To help dwellers of small spaces live large, designers pull out big tricks. They know the best ways to smartly outfit studios and one- and two-bedrooms to hide clutter, increase living space and add comfort, all with a functional, stylish outcome.
The key to living well in small spaces is multifunctional furniture: A console table becomes a desk when the top flips up. An ottoman is more than a pillow-topped foot rest or coffee table; it transforms into a twin bed for a guest.
A favorite go-to: “Storage ottomans—always,” says Arlington designer Sarita Simpson. Choose a bench-sized one, or pair two minis at the foot of a bed or under a desk and pull them out when needed for extra seating.
Go with coffee tables and nightstands that have drawers or shelves for additional storage.
Utilize the space below a bay window for a custom reading nook with built-in, lift-top bench seating for storage.
For the space-challenged, Simpson loves coffee tables that lift up to full-height dining tables. And she’s a fan of hanging folding chairs on hooks in a closet or behind a door so they’re out of sight until called into duty.
Alexandria designer Quintece Hill-Mattauszek likes to hang baskets from the ceiling. It’s unexpected, she says, but space-saving and resourceful. Consider baskets in bathrooms for bundled towels and paper products and in bedrooms for those items you might want have within easy reach.
In bedrooms, she loves to employ wall-mounted swing-arm lamps because they don’t take up valuable real estate on a bedside table, leaving room for the essentials.
Another tip: Headboards can take up a lot of space. Hill-Mattauszek pares them down by wall-mounting innovative pieces of art instead, which offers uncluttered, clean lines that will make your bedroom even more inviting.