Decorating Ideas,  Organization

The Secrets To Maximize A Small Space With Flair and Style

Tiny spaces require ingenuity and creativity to make them great living and work space.  Here are some highly actionable design ideas for maximizing a small space.

Colorful Daybed with storage - Small Space

I learned about living in small spaces and maximizing every inch honestly.  You see my first apartment in NYC was a one room walk up that couldn’t have been more than 300 square feet. The kitchen was smaller than those on airplanes and my bathroom was so tiny I had to hold my breath to close the door.  But what made that apartment magic was the location on Broadway, the low rent and of course my creativity.

Learning to make that small space work was challenging and required a double dose of ingenuity because I had no budget.  The tricks I used back then are still relevant today for maximizing any space, especially a small one.

Maybe you are preparing to downsize. Or maybe you will need to help a young person starting out.  Whatever, the challenge – you’ll need to start thinking smaller.

Even if you have plenty of room, these ideas could still help make your living spaces do more.

Here are my design ideas to consider for maximizing a small space.

Think Scale – Size Does Matter

Scale is a critical element in decorating a small space.  Select medium and small scale furniture items.

Did you know a standard sized sofa usually runs 6 to 8 feet long and runs 32 to 40 inches deep.  An 8 foot sofa will work perfectly in large room with an 8′ foot or higher ceiling a but it can easily overwhelm a small room.  To avoid costly buying mistakes:

  • Map out your maximum sofa & chair size with painters tape on your floor.

Sofa styles -

A 6′ sofa and modern, streamlined styles work well in small spaces.

  • Always shop with a tape measurer
  • Avoid oversized furniture features such as large rolled arms on sofas and chairs
  • Modern, streamlined looks really good in small spaces.

Think Glass and Mirrors – To Create The Illusion Of Space

It’s a trick on the eyes, but mirrors definitely make the square footage appear larger.  Mirrored furniture, lucite and glass also lighten the weight of a room.

Antique mirror in bedroom - small spaces

Tips for using mirrors:

  • Place a large mirror behind a furniture to reflect the other side of the room side.
  • Add a wall of mirrors
  • Place a mirror near a lamp or another light source to reflect light in the room.

Wall of mirrors - small spaces

Mirrors reflect light and the reflection gives the illusion of more space

Think Utilize The Space Under The Stairs

Under stairs drawer storage

Built in drawers are worth the investment because they provide excellent storage and easy access.

Under stairs box shelves

Bookcases and modular cubes are stacked into a great space saving wall of highly functional storage.

office under the stairs - how to build a houseA complete office was carved out under the staircase.

Think Multifunctional – Furniture that does double duty or has hidden storage


15804Ottomans / Cocktail table as Fold-away bed




This ottoman by BoConcepts becomes a twin sized bed in minutes.

Desk in a box - small spaces

This “desk in a box” can be used as a side table when closed.

Think Organize and Concur Clutter – In Plain View 

Honor your small space with organization and style.  There are so many tools available to help you organize your clutter.

Makeup OrganizationUsing tools to stay organized – Also, If you see it, you’ll use it

Pullout jewelry racks

Jewelry – Display in Plain Sight – Seeing it will make you use it.  Hang the necklaces and bracelets you where often or want to wear often.


A jewelry bulletin board is so easy to make and hang in your closet.

For Kitchen tips click to read my post – Organize your pantry

Think Calm, Cool & Collected Color – It Only Takes A Little Pop

Your color story can help expand the illusion of space.  For example:

  • Select a neutral color palette and add pops of color, or
  • Choose a tone-on-tone color palette in your favorite hue and mix patterns

Color pop in a small room - Small spaces

Pops of color in movable ottomans and personality to a monotone room

Colorful Daybed with storage - Small Space

Built in storage makes this colorful daybed keep you organized and do double duty.

No matter what is the size your home, all of us face challenges with maximizing our spaces.  I hope you found something that you can use in your home.

Since, I’ve never met a woman who said her closet was big enough to fit all her stuff.  I’ll do a post on maximizing your closet space.  Check back again, the closet is worth a post all by itself.

Until next time …

Splendid Habitat signature