Small Space Interior Design: 6 Ways to Maximize Small Homes
It can be a challenge to make all of your design dreams come true in a small home, but there are a few techniques that can make your space feel larger than it is.
6 Design Tips for Small Living Spaces
Whether you're living in a studio apartment in New York City or a tiny house in the woods, small-space living requires careful attention to design. Here are some design ideas to get the most out of every square foot.
Maximize floor space. Small spaces start to feel cluttered more quickly than larger homes. In addition to regular cleaning and organizing, maximizing floor space is one way to make a small space feel more open. Look for furniture that takes up minimal floor space, such as wall sconces instead of floor lamps and table lamps, floating shelves instead of heavy bookcases, and wall-mounted cupboards instead of bulky nightstands. You can also look for tables with narrow legs and shallow-depth couches. Then throw a large, colorful rug on the floor to make the space feel larger than it really is.
Take advantage of vertical space. You can use vertical space to maximize your storage area. Built-in bookshelves and kitchen cabinets can extend all the way to the ceiling to provide extra storage for items you use infrequently. You can DIY a vertical storage solution by installing shelving above a bed or couch. And ceilings are for more than just hanging chandeliers; try hanging plants or a pots-and-pans rack from the kitchen ceiling.
Invest in multipurpose furniture. If you live in a tiny home, you can invest in multipurpose furniture that doubles as storage. On the storage side, consider a console table with drawers, which provides both a surface and hidden storage. A captain's bed comes complete with drawers and shelves for extra storage. In a small living room, a coffee table can do double duty as storage space if it has shelving underneath, and you can use an ottoman for storage as well as seating.
Choose stowable furniture. If only one or two people live in your home but you want the flexibility to have a crowd over for dinner, choose a dining table that extends, and keep a stack of low-profile stools or folding chairs on hand for larger gatherings. Even switching from a rectangular dining table to a round one can save space and allow for more customizable seating. There are many options for a guest bed in a small home: If you don’t like the look of a pull-out sofa bed or don’t have the right setup for a Murphy bed, try a daybed that doubles as a couch.
Let in more natural light. Windows and natural light can make a small room look bigger and more open. Make sure your windows aren't fully hidden behind window treatments. Use mirrors strategically to reflect the light that comes from windows. If you don't have natural light, use a combination of different fixtures to create a cozy glow. If you have a small bathroom, try using a clear shower curtain to open up the space. When designing a new space, consider using skylights to add natural light to small spaces that don't allow for windows. Consider your color scheme as well: White walls reflect light, while darker colors absorb it.
Get creative with room division. If you live in a studio apartment or a small home with an open-concept living space, the absence of doors saves space, but it can also make it harder to denote room divisions. Try creating multiple nooks to designate a dining area, laundry room, or home office within a larger space. You don't have to use room dividers to achieve this—simply position the furniture in a way that makes it clear how you use each area. Curtains and sliding doors can also help create division without taking up too much space in a small apartment or tiny house.