Maximising Small Spaces: 6 Expert Design Strategies

Expert Design Strategies

Last updated on March 27th, 2024 at 11:16 pm

Living in a compact home poses a unique set of challenges. It’s not easy to squeeze all your essentials into a small space and still maintain an aesthetic statement. Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you’re destined for a home that’s short on style. We’ve gathered a collection of clever tricks to help you maximise your limited space. Whether you reside in a studio apartment or simply want to optimise a cosy room in a petite house, these small space design concepts will not only make your space feel more expansive but also ensure it exudes style and charm.


Proper lighting is key to making a small space feel open and airy. Incorporate plenty of natural light during the day by using sheer curtains on windows and keeping window treatments minimal. Compliment this with smart artificial lighting such as pendant lights, sconces, and under-cabinet lights. Use dimmers to control ambience and avoid overhead lighting, which can create shadows in tight quarters. 

Multifunctional Furniture 

Look for furniture that can serve double or triple duty. For example, a sofa bed helps save space in the house and, at the same time, provides extra space for sleeping. Storage ottomans provide extra seating and stash blankets and other items. Nesting tables provide surface area when you need it and tuck away neatly when you don’t. All these pieces allow you to free up floor space when pieces are not in use.

Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces

Strategically positioning mirrors is a quick and effective way to give the illusion of more space and brightness in a compact area. Consider placing mirrors opposite windows to bounce and amplify natural light throughout the room. In narrow spots like entryways or hallways, mirrors can create the perception of greater depth, making the space feel less confined. You can also use materials like glass, high-gloss paint, or reflective tiles to achieve a similar space-expanding effect.

Build Upwards  

Take advantage of vertical space by mounting shelves high on walls, extending window treatments to the ceiling, and choosing tall shelving units. Hanging pots and pans from overhead racks, wall-mounted cabinets in kitchens, and bookshelves that reach the ceiling are great space savers in a compact home.

Keep Walkways Clear

A crowded and cluttered path in a room will make it feel smaller. To make your living space feel more expansive, prioritise maintaining clear and unobstructed walkways in each area. Establish distinct zones for various functions like sitting, sleeping, and working to create a sense of organisation and separation. Opt for furniture that incorporates built-in storage to help keep clutter at bay. Additionally, employ wall-mounted hooks, racks, and bins to neatly store smaller items.

Limit Bulky Furniture

Furnish with slim, low-profile furniture pieces to prevent your space from feeling overly cramped. Avoid large sectionals and king-size beds.

Instead, opt for more space-efficient choices, such as a cosy two-seater sofa or a corner lounge that maximises seating without monopolising the room. For sleeping arrangements, consider a daybed or a twin-size bed with pull-out trundles. These options provide extra sleeping space when required while conserving valuable floor space in your compact living area.

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The Takeaway

Small-space living requires creativity and intentional design choices. Using our above decorating and organisational tips, your compact home can feel cosy and comfortable rather than cramped. Focus on lighting, multifunctional pieces, and taking advantage of vertical arrangement when furnishing and accessorising a petite abode.

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