Making Room: 10 Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Could you live in 132 square feet of space?  New York City building law defines this as an apartment.  YIKES!  It would certainly force one to prioritize.

One of the most helpful design courses in college was Small Space Design.   Because even outside of Manhattan — where the 2014 Census Bureau measured the average American home at 2,600 sq ft — one of homeowners’ biggest concerns is “WE NEED MORE SPACE.”

“Editing” is always a good idea, and is a design term for “getting rid of stuff!”  But it’s hard to let go of your kids old board games, that set of Holiday mugs that never seems to get used, and the clothes in the back of your closet that you might wear again…someday.  So, we say, design your space to accommodate the Clue and Monopoly boards, tuck away the 90’s denim and still have room for more!

Below are a few of the gems of wisdom that were gleaned from the classroom and design lessons learned along the way when it comes to making small spaces live large.

1. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERY THING IN ITS PLACE.

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Photo by Annie Schlecter via MyDomaine.com

The closet above makes use of every square inch, and though small on space, it’s big on design details like the hanging lamp, rug, mirrored doors, and custom built-ins.  Doesn’t this make you want to run to the nearest Container Store?

2. BUILT-IN FURNITURE (and closet shelving like above) SAVES SPACE AND PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE.

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Image via Homedit.com

This small office works well with built-in filing cabinets, computer nook and lighting.

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Shelving built around and above windows.  Brilliant!

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Though not deep shelving, it’s shelving! (Love the sliding door –  see Tip #7.)

3. THERE ARE STORAGE OPPORTUNITIES HIDING BETWEEN WALL STUDS.

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Image via bhg.com

Medicine cabinets, open shelving and niches can all be placed between wall studs.

4. SHARP CORNERS IN SMALL SPACES ARE AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

Round the corners of furniture and counters for an easy, comfortable flow.

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Image via Houzz

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5. MIRRORS, AND OTHER REFLECTING SURFACES, VISUALLY ENLARGE A SPACE.

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Above, a mirrored backsplash helps visually enlarge a tiny apartment kitchen.

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This hallway has it all: mirrored walls, a glossy floor and a glass entry door add shine and reflect light.

6. GLASS TABLES, LAMPS AND LIGHTING FIXTURES ALMOST DISAPPEAR CREATING THE ILLUSION OF SPACE.

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Can you find the chair in the picture above?  We also like how this mirror reflects the real window on the adjacent wall.

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7. SWINGING DOORS EAT UP VALUABLE SPACE. IF POSSIBLE, GET RID OF THEM!

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Image via bhg.com

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A modern sliding shower door helps in ‘space challenged’ bathrooms.

8. UNIFORM COLORS VISUALLY ENLARGE A SPACE 

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Image via Surroundings Interiors

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9. EXTEND YOUR CEILINGS WITH PAINT OR WALL PAPER

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Image via House Beautiful

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Image via House Beautiful

10. GET AWAY FROM THE WALLS

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Moving furniture even a few inches from walls expands the feel of a room.  Seems a bit counterintuitive but give it a try, it works!

There are so many space saving tips.  We could write a book on this subject.   Make the most out of every inch  to maximize your storage and create an open and inviting space.  Go big on creativity and make your small space work for you!

Unless noted Images Via House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Pinterest

2 thoughts on “Making Room: 10 Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

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