderful! 🙂

    • I’m blushing! Kim, you sure know how to make a gal feel good. Sending great big {{hugs}} your way.
      (God is sooo good!)

  12. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

    • And thanks for being the hostess with the mostess!
      BTW… wanted to tell you how much I love your photography. Great job Sherry!

  13. Nice job! The black light fixture has a neat shape and adding a little black to a room is always right. 🙂

    • Thanks, Stacey! You are so kind to stop by with your encouraging words. 🙂 I confess that I wouldn’t always have done this, so it’s a little fun to “color” outside the lines a bit.

  14. It’s a beautiful transformation and I especially love the light fixture! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. We’re pretty excited about fall and looking forward to seeing lots of fall ideas shared at the next party now that we have made it into September.

    • Thank you Shirley!! It really is amazing what one light fixture can do.
      All the best for an extraordinary September!!

  15. Gwen says

    This was a fun read!! Thank you for posting again?

    • I’m so blessed that you enjoyed it, Gwen. We may not be where I would like to be… but God is good and we are blessed. xo

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.