Small spaces can pack a punch!

Hello again! I’m back and after starting a new project with a client it got me inspired to write a new blog. I want to talk about making small spaces feel larger. Its crucial that a space is comfortable and utilizes space to its best whether its simply for yourself, family, or guest. Living in LA can force many to be space creative or to downsize. Its something that comes with territory especially with apartment living. Sometimes even in smalls craftsman or bungalow styled homes. I’m lucky enough to have a little more space living on the outskirts of LA but some of my friends/clients closer to the heart of the city are not as lucky hence why I decided to do this blog.

My tips if you live in a smaller space:

  1. Place a large to oversized mirror in the space
  2. Use a rug to define the space
  3. Consider “space blending” furniture
  4. Have storage built in furniture
  5. Optimize shelf use


Now I’ve said it before and I will say it again mirrors really do elongate a space and provide an illusion of a larger room. The bigger the mirror the bigger the illusion. So a large floor mirror does wonders in a space and can be leaned against a wall or hung. Please make sure your mirror is secure either way!! You don’t want 7 years of bad luck! lol And in all honesty I would just hate for you to be cleaning up glass from now until eternity.

Mirrors literally come in all shapes, sizes and colors so pick one that suites your style. Do keep in mind the more ornate in detail the more the price, however mirrors can also be used and rotated throughout your home. They aren’t something that necessarily goes in and out of style so its a piece worth splurging on.

The picture above shows a variety of ways you can hang mirror in your space. What I love most is the price for this piece and the details in the frame that still allow for a simple and modern touch.

Available on Amazon. Picture linked.
Available on Wayfair. Picture linked. Gorgeous details to bring to a space.

Area rugs

Now for this recent client I am working in the living room and bring it to life. With a small room a rug always helps define the space. A rug in the living space under the coffee table brings some separation between the couch and walkway. In a bedroom a area rug does the same. Now you have to be specific with sizes and placement. If you get one too large it shrinks the space, if you get one too small it just looks awkward.

To touch briefly on a small bedroom area rugs, they do not have to cover beneath the bed in its entirety. It is completely fine to have it half way at the bottom portion of the bed.

Linked this article to bedroom room placement from MyDomaine. Check it out!

Now for the living room of small spaces, I very much believe the same that a rug does not have to cover the entire space or furniture. Some people would disagree with me on this but as a person that lives in small home I do believe that a smaller area rug under the coffee table is acceptable. People would say that your couch and coffee table need to fit, but I disagree as this really depends on the space and with small apartments or home too large of a area rug can shrink the room.

Wayfair has some good tips when it comes to rug sizes for your room so I linked this picture above. I agree with most but not all. Which is completely fine, its a preference and what works best for you that counts!

“Space blending” furniture

Now I have completely made up this term and there may be a actual term for what I’m about to define, but I’m calling it space blending. Basically find pieces that blend in to your color pallet or wall space so it doesn’t immediately draw the eye to it and makes the space feel smaller.

For example, if you live in a small space and want floating shelves, I would suggest white floating shelves on white walls. One this really enhances the floating shelf look but also if you do a color shelf it draws the eye to the space taken up by the shelf. I hope that makes sense.

Same thing with wardrobes or tall credenzas. For this particular space we need a storage unit, but its crucial to not make the storage stand out and that’s where I would say use a white storage unit to blend in with white walls. While you may be tempted to match your dark brown furniture it will only draw attention and make the space feel even smaller. The same thing with tall furniture, you don’t want furniture that goes completely to the ceiling this can be tricky if you are getting a storage closet so measure your home before purchasing. Be able to have enough space to add a décor piece or plant to break up the monotony.

This wardrobe provides extra storage upon entry of this apartment, but also does not go to the ceiling. With most walls being white this would blend well. Picture is linked and this product is available at Ikea

Another way to use a small space wisely is to get a piece of furniture that contains open shelving opportunities with closed cabinet doors. Even consider furniture that have feet rather than just sitting on the floor. I say all this to really say don’t fill a small space with a lot of large, chunky or dark furniture as they are space fillers. Offer some balance to these pieces and prioritize your needs.

This tv stand is available from Wayfair. Offers a balance of hidden storage and open décor along with feet so the piece is not entirely on the floor. Picture linked.

For small living rooms you may also want to consider some glass furniture particularly a glass coffee table. I consider this space blending because to the eye it will not be the first thing you and feels like the space is open. Glass furniture makes the room feel less filled. For my LA apartment client I suggested a glass coffee table, but also keep in mind she likes glass in her home. I realize that its not a style for everyone but consider it because glass tables come in all kinds of aesthetics. Glass is not just for the glam! Another awesome thing about glass tables is the ability to see a patterned rug beneath. Check out some examples below, but get fun and creative with your space. Also notice how one coffee table offers a shelf for some extra disguised storage or decor.

Pottery Barn – a more traditional look. Also available in other finishes picture is linked.
West Elm – a more modern/glam look. Also available in different finishes. Picture linked.

Optimize Shelf Space & Multi use furniture

Optimizing shelf space is easy. For one shelfs allow you to stack and place nice hidden storage on. Shelving also allows you to place some of your most frequently used items out and ready to use. If you get a coffee table consider on with a shelf below. You may consider a side table that provides drawers. You can utilize décor boxes to hide clutter but still have them placed neatly on furniture.

I talked about this in depth on a previous blog: Decorative Storage and Dual Purpose Furniture Take a read!

The bottom book is not actually a book, rather a décor storage box that I hide remotes, note pads and games in. Picture linked to blog on hidden storage and dual purpose furniture.

Hidden storage boxes are my favorite but even more furniture that provides storages. So think of ottomans that open, tv stands that have doors, or getting creative with those decorative cubes.

Not filling up the cube in its entirety allows for décor or minimalism. Also you don’t have to use the standard cubes you can get nicer ones that bring more texture to your home. This is available at Target and picture is linked.

To finish out this blog I wanted to share some great videos and articles that are note worthy for small spaces. These are all great tips and tools to use if you are downsizing, new renters, college students, young professionals, or just looking to go tinier and being more intentional about your purchases.

Check out this video and get ready to be surprised what you can actually fit in a small space!
First off who doesn’t love Ikea?! But pay attention to the furniture usage and hidden storage!

Lastly these articles are AMAZING and since I couldn’t redo them any better I wanted to share:

  1. The Guide: Best Furniture for Small Apartments
  2. 15 Simple Small Living Rooms that Maximize Style
  3. HouseBeautiful: Making your apartment look like a grown up

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