Design Tricks to Maximize a Small Space

Posted In Knowledge - 07/26/2018

Small spaces create unique design challenges. How do you make a small room both functional and personalized without overwhelming the place? Here are some of our favorite design tricks to help you make the most of your tight quarters:


1. Incorporate Pieces that Multitask

When space is at a premium, multitasking furnishings are a must. A sleeper sofa, futon or daybed can help your living room double as a guest room, or help your studio apartment transform from living room to bedroom as the sun rises and sets.

Look for tables that can double as desks or provide storage. Find dining chairs that provide enough comfort to multitask as guest seating in the living room. When a piece of furniture can serve more than one purpose, you save space and add functionality.

2. Create Zones within Your Studio

Outfitting your first studio apartment? Make the most of your snug surroundings by creating zones within your studio. If you have room for both a sofa and a bed, creating separation with a room screen, room divider or bookcase helps separate the functional areas of your space and create privacy for your sleeping quarters. 

For compact condos dining and seating zones can be defined by area rugs and by leaving ample distance between these functional zones for traffic flow.

3. Use Mirrors and Glass to Lighten Things Up

Adding mirrors visually opens your space by reflecting light and extending your sightlines.  For closed in rooms, tight hallways and claustrophobic corners, adding a mirror gives a sense of expanded walls.  You don’t have to stick with mirrors hung on the wall, consider mirrored cabinets, tables and other home furnishings.

Glass top coffee tables, end tables and dining tables visually open up cramped rooms.  Plus they are versatile enough to complement any design style, look for bases of wood for classic rooms or sleek metal for modern flair. 

4. Scale Down: Size of Furniture Matters

An oversized sofa set can overwhelm a compact floorplan. When you are planning, be sure to account for room between furniture pieces so that you can move through the space. This also gives the calming effect of affording your eyes places to rest throughout the room. If your setting is tight there are a couple of options to try:

  • Select a style that features sleek, narrow arms and backs rather that wider, chunkier options. These will have a more delicate appearance and keep your place looking more open.
  • Choose a small sectional rather than separate sofa and loveseat pieces.  They offer a more compact way to seat 5 or more people.
  • Not all sofas are the same size; look for styles on the smaller end of the range.
  • Scale down the sofa by choosing a loveseat, settee or apartment sofa.
  • Choose a sofa and armchair instead of a sofa and loveseat.

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5. Focus on Storage

In tight spaces, storage is always at a premium. Think vertically with storage solutions by adding shelves, bookcases or tall storage cabinets. Look for tables, ottomans and benches that offer hidden storage. Use baskets, boxes and bins on shelves and under tables to stow small items.

And of course, stay organized from the start to prevent clutter before it begins. Minimize your belongings where ever possible, have a place for your possessions utilizing your closets and storage pieces to keep things put away, this will instantly open up your living space.

For more design ideas for small spaces, have a look at these articles: Apartment Style: Decor Tips for Tight Spaces and Elevated Living, 3 Furniture Tips For Small-Scale Living and  Taking Advantage of Vertical Space: How to Maximize your Storage.

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