Monday, April 6, 2009

Small Spaces, Small Homes, Living in Small Spaces

There's definitely a trend on the rise for couples and families
to downsize. Smaller places means easier upkeep and it usually
means a cheaper mortgage as well. For the rest of us who live
in cities, it's a way of life. It's amazing what you can do in a tiny
space if you design it correctly and waste no space.

The above apartment is well laid out to maximize the space
available. It still looks elegant and the space is still functional.

Now this, is a really cool studio. It's pretty much like a hotel
room - yet the owner was brilliant in utilizing the space .

This is the other side of the room. He's still managed
to make the space look spacious despite the fact the
studio is clearly not very big.

Here's a before and after photo from Domino. The after
looks so different from the before - it's absolutely fab!

Got a little cubby hole of a space that you're not sure
what to do with? Don't waste it! Put it to work for
you whether you make it into shelves for storage or
an extra bed for guests like here! As you can see, you
can usually be pretty bold in your color choices for small

Here's another small but colorful space. Curtains are
a great way to hide storage instead of doors since they
do not need to swing out and take up space.

In a tiny room, lifting the bed up can create a whole
separate space for you to use underneath the bed.

Book shelves do not always need to go against the wall.
Using a low one in this fashion actually creates more
storage space without needing to take up wall space.

No space for a computer or desk?
How about using a closet for one?

This room is clearly so small that one would think of it as
a small closet. But it's big enough for a good work space.

The owner of this small apartment really knows how to
utilize space and space saving techniques. Notice the
sliding doors for the bedroom. Sliding doors definitely
save space as they do not need to swing out or in.

A small nook is made to double as the
dining area - and where the tv is.

There's no rule that you can't put a
bed straight against a window.

Here's the compact living space. You can also see that the
bed in the bedroom is right up against the sliding doors.

I wanted to also introduce a blog who's author specializes
in "shoebox spaces." She's an interior design student who
especially loves designing small spaces. Be sure to check
her blog out at ShoeBox Decor. She did a post on a the
small spaces Metropolitan Home design contest.

500 Ideas for Small Spaces
Easy Solutions for living in 1,000 Sq Ft or Less

And of course, being the book fiend that I am.
here are a couple of books to check out on small
spaces. This book has great tips and ideas for living
in small spaces.

Libby Langdon's Small Space Solutions
Secrets for Making any Room Look Elegant
and Feel Spacious on a Budget

Libby Langdon's book has great ideas that
incorporate elegance into small spaces.

Small + Modern + Urban Home

I actually picked up this book over the weekend
while I was perusing in the SF Moma gift shop.
Believe me, I can peruse for a very Long time in
museum gift shops. This book focuses on tons of
ideas and different spaces in a modern context and
style for living in small spaces. If you like modern
design and live in small space, I definitely recommend
this book.


Carol Ann said...

Thank you for this is a keeper...I love living in a small space, keeps this designer on her toes, I have to stop and pull out my floor plan before purchasing anything.

Things That Inspire said...

I am definitely a believer in small, but well designed spaces. I would rather have a home where the rooms are smaller, and every room is used, than a huge home where you need an intercom to tell someone it is dinner time!

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

We are in the downsizing category. Very helpful post since I am collecting ideas.

Jade Creative said...

Fabulous post. I'm all for small spaces. Designing to utilize a small space to the fullest is so important. When we moved into our small home 15 years ago I cried. I loved the yard but knew that the interior would need a lot of work. Through the years we've torn down walls and recreated an otherwise horrible space, into a home that we'll forever stay.
Thank you for this post

Hope you will join in with Kari and Kijsa and myself for "Doors to Adore" tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Ty said...

Great post Karen...I love the book recommendations.

Ursie B said...

Thank you for this post! I LOVE learning about small space design. It is so much fun figuring out how to organize efficiently in a small apt. I'm going to check out these books.


Jessie {A Punctuated Life} said...

Thanks for this post! I'm always looking for small space inspiration and tips as I'll be living in apartments for some time to come :)

DesignTies said...

I don't live in a small space, but I really enjoy seeing how people who do come up with creative and beautiful ways to maximize the space that they have.

I think it's a lot harder and takes a lot more thought to design and decorate a small space well. So many elements in a small space need to serve a double purpose, and there are so many things to take into consideration. Like the room that doors need to open and close, as you pointed out.

Love all the pictures you posted -- proof that small spaces can be just as impressive as bigger spaces :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Her Royal Highness said...

Hey, Alk,

Do you have the linkback for the "hotel-like" studio up there? I'd like to go and see if there's any other shots and/or tips. My studio's not much bigger than his, and I'm having issues laying it out.

TheDecoDetective said...

That Domino nook is really lovely, isn't it? Have a great Monday!

Yoli said...

Thanks for the blog!!! I live in a small space and I saw so many good ideas above. The only one I cannot use is the bed raised above. I toss and turn, I would be in the ER more often than my home.

Visual Vamp said...

Love this! Big design, big ideas!
I've lived in small spaces, and sometimes I play the what if game, like how would I decorate if I had to live smaller again.
xo xo

SimplyGrove said...

Thanks for the book tips:)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blog!!! finally I found you!!! Beautiful houses in small places!! (I think that´s the real talent.)
Congratulations!! ¡¡Felicidades!!
Madrid(Spain, España)

Renee Finberg said...

this post is my fave topic.

i love what you have shown.

thank you !

Renee Finberg said...

this post is my fave topic.

i love what you have shown.

thank you !

Meade Design Group said...

Really creative ideas !!!

blah said...

LOVE the post, such good timing too b/c I'm looking for a place to buy in the city and all I can seem to afford are tiny studios!

mariam said...

wow. really inspired me. this holiday i'm thinking of giving my small bedroom a facelift! this post is really cool!!

Copy Cat Chic said...

I would love a link for the Hotel Studio too. Gorgeous!

Rachel said...

Great post! When I lived in my loft, I took the folding doors (that folded outwards) off my closet and hung up curtains! It allowed me enough space to have a nightstand next to my bed.

LindsB said...

I live in a small space, and I love to see how others make the most of having little storage- what a great post!

Venetian Blinds said...

This is great post. It can sometimes be challenging to decorate small rooms but the suggestions in this post are a good starting point.

Johanna Noelle said...

Wow, I love your site! I enjoy thinking up creative ways of making small spaces work, too, from my husband and my first apartment (a studio apartment). I'm compiling ideas in my blog,, how do I get permission to use some of your photos? thanks!

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Anonymous said...

thank you, for your information home designing i will try to Create a striking feature wall Pick an eye-popping wallpaper print and hang on the wall behind your bed to make a statement in your bedroom that oozes hotel style. Play with pattern proportions Wallpaper can make all the difference in a small bedroom

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