Small living – sometimes we have to make the most of what we’re dealt with, whether it’s an 200 square foot apartment in the city, a quaint cottage guesthouse by the beach or even the tiny house movement we are obsessed with on HGTV.
It’s almost rewarding to watch someone embrace creative solutions for living life to the fullest in a small home, so we’re sharing 8 tips of the trade to pull every last inch of space out of your small home.
White, white, white
Having a blank canvas such as white walls not only gives you a clean, spacious feel, but also makes it easy for additions or regular edits. While a pop of bold color on the walls can be impactful, having to repaint it can be a burden. When you have a small space, the desire to change is more common, so stick to white walls for the ease of rearranging when the mood strikes.
In the image above, the custom white sofa fits perfectly in a nook with white walls that serve as a canvas for contrasting pops of black. Change out artwork, accessories and more when it comes to accent colors.
Go big and go home (pun intended)
A general belief is that small spaces require small pieces of furniture. But this couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, focusing on a smaller number of large pieces that have multiple functions is a better investment in the long run than acquiring several small pieces that were meant to fit a specific way. So don’t be afraid to strategically fill a small room. When carried out the right way, a small space has the capacity to transform into a larger one as a result of furnishings and decor. A large coffee table with hidden storage will become a focal point or a canopy bed can create the feel of another room in a studio apartment.
In the image above, a high counter serves as a key anchor point- it triples as a breakfast bar, extra storage space when cooking and as a separator between the kitchen and living room.
Light, light, light
If you aren’t lucky enough to have natural light, be sure to use multiple layers of lighting. Bringing in extra lighting such as sconces, table lamps or ceiling pendants will create extra brightness and you can also adjust these to match the desired ambiance of your space.
In the most ideal situation, natural light would be abundant. If this is the case, we recommend lightweight, airy curtains that allow light to diffuse and wash through a space. Consider the placement of mirrors to double the visual impact of a room. Strategically placing a mirror on a wall opposite from a window maximizes natural light and creates the feel of an extra window and an illusion of depth, and who doesn’t love a circular mirror!
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Flow and Function
Consciously curate your space down to the small details. Select items that are not only visually appealing, but are practical as well. Choose furniture that accommodates items for storage AND display so that everything has a designated place. Plan the layout of a room to allow for easy movement. Establishing a focal point will give structure to the room. Fireplaces are a good place to start, creating a flow for the room with seating arranged around this point and allowing ease of movement. If you have low ceilings, choose a statement rug to draw attention to the floor. Rugs can define areas as separate spaces and create a natural order.
If you have a narrow space, choose a long runner rug with horizontal stripes to visually widen the space.
Texture & Pattern
While the first thing to come to mind when accessorizing a room is to add a pop of color, when it comes to small spaces we opt for texture. Not only does it provide visual interest it also provides tactile interest. Bring dimension to the room and give it a personality by balancing aged woods, metals, patterned textiles, etc. We love incorporating natural elements such as rocks, shells or driftwood or organic linens and knits.
Plant, plants, plants
It’s no secret we love our greenery. Everything from the calming color of green to the simplicity of succulents, plants, whether faux or real, just add more life to a space. Hello fiddle leaf fig tree! There’s a reason it’s on every design blog and just so happens to be one of our bestsellers. In the image above, storage areas are broken up with greenery to turn them into visually pleasing vignettes.
Let It Go
Clear the shelves and surround yourself with essentials you love and have personal meaning. It feels great to shed yourself of excess clutter and makes living in a small space more comfortable. Not only will it leave you with possessions that have a truly sentimental story but it will also leave you with a calm mind. Consider passing along your item to someone else who could put it to better use- you might despise that mirror in the foyer but love it in your neighbor’s bedroom.
Get Clever with Space
After you minimize your belongings, you will be able to use otherwise obvious places for new spaces. Make a instead of unnecessary items. Consider turning a closet or otherwise unusable architectural element into a workspace nook.
What are some of your favorite ways to maximize a small space?