How To: Small Spaces

Working with small spaces really brings out your inner creative. Here are a few clever ideas I like for decorating small spaces. Please share yours too in the comments below!

*/ Choose a light colour palette

Avoid dark hues that absorb light and constrict your space. Light colours do wonders for opening things up and creating a bright and airy feel. Soft light shades are your friend!

*/ Think multi-purpose

Get creative with storage! Think ladder chairs, sofa beds and multi-purpose rooms. Want to create a bit more privacy? Try using storage shelves or curtains to divide one room in two.

*/ Use every inch

Do you have a small space between two rooms or two cupboards (or a random small space anywhere really)? Try creating a study/office nook. Run out of storage space? Use the walls!

Living room:

Tip 1: Use small side tables instead of a coffee table. Being able to move them around will make things feel less cramped.

Tip 2: Incorporate floor-to-ceiling curtains. They create the illusion of higher ceilings by drawing the eyes up. This can also be achieved with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or vertically oriented wall paper; anything that extends the walls to include the ceiling.


Try: Open storage cupboards.

And if you can, extend the kitchen space outside!


Must do: Add a mirror! This is one of the easiest (and best) tricks. Adding a full-length mirror visually expands a space by reflecting light instantly making a room feel more spacious.


Tip: Narrow wall shelves are great for storing bathroom essentials and will eliminate clutter from around the sink.

Images via Pinterest by House and Garden; Russian Creators for Style Caster; Home Designing; Inside Out; Trelawny Vermont-Davis for West Elm Blog; Zwart & Koper; Decoist; Treeium; Sonya Barker for At Home with the Barkers; eatwell 101; Jenna Sue Design Co.; MMK for Architecture and Design.

xx Jess

– the refinery –


Welcome to the refinery.

New Picture

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but just … haven’t?

I’ve always believed I would never allow myself to make absurd excuses for not pursuing my passions. Well, I have been… and I’ve noticed my to-do list is becoming uncomfortably long!

Of course I turned to a higher power for guidance…
Coco Chanel –
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

So I’m making a door. This is my door.

Welcome to the refinery!

I’m Jess, a long time lover of interior styling, using this blog to turn my interior design obsession into styling inspiration. the refinery is all about sharing passion, exploring latest trends, and building on what inspires you to make your own mark.

Any thoughts and ideas you have are more than welcome. I’m a first time blogger so I would love to hear from you! Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send through an email.


Find the refinery on Instagram @therefinery_concepts

Images by Home-Dzine; MintedThe Neo-Trad.