Interior Storage

These Are the Smartest Home Improvements for Small Houses

With a little creativity, you can turn a modest home into a seemingly more spacious abode.

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Small homes have many benefits. They usually bring visions of charming spaces with less square footage to maintain, allowing family members and friends to gather in cozy quarters. However, there’s no denying small homes often lack the easy flow and storage options of their larger counterparts. And yet, the opportunities to make a small home feel more organized and spacious are plentiful. A little creativity and insight is all you need to maximize a small house’s potential.

Tackle the Nooks and Crannies

Small homes often have awkward spaces that seem unusable. Reimagine what’s possible: the space beneath the stairwell can be transformed into a storage space for shoes, books, a dog bed area, or even a tiny zen den for reading a book.

Let in the Natural Light

If your small house doesn’t get enough natural light, try to solve that. A simple skylight in the entryway or in the bedrooms will allow sunshine to stream in and brighten up the home. The more light, the more spacious a home feels.

Related: Skylight Innovation Rescues 6 Sunless Spaces

Decorate the Loft

A loft is a charming addition to a home, but the awkward space is often overlooked. With a ladder up to the tiny space, it can become a bedroom or another multi-use room. Make it a little library and guest space by adding a small bed and rows of books, which often make for the prettiest functional decor.

Try a Tray Ceiling

Just because a small house may not have vaulted ceilings doesn’t mean you can’t hack the look. Tray ceilings can exude a feeling of spaciousness in small rooms. Choose a singular color from wall to ceiling to impart expansiveness, and use an ornate crown molding to draw the eye up.

Install Recessed Lighting

A large chandelier that dangles low can be a gorgeous sight, but for low ceilings, the look can make a space feel crowded. The same can be said for table lamps. The best bet for small houses is to install recessed lighting and track lighting. Recessed lighting will provide the overhead lighting to make the home feel bigger, while track lighting will do the job of lighting up specific spaces like shelves and side tables.

Related: 8 Common Lighting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Utilize Mirrors

Mirrors are a practical investment. Hung on the wall or leaned against it, mirrors add luxury to a space. When properly placed, their reflection can make a space feel larger. The most effective placement is facing opposite a window, since the mirror will reflect the outdoors and natural light.

Embrace an Open Concept

Individual rooms allow for each area of the home to feel like it has its own dignified use, but small rooms can make a home feel cramped. For a small house, consider knocking down a non-load-bearing wall or two to open the home up. The dining room, living room, and kitchen can all be one big room, evoking the feeling of a large home. Just be sure to consult a professional to ensure the wall you want to remove isn’t load-bearing.

Make Multipurpose Rooms

Think outside the box and see each room as an opportunity to serve more than one purpose. For example, a home office also could be used as a guest room when needed. Simply place a pull-out couch in the office, so when guests come, it can be pulled out and nicely decorated.

Related: The Best Paint Colors for a Home Office

Utilize the Great Outdoors

For a small house on a small lot, there may not be a ton of outdoor space, but that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying some fresh air. Foldaway furniture allows for even the smallest lawns, patios, or stoops to be transformed into an outdoor seating area for al fresco dinners or afternoon reading sessions.

Go Light

From the floors to the ceiling, using light colored paint helps create the illusion of a larger space. Lighten up wood floors by sanding and refinishing with a lighter stain, which can reflect more light. If there are dark carpets, consider installing lighter laminate flooring to brighten up the space.

Related: The Best Paint Colors for Low-Light Rooms