Stylish Small Space Living

Posted by: on January 28th, 2011 | 5 Comments
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Contrary to popular belief, not everyone prefers a modern-day “McMansion” when it comes to their living space. Many of us still choose to reside in houses or apartments that are not necessarily super-sized. Making a small space feel more abundant (while still remaining stylish) requires a plan and some creativity, but it can certainly be done!

Your Living or Great Room
One of the most important rules for maximizing your family room or living room area is to select furniture pieces with built-in storage space. These types of units allow you to store items such as ottomans or rolling cubes away until you need them.  Likewise, a bi-level coffee table offers twice as much surface area for stacking books and trinkets.

To create an ample-sized seating area for guests, opt for an armless sofa and armless chairs, which are less bulky and allow for seating more people. A side table with built-in drawers is the perfect place to keep coasters, magazines and remote controls.  Curtains and window valances also tend to draw the eye up, creating the illusion of a higher living room ceiling.

Your Kitchen
Take advantage of any extra kitchen wall space by mounting open shelves. In addition to providing extra storage space, open shelving offers a place to display dishes and glassware. Pull-out cabinets and chopping blocks are also great space-savers, as are hanging pot racks. Opt for compact models of appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerator freezers.

Your Dining Area
Mirrors are a great way to make a dining room look and feel bigger.  A mid-sized dining table is best so as not to overpower the room. If it works with your overall décor scheme, lucite chairs take up almost no visual space, are lightweight and easy to clean.

Folding screens can also hide a multitude of sins…try placing them in corners to cover up a radiator or air conditioning unit. Another utilitarian piece for the dining area is a bar cart, which can be positioned close to the table to serve guests or wheeled completely out of the way.

Your Bedroom
To enhance spaciousness – as well as evoke a soothing, relaxing environment – start with a neutral color palette. Large, bold patterns in a smaller space can make the room feel cramped. Keep colors and patterns on the bed and any bedroom furniture toned down and add pops of color with small accessories to create visual interest around the room. Consider installing track lighting or recessed lighting on the ceiling, as lighting a bedroom from above reduces the clutter of multiple desk or nightstand lamps.

Your Bathroom
To achieve maximum appeal with minimum square footage, eliminate any items in your bathroom that you don’t absolutely need. The more clutter you have, the smaller your bathroom will appear. A neutral color scheme will make the space appear larger, as will adding mirrors.  A pedestal sink (as opposed to a vanity) also makes a bathroom appear more spacious and adding a vertical cabinet provides an abundance of storage space without taking up much room.

For more unique, stylish ideas of how to best maximize your living space, visit

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  1. Rosa Stephens says:

    I want to make a room divider from louvered bifold doors to cover up an air conditioner unit high up on my living room wall. How do I get the doors to stand up by themselves, I plan to purchase five doors?

    • Shelley Decker says:

      Hi Rosa,

      I have asked How-to Forums expert SteelToes to help out with your question…

      To install a set of bi-fold doors in this fashion, OP would need to install some sort of attachment point for the top section of the doors or add a tee support to the bottom of the doors.

      Adding a small 2ft board across the bottom section will allow for bi-fold to be used for such.

      Please note: Installing these boards could reduce the efficiency of the AC unit.

      Let us know how it goes.


  2. I definetly think the micro’s should be lower i am short and couldn’t get the dish out without spilling the hot soup on myself ending with a terrible burn all down the front of me.This is a disaster.

  3. patricia lisewski c.k.d.. says:

    Liked your article.Only one comment: Do you think the micro/hood is installed too high? For safety, if consumer taking something hot out of micro, that is installed high,item tends to tip towards them, and user can get possibly burned. (The users height can be considered) thank you.