10 Ways to Maximize Small Spaces


Small spaces need not be a curse if you know what to do.  Choose bright colors and play with lighting to extend your space, make use of multipurpose furniture, and find creative ways to deal with your clutter.

Here are 10 Ways to Maximize Small Spaces:


  1. Make use of spaces above and below areas occupied by furniture, appliances and stairways.   Utilize under-the-bed storage and overhead shelves and cabinets.  Wall mount appliances such as TV and DVD players in order to free up floor space.  Spaces under the stairways can be used as foyer, telephone nook or shoe/coat/umbrella storage.
  2. Think multi-purpose rooms, where daytime and nighttime uses are combined.  Japanese tatami rooms are used as living, dining and bedroom.  Analyze your lifestyle.  A living room can also become a home office, home theater, reading room, family room or music room all rolled into one.
  3. Have an open plan, which makes small areas look more spacious by reducing visual and physical barriers.  Lay out in such a way that the living and dining room flow naturally to the garden, thereby visually “borrowing” exterior space and increasing the sense of spaciousness.  Using skylight and glass partitions can also extend living space.
  4. Play with color and light.  An effective combination of color and light can create an illusion of bigger space.  Maximize sunlight.  In cases where it is limited, use different types of illumination that go well with your color scheme.  You are not anymore limited to light colors.  Depth and contrast can create more interesting spaces.
  5. Expand living spaces.  New sofa can double as lounge chairs or reading chairs.  Ottomans can be used not only as extra seats,but also as footrests, center tables and additional storage spaces.
  6. Optimize kitchen spaces.  Modern kitchen cabinet designs have become very specialized with the use of wire baskets for different kinds of utensils.  Hang special condiment racks, napkin holders, and cooking utensil hooks on walls.  Use a hanging appliance garage for microwave ovens and toasters to free up kitchen counter space.  Place corner baskets where needed.  Pantry-organizers can double your cabinet space.
  7. Design small bathroom spaces efficiently.  Wash basins with built-in vanity cabinets that provide additional storage spaces are now available.  Use shower glass enclosures to open up an otherwise tight space.  An etagere is a kind of shelf unit that can be placed on top of a water closet that further adds storage space.
  8. Maximize wardrobe spaces.  Sliding doors can save more circulation space than regular swing out closet doors.  Full-length mirrors can be integrated on the doors to make the room look bigger, and at the same time can be used for dressing up.  Use drawers and shelves with dividers to organize socks, underwear, ties, etc. , as well as inexpensive hanging organizers where you can put towels and shirts in an orderly manner.
  9. Use day beds and sofa beds.  A sofa by day and bed by night used to be hard to find, but are now very popular.  This makes it possible to make the bedroom double up as a home office or study room.
  10. Choose right-sized furniture.  Avoid bulky furniture that is designed for grand spaces.  Use correct furniture proportion in a  more intimate scale.  Make sure you measure carefully.  Using masking tape to outline the spaces to be occupied by the furniture is a good way to visualize and stimulate how all the furniture pieces will interact with each other.