The Size Challenge| How to Design for Small Spaces


I think it might be safe to say, small spaces are shaking up the expectations of how we live. The typical American Dream is all about the big house, but many people are choosing to shy away from this (who wants to clean that, anyway?) and instead opting for more humble abodes that challenge the stereotype of how happiness is defined. Small spaces are new and hip, but also come with their own set of challenges. With less space, and relatively the same amount of stuff, you have to be creative in order to keep everything organized. This doesn’t mean that small spaces can’t be jam packed with style though! Take the below examples as inspiration and see how to keep your space stylish, and organized.

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The key to creating a well functioning space, is to be purposeful with the items you are choosing. Choose pieces that multitask like a pro! For example, choose an ottoman as a coffee table that also holds extra seats or even provides a space for storage. A sofa bed is also a great multi use item for a small space. If most of the things you are choosing serve more than one purpose, it is much easier to fit what you want and make the space feel larger than it is.

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Make sure to get creative with organization as well! Choose storage bins that also serve as decor, that way you aren’t constantly trying to hide your storage.  Like this dining and living room shelf that acts as storage for the dishes while also being a pretty cute bar cart and focal point all in one. It perfectly fills up the wall space while also acting as storage.

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Small spaces don’t have to hold you back from having a stylish home, just make sure to choose things that are both functional and stylish. Divide spaces into designated zones (living, dining, bedroom, etc.) without interrupting the visual flow of the space. Try to avoid large, chunky furniture pieces or tall bookcases that will stop your eye from seeing all the way through the space. Keeping things light and airy will make the space seem larger, but that doesn’t mean color is not an option! Use it selectively on one large piece or focal wall and try not to fill the entire room with darker tones. A pop of color will go a long way in a small space.

Mixing in patterns with your color choices will bring more interest into the space, and tall window treatments will bring your eye up to create the illusion of taller ceilings. Hang your rod higher than the top of the window, when possible, and choose window treatments that are semi-opaque so light can come in but you can’t see straight through to the wall. Lastly, don’t forget to use mirrors! They naturally make any space look larger and reflect colors to other places so your design goes further!

Stay tuned on Wednesday for more tips about living in a small space, college graduate edition! If you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts.


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