As a designer with years of instinct & experience, certain design decisions just become second nature even in an industry that requires you to constantly evolve. Wise design decisions and selections are important in order to stay current yet classic and stand the test of time.
Less furniture and larger pieces keeps things less busy and uncluttered!
Dining: put all the chairs on the side and extend the table larger/longer and omit host/hostess chairs on the end.
Living: a sofa and a chair a half versus a sofa and 2 chairs.
Bedroom: often clients have nightstands that are too narrow or too short with equally short lamps. A nightstand should not be lower than mattress height.
Strategic focal points help focus on the positives of a space!
Accentuate the best feature in the room (ie: fireplace, windows, etc.)
If there is no focal point, create it through mill work, built ins or even furnishings
Keep it simple. I once had a mentor tell me to accessorize your bookshelves and then go back and take 30% out. DON'T OVER CLUTTER.
This goes for all surfaces! Shelves, Tables, etc. You don’t have to display everything just because you have it. If you can’t bare to part with it then rotate your accessories in and out of storage. You don’t have to be a minimalist to take a minimalist approach to achieve successful design.
Rug! Your room will look bigger if your rug is sized properly
I like to put the rug just under the front feet of an upholstery piece.
A larger appropriately sized rug will bring multiple pieces together to ground everything to make it fell like one large collection.
Choosing key furnishings that are simple, classic and properly scaled to a room will help achieve "Big Living in Small Spaces"!