5 Homes That Show Off How to Live Large in a Small Space


Living large in a small space is all down to planning: planning storage, planning layout, planning decor so it’s neither too boring nor too overpowering. Here are five well-planned small spaces that work hard for their size, and the tricks they use to do it.

In this Greenwich village apartment by architect Matthew Krajewski (also shown at the lead of this post), the wall between the two main rooms was opened up with sliding glass doors, providing separation of space while flooding both the living and sleeping areas with light. All the full-height storage (wardrobes and pantry, as well as miscellaneous) is near the front door, while the rest of the apartment features low-level drawers and and discreet under-bed storage.

Swedish transplant to NYC Viktoria Dahlberg has a bijoux bohemian abode in Williamsburg; it’s been featured on the Urban Outfitters blog before, but I think the snaps on her own Instagram show it off best.

In Viktoria’s narrow living room, a beautiful organically-shaped coffee table takes up less visual space than a round or square one would, and an armless sofa plays a similar trick, keeping the eyeline open. The TV sits on a chest of drawers that provides extra storage.

In the bedroom, the high shelving, painted white as the wall it sits on, keeps storage off the floor, another trick for making small spaces work.

Another great space-saver from Victoria’s home via Instagram is the table situation: instead of a typical dining table, a bar table and pair of stools is tucked between the kitchen and living area. The height means it can serve as an extra kitchen counter, but it works equally well as a desk or dining area.

Here’s another small and vaguely bohemian room that manages to feel spacious. From Justina Blakeney’s book The New Bohemians, found via My Domaine, the hanging plants and high, shallow shelving emphasize the vertical gifts of the space—even details like the lamp not having a shade means the room seems larger than it is.

I also notice that the table serving as a nightstand has fold-down leaves and is on castors—could it do double-duty as a desk or dining table occasionally? I bet it could!

Although this Paris apartment designed by architect Anna Piwonska is quite spacious by many standards, I noticed a few clever space-savers. In the kitchen, a slim island is created against an otherwise unused section of wall; too narrow for storage, the floating piece of marble keeps the light uninterrupted, and the stools can tuck neatly underneath.

A similar trick is used in the bathroom, where a shallow but wide wall-hung basin is deceptively light. Also, did you notice that the flooring is the same in the two rooms? A limited materials palette encourages flow throughout the home.

A long, narrow room can sometimes feel oppressive, and make important spaces (like the living area above, from IKEA and found via Domino) feel like hallways. Keeping a consistent palette is helpful to avoiding this, but some subtle prints on the sofa cushions imply importance there, without screaming about it.

In addition, this space is great for storage—the wall-hung shelves keep it out of the way and emphasize ceiling height, while the storage bins on castors are versatile and tuck neatly away.

Do you live in a well-designed small space? Share your layout and decor tips in the comments! We’d love to hear about it.

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