This year, we've teamed up with our friends at Apartment Guide to bring you the Small/Cool 2012 Contest! Apartment Guide is an expert source for small space inspiration and problem-solving of all kinds, and we're seeing a lot of their top tips and tricks illustrated perfectly in the Small/Cool entries. Here's a roundup of Apartment Guide's small space solutions, found in our Small/Cool entries. Which small space solutions do you find most effective: light walls, small rugs or wall hooks?
Light-Colored Walls: This is one of Apartment Guide's favorite tips for small spaces. In fact, they caution, "Don't even think about painting a contrasting-colored wall - it will just make the room look smaller." This is especially great news for small space renters, who might not even have the option to paint. But if you can and want to add color to your small space, Apartment Guide recommends using only pale colors — pale greens and blues or creams — and including white trim, which helps the walls feel farther away.
Smaller Area Rugs: This is one of those decorating rules to live by — to make your space feel bigger, have your area rug be smaller than the perimeter of your furniture. Ideally, only the front legs of your sofa or chairs should be on the rug. This defines the space and creates a sense of expansiveness.
Wall Hooks: One of the keys of small space living is keeping your surfaces clutter-free. Instead of piling things on counters and shelves, use your wall space! This trick works especially well with decorative things like jewelry, teacups and hats, and can turn your favorite items into decor.
Stay tuned — as Small/Cool 2012 continues, Apartment Guide will be returning to pick out some more favorite small space solutions!
Images: 1 & 7: Geoff's Southern Exposure Studio; 2 Diana's Exposed Brick Bonus; 3 Annette's Compact & Comforting Home; 4 Jennifer's Eclectic Diary; 5 & 6 Emmie's Cohesive Look; 8 Samantha's Organic Global Love Nest.