While our house is our biggest yet, we’ve lived in plenty of small houses. Can you relate? Do you need small space decorating ideas? Here are 10 that will help conquer those small space frustrations!
Oh, the question I get all. the time.
I live in a small home. How do I make it work for me/my family?
Perhaps you’re in your first tiny little apartment (yay you!). Or maybe you’ve just downsized to a small bungalow after your kids moved out (hugs for you empty nester momma). Maybe you live in a downtown loft, or a tiny cottage at the beach (lucky duck!). No matter what your reason, a small space is where you call home. And as such, you need plenty of small space decorating ideas!
Love Grows Best in Little Houses
One of my favorite old country songs (yes, COUNTRY) is Little Houses by Doug Stone. Some of the lyrics are:
“…love grows best in little houses,
With fewer walls to separate,
Where you eat and sleep so close together.
You can’t help but communicate,
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss.
Love grows best, in houses just like this.”
It’s been so true for our family in the past. Our little houses were the perfect place for us. Each little house was just what we needed at each stage of our life.
The Houses We’ve Loved
When our oldest two were toddlers, we lived in an above-ground, two bedroom basement apartment. It was perfect. There was room enough to spread out, but not so much that it was hard to maintain.
When we were expecting our third little one, we bought a small, three bedroom townhouse. It too was great for keeping us all close, but not too close.
Then we really stretched our small space muscles and bought a wee small, 1050 square foot bungalow, with no basement and no garage. Life circumstances at the time meant it was what we could afford. And we made it work.
Our next house was barely over 1300 square feet. We had one bathroom (yup, it got pretty crazy over the holidays when we had extra guests!), three bedrooms, one small living room, a basement family room and an eat-in kitchen. My office was in the dining room, we made a makeshift room for our son in the basement and we had a small single car garage that got used as a workshop and for storage.
It wasn’t until we were married for over twenty years that we purchased the slightly larger home we live in now.
If you live in a small home, you can make the most of the space you have with just a few easy fixes.
So just how do you live well in a smaller space?
Well, I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve to share with you…
10 Small Space Decorating Ideas
1. Use ONLY what you love.
The number one thing to remember when you live in a small space is to use only what you love. Eliminate everything else. Seriously you’ve just gotta get over
hording keeping all the things. This is really and truly the easiest way to make a small space work for you. In a small house there is no room for large collections. But you can still have what you really love if you edit well. You can also rotate your favorite pieces if you have a place to store them when not in use.
2. Using furniture that is multi- or dual- purpose.
This is another brilliant way to make the most of your square footage. Choose ottomans and coffee tables that also house storage. If you’ve no guest room and frequently entertain overnight visitors, choose a sofa bed or pull out sofa. Keep folding tray tables around for extra eating or game surfaces. We have a pullout in the basement for family visitors and a coffee table that houses the extra feather pillow top mattress. And no you don’t have to buy the ugly stuff from a big box store! Think outside the box, so to speak.
3. Keep it organized!
Keep the clutter in order. Be neat. Simplify. Take the time to create a home for everything. Use our 5 steps to organize anything to get yourself started. Once you have a place for everything this is super easy!
4. Think up!
You can also go vertical and make use of the space you do have…on the walls. Install shelving, cupboards, gallery walls, etc. to keep the floor space clear.
5. Think outside the box.
To create the appearance of more space, hide your storage. Use unconventional containers to corral items: a blanket box becomes a filing cabinet in a bedroom; baskets stowed under end tables hold books and blankets; built-in banquette seating like at our old house can store out of season décor or extra bedding.
6. Maximize closet space.
Add an additional rod to your closet to store more clothes and off-season jackets.
7. And do it again.
Install additional shelves in your closet or pantry to hold more items out of site.
8. Maximize kitchen cabinets.
Add slide-out drawers to cupboards to better organize your pots and pans. This will help with day-to-day small kitchen woes. And keep you from losing your ever loving mind when you have to get out that one pot to make dinner!
9. Try a new arrangement.
Rearrange your furniture to make the best use of space. It’s amazing what a well-arranged room can do for actual and perceived space in a home. I promise I will share more about this in the Cozy & Beautiful course. But for now, just put some felt feet on that furniture and slide it around the room until you like what you see!
10. Reclaim floor space.
Remove any useless doors in the main living spaces for more flow. Really. If you live in an older home this may be especially true. If the door doesn’t need to be there for privacy, just remove it and store it to create a more open feel.
One final word on small space decorating is to be careful of scale. You can go big with one or two items in a small room – which I love to do and can actually make a small space look larger and more elegant. But do not go to the store and buy a matchy-matchy set (couch, loveseat and chair) that are all over sized if you have a little room. It’s just not right and it won’t flow right or look right. Trust me on this one.