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10 Big Solutions for Small Spaces

From striped floors in the living room to open shelves in the kitchen, designers share their best tricks for tiny rooms. 

Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo via House Beautiful

#1 Mix Low and Tall Furniture

In any small space, it’s important to not feel boxed in. In this Chicago apartment by architectural consultants Richard Bories and James Shearron, a low credenza is a smart substitute for the obligatory tall bookshelf, which would have closed off the space. “It’s very effective to keep things low and punctuate with verticals here and there,” says Shearron.


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Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo via House Beautiful

#2 Dare to Be Dramatic

Small spaces are perfect for bold decorating because they require less time, money and materials. “In small, modern apartments you have to create dramatic moments that offset the lack of detail – but don’t hog the space,” says Shearron, who helped chose Benjamin Moore Bright Yellow paint for the apartment’s front door. “Bold, graphic gestures like that look cool in small spaces,” he explains. 


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Photo: Bjorm Wallander via House Beautiful

#3 Choose Side Chairs

Chairs without arms are perfect for small spaces because they’re much easier to get in and out of. They’re also more lightweight. In this 295-square-foot Brooklyn studio, designer Nick Olsen chose a mismatched pair that can effortlessly be moved around the room to wherever they’re needed. 


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Photo: Bjom Wallander via House Beautiful

#4 Don’t Compromise… Everything

Even though space may be tight, don’t settle on what’s important to you. Though this apartment is just one room, the bed is centered in the room rather than pushed against the wall. “But you have to pick your moments. It’s a full size, not a queen,” says Olsen. “She has a love seat instead of a sofa.”


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Photo: Thomas Loof via House Beautiful

#5 Create Distinct Zones

“If a space in monotone, it’s going to feel like one undefined space; if you create distinctions in the space, it feels larger,” says designer Maureen Footer. To make her New York City studio feel larger, she divided up the space by function. A Persian rug sets off the entry while a bookcase helps to define the office area.


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Photo: Thomas Loof via House Beautiful

#6 Hang Curtains at the Ceiling

Vertical lines help create the illusion of height. By hanging curtains directly underneath the crown molding, Footer made the apartment’s low ceilings seem higher and the whole space fell airier.


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Photo: Victoria Pearson via House Beautiful

#7 Install Open Kitchen Shelves

Traditional upper cabinets can close off a kitchen. By in stalling open shelves, designer Chris Barrett made her small California kitchen seem more open. “Wall cabinets are utliltarian but so dull. I love having open shelves and being able to stack pretty dishes and paintings on them,” she says.


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Photo: Victoria Pearson via House Beautiful

#8 Choose Furniture with Curves

Forget about furniture with sharp, pointy corners. For tight corners or narrow hallways, Barrett recommends curved furniture that can easily be walked around.


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Photo: Simon Watson via House Beautiful

#9 Elongate a Space with Stripes

Create the illusion of length by playing with pattern. In architect Bill Ingram’s 1,400-square-foot Alabama cottage, thick and narrow stripes are painted over the stained wood floors. He then used furniture that’s up on legs, so the continuation of the lines are visible under chairs and tables. 


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Photo: Simon Watson via House Beautiful

#10 Install Glass Doors

Ingram also used lots of glass doors – even on closets – to “extend views and add sparkle” throughout the home. It’s a smart way to carry light into dark storage spaces. 

(You are reading an article originally posted on House Beautiful)

Kitchen Space and the Organized Homeowner

The war against clutter is not just about keeping objects in your space in line. It’s about the emotional pay-off of having a space that is easy to move around in. And no room in your home demonstrates this benefit more than your kitchen.

To explore this, guest writer Jenney Maria is here to present a few ideas on de-cluttering and organizing your kitchen.

Photo: American Cabinet & Flooring | Designer Clay Bernard

The kitchen is the central part of every house, as the whole family gathers here to prepare food, enjoy the meal and to entertain friends. It is also the most frequently used portion of your house which needs to be organized on a daily basis. If you utilize your kitchen space effectively, food preparation and cleaning up becomes very efficient and comfortable. Here are some tips that will help you a lot in organizing your kitchen in an efficient manner.

Kitchen space, the wheat and the chaff

First of all, it is very important to make a list of all the items that you will need in the kitchen. You should only include items that you use on a daily basis and try to avoid any unnecessary items. After preparing the list assess the situation, which is, what you actually have and which items you’ll have to purchase. 

Zones and your kitchen

Once you have all the things you need; now you can start organizing your kitchen. Divide your kitchen into different zones, e.g. cooking – eating – and washing. Your kitchen can be organized very easily if you arrange things accordingly. Designate a small area for your family members to sit and eat in the kitchen. A well-organized kitchen will give you a pleasant feeling every time you enter and will make your kitchen tasks quite easy and hassle-free.

The right kitchen tools to have

The next step is to place all the routine tools and appliance near you. You must have an easy access to all these items because while working in the kitchen, you have to perform multiple tasks. You should place your cooking utensils in a storing container so that you can save the drawer space. Make use of the cabinet doors by placing cook books, or other type of reading materials that you require while cooking, inside. 

Kitchen space organization

Finally, it’s time to position things. Ensure that you have placed the things that work together near each other. For example pots, pans, whisks, spatulas and also ladles should be placed near the stove; bowls, measuring glasses and appliances should also be in the cooking zone. Small appliances, sharp tools and cleaning chemicals should be carefully placed in secured storage areas so that children are not able to reach them. Hardly used tools and appliances should be placed on the top shelf.

Simplify your life in your kitchen

By following these simple tips you can easily utilize your kitchen space and make your life much easier. Dividing the kitchen area according to your work will help you find whatever you require as it’s needed and will save your time and energy. Having a well-organized kitchen could make your task movement smooth, and your time in the kitchen will be more enjoyable and comforting.