With their towering windows, sprawling layouts, and generous proportions, it’s easy to find decorating inspiration in the rambling homes captured on the pages of design magazines and brought to life on home renovation shows. After all, this is the land of bigger is better. But if your reality is a limited space that’s lacking in the square-footage department, don’t despair. All it takes to transform your tiny home from tin can to small wonder is a good eye and a little creative thinking. Sound easier said than done? Here are crib notes from four inspiring small spaces to help you revamp the little nooks in your humble abode. From easy storage solutions to practical space-savers, these ideas will make your see your space in a whole new light.
Feeling frustrated about your foyer situation…or lack thereof? You don’t need a grand entrance hall to make a good first impression—just a few feet of bare wall space. Start by placing a slim console or bench near your home’s front door; top it with a mirror, which bounces light around to give the space an airy, more spacious look, add discreet storage bins underneath, and sprinkle in a few accessories from lighting to decorative objects to complete the scene.
Most apartment dwellers bemoan their compact cooking spaces, blaming expensive takeout habits and unhealthy grazing on limited real estate. But the truth is even the tiniest kitchen becomes functional with the addition of a rolling island, which adds necessary storage and countertop space in one fell swoop, plus the ability to travel wherever you need it most (even if that’s out of the kitchen when company comes calling). It even doubles as a breakfast bar in a pinch. Short on upper cabinetry? An open shelving system provides a place for décor-worthy tableware and other useful items to keep at arm’s reach.
Happiness means having a place to eat your dinner that doesn’t require you to hunch in front of the television or stand at the kitchen counter. Thankfully, dining rooms come in all shapes and sizes, including this intimate corner set-up, which trades formal dinners for the current trend of casual get-togethers. Bar-height tables typically have slimmer profiles than standard dining tables, and armless chairs practically disappear when tucked underneath. Another room extender: opt for a pendant instead of a lamp, which can eat up floor or table space.
You’re lucky if you can fit a loveseat in front of your television—never mind the two sofas, two pairs of armchairs, and daybed combo that has become standard living room decor. But just because you’re low on square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. An apartment-size sectional can help maximize seating without adding bulk, while a pendant and overarching floor lamp save valuable floor space and eliminate the need for end or side tables. A versatile floor pillow or cube provides additional seating or surface area for a functional tray or book stack, as does the two-tiered cocktail table.