Even if your home is teensy-tiny, you can still make BIG design statements with it. Use its small size to your advantage and get creative: Murphy beds, painted ceilings (elongates the room!), storage that doubles as seating, and other dual-purpose furniture pieces that morph from one function into another can transform your living space, too, into something that feels spacious even if it’s not.  

Here’s more good news: you don’t have to figure out all of this space-saving design on your own. Kyle Schuneman, author of The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces has a few foolproof tricks for taking a mundane, mini-sized dwelling and transforming it into a scintillating, shelter mag-worthy space.

Showcase Your High Ceilings
If you’ve got high ceilings in your small space, create a wall treatment or headboard that will draw the eye upward. Some designers even paint ceilings in bold colors.

A Focal Point Is a Must
Schuneman says, “Create a focal point. Every room needs a base so that your eye can land somewhere and feels rooted.” To do this, he suggests using an anchor wall or an existing architectural element in the room, then adding some paint or wallpaper and tons of personal items to make it pop.

Stay Away From Furniture Sets
It may seem way easier to furnish a room with a matching sofa and/or loveseat and chair, but according to Schuneman, that just “makes a small space boring and lifeless.” Put a little more effort into it (effort that won’t seem like work because it will be so much fun.) Hit up antique stores or flea markets for one-of-a-kind finds and pair them with a few new items to maximize your room’s size potential and personality.

Go For Double-Duty Pieces
Multi-tasking pieces such as garden stools (side tables plus seating) or rolling tables (desk-slash-dining table) save space and offer the ultimate in function.

See all the small space tips at Refinery 29.


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