Constraint breeds creativity. And in no place is this more true than in not-big homes. Give someone 1,000 square feet or less and he or she is bound to come up with clever design decisions that make home life more enjoyable. Here are 16 tricks from space-savvy homeowners to help get your creative juices flowing
In a tight space, sharp corners are your enemy. Avoid that awkward sidestep shuffle by going for round dining and coffee tables to create better traffic flow. It’ll make your space feel more open.
Consider wall-mounted lights.
In a cramped bedroom, every square inch of surface space counts. Instead of filling slim nightstand tops with bulky lamps, consider adding wall-mounted lights instead to free up that space for books, phones and more.
Get a clear acrylic desk
One go-to designer trick in small spaces is to incorporate barely-there or see-through pieces. A clear acrylic desk, like the one shown here, is a great option to create display space or workspace without too much visual noise.
Add a table for two
Sure, a large dining set for six might not make sense for your space and lifestyle, but a small table for two can have a big payoff. It won’t take up a ton of room, so you can tuck one in a tight corner or just off your kitchen. Being able to have a sit-down meal with your significant other or friend rather than sitting on the floor at your coffee table will make your home feel so much grander. It can also double as a work area, reading nook or table for a morning coffee ritual.
Get a hanging rack for pots
Small homes usually mean small kitchens. And that in turn means kitchen cabinets stuffed with food and utensils. A great way to free up vital cabinet space is to pull those bulky pans out of storage and hang them on a rack. It will put them within arm’s reach and even add a bit of shine to your space.
This can be true for any home, but it’s extra important in a small space, where the things you have are always in your line of sight from almost anywhere you are. Plus, in small spaces, you tend to interact with your furnishings more, as the pieces you own often do double duty — your dining table is your office desk, for instance.For the midcentury Danish teak dining chairs shown here, Mitchell Pride borrowed money from his parents and paid them back over time to get just what he wanted.
It’s kind of a no-brainer, but if you’re looking to make the most of your space, having less stuff to fill it should be your first step. Ask yourself if you really need that TV and media cabinet, or two bulky nightstands, or a large dining table. Embracing minimalism and thinking about how your home can extend into the city around you — the library, coffee shops, parks, and so on — might help you reconsider the things you think you need.
Add more countertop space
Don’t settle for the countertops you’re given. Look for carts, tables and cabinets that can offer more surface and storage space. Here, two thin wooden tables get the job done.
Provide flexible seating
If you don’t entertain that often — most of the time it’s just you, or you and your significant other or friend, lounging around on the sofa — you might wonder why you have so much bulky furniture. Instead, consider Chinese garden stools, benches and other flexible seating options that can be tucked away when not in use or can serve double duty as tables. That way you’ll have the extra seats on hand for when you do have people over, but won’t feel like your space is overcrowded with furniture when you’re just flying solo.
Splurge on a statement feature
Oftentimes in small spaces, the decorating budget gets spread out evenly among the design decisions. To kick things up, consider splurging on a statement feature, such as covering a fireplace wall in a stunning accent tile, as was done in this New York City living room.
Create an entryway
Just because you have a small home, don’t ignore the features of bigger homes. It’s important, for example, to create an entryway even if your space doesn’t exactly have one. Here, a slim shelf, a mirror and an urn deliver a big-home feature.