Thursday, February 23, 2012

From House to Home: Decorating Small Spaces

 I often get asked by friends to help them decorate a small apartment or home-  It can be tough!  I have experienced this design dilemma first hand: Living 2 years in a college sorority house and then a couple apartments with less than 700 square feet will drive you crazy if you don't learn how to design properly! This picture was taken at one of those tiny apartments- this dresser served as book storage, underwear drawer, medicine cabinet, and about a million other things.



My first tip is to decorate with armless furniture.  This keeps a space feeling open and continuous.  No harsh lines separate a couch or chair from the rest of the open room and give the illusion of more space.


See how this armless couch helps create an unfettered space and doesn't prevent traffic flow?  You can approach the couch from either side.  I love it!

In a small apartment or house, storage space is imperative.  Often closets are rather small and there isn't much built-in shelving.  So what's a decorista to do?  


Make your own storage, of course! Utilize a book shelf or cabinet already in your home. Then, hang curtains to hide the mess! To create mini curtains like the ones shown in the image above, buy an adjustable curtain rod and use curtain valances to add a pretty touch.  Curtains are ideal because they provide easy access to your items and can be dressed in whatever fabric you like. 


Another space-saving trick is to invest in furniture with built-in storage. There are many furniture pieces that open up to provide storage for blankets, magazines, books, and the like.
  This trellis-patterned ottoman does just that.


Your bed can also provide storage space underneath-  and even inside!





In a restricted apartment or home, every inch of space must be used.  But that doesn't mean it can't be pretty!  Adding a few floor cushions underneath your coffee table will provide guests with additional seating.


The last trick I am going to share today to maximize a small floor plan is to utilize dead space.  Dead space is space created by furniture blocks- i.e. the back of a couch in the middle of a room.  In this room, the glass console provides additional light and decor accents for the dead space created by the couch.


We want to use every last square inch of our home, which often means a piece of furniture should serve multiple purposes.  For instance, this glass console serves as a desk by sliding a chair underneath.  If entertaining, simply move the chair to a wall for additional seating and use the desk/console as a buffet.

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Do you have a favorite trick to optimize living space? Do share!

25 comments:

  1. We had floor pillows in our first apt but I gave them away when we moved to our house. Now I kind of wish I had them back becuase me boys would love them! Great tips and beautiful inspiration pics!

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  2. That mirrored side table on the first image is amazing. I'm dying for two of those for our grand master bedroom that's the size of a closet ;)

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  3. I just turned my unused dining room into an office for more space for the things I do most! You can read about it here: loulouslifelessons.com

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  4. Such great tips Sam!! I love the idea of curtains on shelves. Right now I have various baskets on our bookshelves that look nice but also provide storage. Beautiful images!

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  5. Lovely shots thanks for sharing


    Eda ♥

    www.candyflosscurlscupcakesandcouture.blogspot.com

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  6. Great tips! Small space living is tough, but fun as you can get so creative. I love the desk behind the couch look, and I wish I had that bed that lifts up to reveal hollow storage underneath! So cool.

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  7. Such great tips! Thanks for sharing; this is very helpful! :)
    xo, www.glamorsham.blogspot.com

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  8. Love your mirrored side table, Z Gallerie???? How sweet and fem is that room?

    Also love that trellis pattern ottoman.

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  9. We live in a SMALL one bedroom apartment and I loved reading all your tricks. A lot of them I hadn't heard before and can't wait to try out.

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  10. Great tips! I live in a small apartment and I definitely have the under-the-bed storage trick! It's AMAZING. xo

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

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  11. Loving all of these great tips! Good looking furniture that doubles as storage seems to be key for apartment living!

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  12. Interesting post! I love having built in drawers under the bed for storing spare bedding etc. Love the trellis ottoman and the unusual rust and teal colour scheme (gorgeous painting)in the third form the last photo.
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

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  13. Love the use of the colorful pillows! So perfect!

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  14. Great post! Too bad we don't live in the same city, I would have you over for a glass of wine and to help me decorate!

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  15. Love your tips, great job!
    I use mirrors a lot to open up the space, maximize storage oppty's and glass tables, etc.
    Nancy
    http://www.powellbrower.com/

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  16. I love using my bed for storage. Really good idea.

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  17. Love these tips! I could definitely have used you in the many apartments I've been in!

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  18. Love all these tips! I have been living in small spaces since college and it definitely makes want to utilize every square foot you can! Love that mirrored side table in the first photo!

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  19. yea, my living space is tiny, so often it gets cluttered, I need to find a way to work with the space, I like the beds with the drawers underneath!! would definitely help with storage!

    <3Amanda
    feast.fashion.faves
    FFF's My Memories Suite Giveaway

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  20. Closet organizers!!! :) Great post :)

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  21. love your insight! I need to hire you :)

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  22. All decorations are so pretty, and giving an idea to save space. Specially that multi purpose bed is really worth.

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