Limited square footage doesn’t have to limit your design potential. In fact, the options are almost endless when it comes to small space design!
Anyone who has tuned in to Tiny House, Big Living on HGTV’s sister channel, or The DIY Network, knows the awe-inspiring heights decor can reach in the coziest of living arrangements. These tiny homes are as well designed as the fancy listings on My Lottery Dream Home for a lot less money to boot.
Our 8 Tips for Mastering Small Space Design
The secret to replicating the magic? These small-space designers know you don’t need a sprawling floor plan to accommodate a chic aesthetic. They have mastered the art of maximizing small spaces.
Whether you’re working with a 500-square-foot apartment or need one or more rooms in your home to serve multiple purposes, the key is optimization.
Having extra square footage is not a luxury for many homeowners and apartment dwellers. In that case, it’s time to get creative with products that serve double duty. Solving small space problems can be easy, affordable, and even fun.
These DIY ideas will utilize every inch of square footage to its fullest potential.
Ready-to-install Lori Bed
Purchasing a Murphy bed speaks to the optimization innovative designers value. The Lori Bed is designed to be a functional and stylish addition to any room, tight or otherwise. It’s an answer for both people seeking to maximize a small space and those who need one room to meet multiple needs.
(Ever wondered about the history of the Murphy bed? Read all about it here)
For example, a guest room can easily become an office by installing a Lori Bed. And if you live in a studio apartment, your bed no longer has to double as living room seating.
Simply lift up the Lori Bed using your and your lifting partner's strength and “ta-da,” you have two well-defined and distinct spaces. The bed even has stylish storage shelves on the outer face when folded up.
If you're only familiar with traditional Murphy beds, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn about ready-to-assemble Lori Beds. Made from 100 percent real wood, these are not your old school wall beds with elaborate springs and metal frames, which can be downright dangerous to install. Lori Beds’ step-by-step directions and video tutorial make it easy to transform the layout of your space in one afternoon.
(Get some small space design inspiration with Murphy beds from this post next)
Like a wall bed, fold-away console desks can instantly transform the function of a tight space. In addition to installing a hassle-free, ready-to-assemble Lori Bed, a folding desk achieves the same space-saving savvy as a Murphy bed. In tandem with a Lori Bed, a folding desk is a home run for a guest bedroom that doubles as an office space.
Compact and beautiful, folding desks can be tucked into any area, either as a small side table or an extended console. When you don’t need a place to type away or pay the bills, fold the front panel of the desk down, so you’re not bumping into its tabletop.
This small folding desk on Amazon is a perfect space saver.
Incorporate floating shelves in your small space design
Look to the walls if you don’t have enough floor space to accommodate a traditional cabinet or storage unit. Mounting floating shelves is a genius space-saver that will keep you organized in a chic way. Floating shelves can help with decluttering, but they can also double as creative wall art.
Mirrored walls might be the oldest trick in the book when it comes to giving the illusion of having a larger space. That’s because it works every time.
Mirrors bounce light further into the room, which illuminates the entire space, making it feel bigger. Mounting a mirror near a window is very effective if your goal is to bring in more natural light without a significant renovation.
Depending on your wall space and personal design aesthetic, you may use one or more mirrors.
Magnetic knife rack
Limited counter space is a top complaint among those with small kitchens. By the time the essentials — toaster, coffee pot, microwave, etc. — have taken their rightful place on the countertop, there is often not enough room for much more. Magnetic knife racks are a great storage solution if a traditional butcher block is not an option.
The magnetic strips are strong enough to secure all blade sizes, plus there is a wide range of finishes on the market, from Mid-Century modern to farmhouse chic, to suit any aesthetic.
This eco-friendly bamboo wood magnetic holder on Amazon securely stores knives and other metal utensils.
Electric charging station
Wires, wires everywhere. This is the plight of 21st Century living. Organizing wires to plug in your devices is not only a space-saving hack, but it is also a headache-saving hack.
Chic wooden charging stations easily conceal wires in a unit that’s easy to look at. Plus, it’s an organizational dream because you won’t be fussing with unplugging and replugging cables to figure out what cord powers what device.
(Optimizing your small space design is especially important if you're working from home. Here are some creative ways to improve your work-from-home space)
The Ollieroo 100-percent eco-friendly bamboo charging station can accommodate up to seven devices in one spot. Find it on Amazon.
A classic solution to making a small space appear larger is choosing the right color palette. Dark colors tend to absorb light and make the room look smaller. On the other hand, softer tones make the room look larger. This small space design tip is all about capturing the light.
To maximize a small space, grab a paintbrush. Interior design professionals recommend neutral tans, light grays, bright whites, and rich blue-green tones.
Ottoman with storage
Kick your feet up on a pretty and plush ottoman with secret storage. Ottomans are a great solution to a small space storage problem because of their versatility. They can serve as bonus seating, a coffee table or a side table, all while concealing clutter.
This faux leather ottoman bench on Amazon is a perfect example of chic space-saving furniture.
Bottom line: You don’t need a lot of space to have a lot of style. Function and form make great partners in your quest to maximize your cozy space. The perfect example of this is the Lori Bed. These projects are chic and clever, but you’ll also have the added sense of self-accomplishment every time you admire your DIY handiwork.
Did you learn a lot about small space design in this post? Here are three more to read next:
- How-To Create The Perfect Guest Room For Your Overnight Visitors
- The Best Examples of Murphy Beds in Tiny Homes
- Maximize your Space with these Stylish and Practical Home Furnishings
This post was first published in 2020, but it was updated in 2022 just for you.