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REAL ESTATE

Tricks to Make the Most of a Small Space

  • Screen-Shot-2016-06-09-at-2-95bba58f9a795510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    A kitchen island can serve as a dining room table, saving space.

  • Screen-Shot-2016-06-09-at-3-95bba58f9a795510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    Lights aimed upwards make ceilings seem higher.

  • under-stairs-95bba58f9a795510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    The space under the stairs is great for open shelving.

  • hammock-95bba58f9a795510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    Oversize hammocks add comfort and fun to your loft space.

Whether by choice or necessity, born out of a desire to save the Earth or just some money, many people are choosing to live with less space. But minimal square footage doesn't mean these residents are suffering -- on the contrary, people are coming up with plenty of clever ways to make a small space feel spacious.

That's according to a new book just out by Harper Design, " 150 Best Tiny Home Ideas." In it, author Manel Gutierrez Couto shares tips on how to add more breathing room to cramped quarters. Check out some of the smartest strategies below.

Install a big hammock

Hammocks are so comfy, so why not install a huge one where people can lounge or read? It lets light through with minimal bulk or construction, plus it will be the talk of any visitor to your home.

Aim lights upward

If your home has low ceilings, angle lights upward and toward the walls. This creates the illusion of height.

Skip the dining room table entirely

Everyone knows that the dining room table doesn't get much action these days since people are eating at kitchen islands or bars. So why not go all the way and eliminate your dining room table altogether? Live life dangerously! Install a large kitchen island, and you've got plenty of room for a meal -- which leaves you even more room for everything else.

Install benches against walls

A long bench built against the wall provides plenty of seating without filling a space with furniture. That leaves your floor free of clutter. (Bonus: You can add storage under your benches as well.)

Put a roof over the great outdoors

You can create more livable space outdoors with a large awning or umbrella over your deck. During nice weather, it's like having a whole new room you can use.

Make the most of forgotten spaces

That forlorn area under the stairs often goes to waste -- which makes it a great place to revamp as storage with open shelving (in the photo below, the shelves actually are the stairs). In general, open shelving creates a sense of more space, compared with closed-door cupboards, so consider them in your kitchen, too. They also force you to be tidy, since all is open to view.

Create rooms you can move

Mobile bedrooms you can move outside are kind of like the new glamping: It gives the sensation of sleeping in the outdoors and frees up the interior of the house.

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Watch: Do You Need to Remodel Before You Sell?