I tend to obsess about topics in spurts. For a while, I'll be obsessed with green beauty and skincare and blow a bunch of time/money towards that cause. Then I'll shift to fashion. Finally I'll swing to my original love, interior design.
After quite a stint in fashion the past few months, I'm feeling the inevitable shift in interest back to interior design. This is probably because my boyfriend and I plan to move to a new place before the new year, which will involve downsizing and decorating for us, not a whole household of roommates (yay!). So naturally, interior design--particularly small space design--has been on my mind. Here are some tips and tricks I've learned from living in small spaces that I plan to employ in our new home in the near future:
1. Use Smarty-Pants Furniture Placement:
As you can see from the next several images, intelligent placement of furniture not only can maximize the amount of space you have, but also create zones within your home. Here, a sofa table delineates where the dining room stops and the living area begins:
The world's tiniest office is squeezed into this living room:
Placing this chest at the foot of the bed allows the drawers to be storage but also a display space. A TV on a swivel stand would also be a good idea.
This long table works to separate the sleeping and living areas of this studio without making each space seem smaller. The rounded corners let your eye travel over and around the piece, making the space seem larger.
In the next two images, the furniture is placed so that the bed can serve as a second sofa if need be.
The opposite approach to setting up a studio room is to create a faux-wall at the foot of the bed:
This TV stand separates the living and dining areas. Behind the TV they've placed a large plant, which hides the ugly TV cords and makes the dining side much more pleasant.
2. Direct the Eye's Travel:
In small spaces, every design idea needs to have a purpose. To make a space seem larger, arrange your decor to draw the eye around the room and distract from the 'uglies.' Here, you first notice the bright juju hat, then the eye is drawn around the room by the mirror on the wall and then the patterned accent wall:
If you don't have it, fake it! A quick glance at this kitchen may make you think that the homeowner has a lovely window over the stove--nope! Just a genius print:
TVs are a necessity in most homes, but it doesn't mean they need to be the emphasis of the living room. Here, smart placement of the TV amongst a styled bookcase reduces the impact of the TV on the room design:
3. Make Storage Pretty:
The enemy of a small home is clutter; the best friend is storage. Finding ways to prettily store and display your belongings will enhance your room design. The next two images show seating with pretty baskets for storage:
This clever home-owner made porch seating double as storage:
Here, straight-lined furniture pieces like the wardrobe and dresser provide tons of storage, so the only items on display are pretty (another small-space design tip: use 2 small tables/stools as a coffee table instead of one larger, immobile one):
Not all storage has to be boxed away or hidden. Here, this person's closet looks like an art display and functions as a room divider too:
4. Maximize All Available Space:
Oftentimes we overlook small areas of our homes that can actually be useful, not just dead zones. Here a fun, functional seat was added to a small corner by the stairs:
Itty bitty bathrooms are common in small spaces. Use Ikea Ribba ledges to store essentials:
source (original unknown)
What could have been used just as a hallways is smartly turned into a temporary dining area here:
This little breakfast bar uses every inch--there's open storage with pretty containers, a fold-out bar for more seating, a chalkboard, and wine and wine glass storage.
Even the smallest areas, like the space behind a door, can be utilized, like this slim entryway shows:
Here's another example of maximizing use of a small ledge: it's a vanity area!
By using a large graphic print and a fun fabric on the bench, this tiny area is a legit little breakfast nook:
Think about whether you really 'need' furniture pieces; here we see that one can do quite well without an actual end or coffee table, as long as you have a wall sconce and floating shelf:
What are your favorite small space tips and tricks?
For more inspiration on this topic, try these posts: