3 Tips from an Artist on Decorating a Small Room

An under-$100 reno by Clare Collective ambassador Ashley Whiteside.

Decorating a small room is a cinch with these tips from artist Ashley Whiteside.

Decorating a small room can be tricky. There’s less space to work with, and it can be tough to find furnishings and accents that align with the size. But a small space means there’s a big opportunity to get creative, which is exactly what Clare Collective ambassador, artist and stylist Ashley Whiteside did in the petite powder room in her North Carolina home

Ahead, read Ashley’s smart tips for decorating a small room

Tip #1: Go Bold with Color

Decorating a small room? Don't be afraid to go bold with color.

There’s no place like a small bathroom to go bold with color, in part because it’s low-risk due to the size (this particular space took less than a gallon of paint), and also because it’s a great way to inject some unexpected joy. “It’s a weird space under the stairs, so I wanted it to be a surprise,” Ashley says. “In fact, I wanted to surprise myself, so I went well outside of my color comfort zone.” 

That meant selecting our rich, deep red Vintage color for the walls, which is perfect for establishing a luxe, statement-making vibe. 

Tip #2: Do a Little DIY

When decorating a small room, every detail counts, like this fun, DIY sink skirt.

Nearly every space in Ashley’s home has a DIY component, and this powder room is no different—a homemade sink skirt ties the whole space together. To make it, she fashioned a piece of unused fabric into a ruffled skirt with hem tape and velcro. It provides hidden storage in a space formerly lacking, while complementing the rich red walls and creating a more cohesive color story. 

“It adds movement, color, and excitement to the room, and also announces that we don’t take ourselves too seriously in this house,” Ashley says. 

Tip #3: Elevate with Extras

This print of the kitchen from the Golden Girls adds a little extra whimsy to this small space.

When decorating a small room, the little details matter even more. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to make an impact. In fact, Ashley spent less than $100 on this powder room makeover, thanks to her DIY prowess and eye for spotting perfect pieces at the right price. 

To bring it all together, Ashley replaced a few builder-grade details like the mirror and towel holder with more modern designs, then added in accents with personality, including a print of the kitchen from Golden Girls by artist Liz Franklin, a patterned plate hung on the wall and a wicker wastebasket for a touch of organic texture. 

All of this, combined with the bold, warm red, creates a space that feels welcoming, daring, and 100% chic. “It’s shocking. Surprising. Earthy but also exciting,” Ashley says. “It’s taken more getting used to than usual for me, but I’m excited I made something that I’m proud of.”

Wanna go bold, but not into red? Find just the right hue for your home here.

And if you're looking for more small-space inspo, we have you so covered.


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