Home Improvement

How to stretch your small space

  • Chris Snook/Houzz

     (Chris Snook/Houzz)

  • Cream & Black Interior Design/Houzz

     (Cream & Black Interior Design/Houzz)

  • Elayne Barre Photography/Houzz

     (Elayne Barre Photography/Houzz)

If you’re struggling with a lack of space, you’re certainly not the only one: Many people have to find ways to maximize their compact homes. Check out these creative ideas, and be inspired to make the most of your small space.

1. Make furniture multitask. With small spaces, particularly kitchens, storage is often one of the biggest issues. Be clever with your furniture pieces and choose items that maximize their footprint.

2. Employ a coherent palette. It can be tricky to create harmony in a space when you’re trying to squeeze in so much, particularly if different areas have different functions. One way to zone a space while keeping it fuss-free is to choose a color palette and simply vary the tones for each zone so that they’re distinct but harmonious.

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3. Go big on artwork. Never assume that your space is too small for artwork. In fact, it can visually open up a room. Instead of crowding it, paintings add depth and seem to widen the room.

4. Fold it away. Folding furniture can transform a teeny overcrowded space into an efficient multifunctional room. A living room can convert to a comfortable bedroom thanks to a wall bed that folds down over a low-level sofa. A good-quality sofa bed would also do the trick if you’re after a more affordable and less custom solution.

5. Exploit your levels. A great way to gain space is to make use of all the levels in your home. Raising a bed can give you room for all sorts of things underneath.

6. Divide and store. Another idea to make a small space work for all your needs is to zone it with wall dividers. But rather than lose the space, why not do something creative and turn the divider into a piece of storage itself? Sneak in cabinets and shelves, and you’ll find you’ve added valuable surface area and managed to separate your spaces effectively.

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7. Let your furniture do the talking. If you live in a small home, own many a treasured piece of furniture and are trying not to overwhelm the space, a good solution is to paint your walls white and let your belongings take center stage.

Creating a white backdrop is a useful design trick that can enhance all kinds of small spaces.

8. Use odd features to your advantage. You may not have a bedroom in the treetops, but there’s an important lesson to be learned from a tiny treehouse home: Don’t let awkward features inhibit your ambitions.

Whether you have chunky branches, an unused fireplace or another bulky detail, give serious thought to how to position your furniture, and you’ll be sure to find a small-space solution that makes the best of the awkward feature.

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9. Seek out salvaged materials. Tiny homes have one big benefit: They don’t need endless quantities of materials to equip them. And that’s a serious advantage if you love using remnants and recycled bits and pieces that are unlikely to come in abundant lengths.

10. Stick to the essentials. If there’s one thing a tiny space will force you to do, it’s figure out what’s really important. Think hard about what you really need and use in your home, and be strict about sticking to just those items.

Whether that means cutting out some appliances, slimming down your wardrobe or limiting your library of books, being careful about what you allow into your home will make it a much nicer space in the long run.

11. Explore every angle. Unusual-shaped walls and a small footprint shouldn’t deter you from creating an interior you love.

If you have a small and awkward space and can’t work out how to configure it, it’s worth calling in a professional who can help you come up with clever ideas and bring them to life. Customizing may cost a little more, but it can be a worthwhile investment if you want to maximize your space.

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12. Design a hardworking headboard. If your bedroom is tight for space, but you’re desperate to squeeze in a little desk or perhaps extra shelving, don’t overlook your headboard as a potential solution.

For just a couple of extra inches added on to the length of your bed, you’ll gain valuable space to meet some of your needs.