I am often asked to photograph small spaces, compact flats, boat interiors and offices. There are tips and tricks that a photographer uses in order to solve problems of space and light in these restricted areas. Done well they can work to a photographers advantage, done badly they kill the mood and feel of the interior. Wide-angle lenses certainly have their uses, they can make a cramped room look spacious and palatial. When using a wide angle lens make sure you lower the tripod to well below eye level to get more of the furniture and floor and less of the ceiling. I use my 17mm or 24mm shift lenses to avoid this step and retain straight verticals. Don't get too low though or you will create an uncomfortable image. Tether your camera to the laptop so you can place the camera flush with the wall to get maximum angle of view.
There are issues with using wide angles, don't overdo it! Remember details are interesting too. Always make sure you correct lens distortion in Photoshop. Really wide angles can look too obvious, make sure the view lends itself to the lens you have chosen and finally try to choose a strong angle of view or shoot perfectly straight on to the room.
Another trick would be to move furniture. It sounds simple but a busy cluttered room will make a busy cluttered photograph. Unless this is the look you are going for don't be afraid to move items. Furniture can also be used to hide defects and cover up utilities. Always remember to put everything back!
Add light or add the illusion of light. Eyes see a vast range of light levels, cameras don't. While being mindful of the effect you are trying to create you can use a few simple tricks to lighten up your interior photography.
Photograph interiors on an overcast day or photograph near dawn or dusk when sunlight levels are lower. Make sure you retain some detail in the exterior, a window that is too dark can look sinister. Add light, turn on all available lamps and lights in adjoining rooms too. Bring your own floodlights, hide them behind furniture but don't overdo it. Use flash, again make sure they are balanced, avoid reflections in windows and always bounce the flash, reflectors and incredibly handy in small spaces.
Use HDR or High Dynamic Range. Take multiple shots at different exposures and composite them later. Again, use this tool lightly, as too much shadow and highlight detail can look unreal.