10 Ways to Live Large in a (Very) Small Space

Living in big cities often means residing in small spaces. When space is a premium, you have to find creative ways to make do with less real estate. Decorating small spaces can be a challenge, but can also lead to super smart design solutions. Multifunctional furniture is key, as is maximizing your layout by using every inch of both floor and wall space. Light and airy colors and streamlined furniture can help keep a small space from closing in on you. Whether you live in a studio apartment, or need to better utilize that tiny room tucked away in your house, check out these space-saving design tips and tricks. You can live large— or at least, make the most of small space living.

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Make More of Less

When it comes to apartment living, it’s not how much space you have but how well you use it. For many people, the benefits of living in an urban area outweigh the inconveniences of residing in a minuscule 400-square-foot apartment. While a tiny footprint can be challenging, there are plenty of ways to make it work—and work well. 

Armoire Antidote

Think your place is too small for a home office? Think again. Beautiful and functional, an armoire-turned-home-office may be just the thing to remedy your spatial dilemma.

On the Double


If apartment space is at a premium, make your furniture serve double duty. Place a wooden chest or bench at the foot of your bed and use it to store clothing and blankets, or provide extra seating.

Look Up

When there’s no more room to spread out, spread up. Make the most of your apartment’s wall space by hanging shelves as high as 18 inches below the ceiling in any room. 

Stay in the Clear

Besides giving your apartment a clean, modern appearance, clear acrylic, or Lucite, furniture takes up less visual space than traditional wood pieces.

On the Ledge

If your bathroom is feeling cramped, you can create extra storage space by mounting a shallow ledge near your sink. Use it to hold lotions, face wash, toothbrushes, and other items you use daily; store the rest of your toiletries in decorative baskets or out of sight.

Keep It Light

Light colors don’t necessarily mean pastels, but they do mean the illusion of a larger room. Painting your walls in a shade anywhere from a pristine white to a sunny yellow is an easy fix that makes any room seem airier and more open. 

Hang It!

Save counter and cupboard space by hanging pots and pans directly on the walls in the kitchen. Wall-mounted pot racks are an excellent option, or you can make one of your own with pegboard and hooks.

Mirror Illusions

Borrow a trick from the world of magic by placing a large decorative mirror behind a sofa or bed. The mirror not only frames the furniture, it instantly creates the illusion of a much larger space.

Divide and Conquer

Beyond just holding books, magazines, and artwork, a strategically placed bookcase can act as a room divider that helps define a space. Two rooms for the price of one!

Embrace the Light

Even a small room will appear large when flooded with natural light. If you have few windows, consider installing blinds or shades that will soften rather than block the light. Also, avoid large pieces of furniture that can prevent light from filtering through the space.