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 6 tricks from space-savvy homeowners to help get your creative juices flowing.
Fill the bedroom with a large bed
Nothing may make your home feel smaller than cramming into a small bed with your significant other every night. Don’t be afraid to go with a king-sized bed even if it’s going to fill the entire bedroom, as Seattle couple Kristen and Michael Parker have done in their 600-square-foot abode. Skip the bulky nightstands and other furnishings and have your bedroom be about just a good, spacious night’s sleep. You won’t regret having that extra spot where you can stretch out, watch a movie on your laptop or read a book on a lazy afternoon.
Use a multipurpose floating cabinet beneath your TV
Media cabinets usually end up serving one purpose: holding the TV and electronics. In a small home, that’s not very efficient. Instead, consider a floating cabinet beneath a wall-mounted TV, like the setup shown here in Shoreline, WA resident Abby Taylor's 717-square-foot home. The top can serve as display space or a home bar, while the cabinets can store electronics, movies or whatever else you need. Meanwhile, the open floor space below keeps things feeling airy and makes cleaning a breeze.
Keep a single comfy chair on hand
If you share your small home with someone, it can be difficult to find private space. Like Baylor Chapman, the owner of this San Francisco 850-square-foot home, having a single comfy chair on hand can create an intimate space where anyone can kick back and relax with a book or cup of coffee. Setting it in a corner or off to the side lets anyone else know that when you’re in this spot, it’s all about you-time.
Consider wall-mounted lights
In a cramped bedroom, every square inch of surface space counts. Take it from Lamont and Cori Magee, owners of this 750-square-footer in L.A. 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 in San Francisco residents Kristian Hansen and Megan Harmon's 350-square-foot apartment, is a great option to create display space or workspace without too much visual noise.
Related: Replace a Table With a Tray
Hold out for furniture that has meaning
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, Seattle-based Mitchell Pride borrowed money from his parents and paid them back over time to get just what he wanted for his 450-square-footer.