BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

small space

It’s easy for small rooms to feel cluttered and less inviting in your home. But while limited space can be a challenge when trying to make your home stylish and welcoming, tight spaces don’t have to be a restriction. This season, Better Homes and Gardens has great solutions for maximizing cramped quarters with a wide variety of storage and organizational products sold exclusively at Walmart.

This month, the BHG Live Better Network of Bloggers were challenged to use versatile décor to maximize a small space and make tight rooms come to life. Read on to learn more:

1.  Ashley Phipps of Simply Designing gave her kids’ bathroom a refresh. The Waffle Stripe Fabric Shower Curtain gives the bathroom some character and a mature style! If working in a small bathroom, consider a curved rod to maximize usable space.

2. Cassity of Remodelaholic transformed her mudroom to give her family more storage solutions. These Large Galvanized Silver Bins fit perfectly under a coffee table or bench, and are as stylish as they are functional.

3. Add some decorative storage pieces to your laundry closet like Chelsea of Making Home Base. She used the Gray Fabric Round Basket and the Woven Fringe Throw to give her laundry some style!

4. Welcome your guests with an inviting entryway. Liz of Hoosier Homemade added the Galvanized Wall Clock to her foyer to add to the Farmhouse Chic aesthetic in her home.

5. In need of a closet clean out? Not only is her space the definition of #ClosetInspiration, Heidi of Honeybear Lane uses the Hand- Woven Willow Laundry Hamper to easily organize laundry and separate darks and lights.

6. Stephanie of Casa Watkins transformed her daughter’s room from infant to toddler with just a few new accent pieces. The Turned Accent Lamp with White Pleated Table Lamp Shade add a pop of color to any room—and are super kid-friendly!

7. All shoes need a home! Bethany of Whoa Wait Walmart uses the Fabric Shoe Rack to keep all of her shoes near and orderly.

8. Your laundry room can be stylish and efficient just like Ashley of Cherished Bliss! She uses the Large Acacia Wood-Top Jars to hold laundry essentials and the Wicker Basket to keep her space organized.

9. Curtains always need some TLC! Brooke of All Things Thrifty uses the Clear Knob Curtain Rod Set to add a small twinkle to her daughters’ bedroom.

10. Replace a simple entryway table with functional furniture like Rebecca of the Crafted Sparrow!—She uses the 8-Cube Organizer as a cute storage solution.

11. We all need some inspiration, especially when working from our in-home offices. Ashley of Domestic Imperfection uses the Rustic Wood Picture Frames to showcase some motivating quotes.

12. Ursula of Homemade By Carmona helped make her daughter’s bedroom pretty and functional. In place of traditional pillow cases, she uses the Solid Quilted Pillow Shams to add a touch of personality.

13. When entertaining, you should utilize all available space. Destiny of Just Destiny Mag, helped her friend use the Crossmill Buffet to store extra dinner and glassware, and created interesting decor using extra serveware that can be used once party guests arrive.

14. Your family room can quickly become disorganized! Jennifer of Tatertots & Jello uses the Collapsible Fabric Storage Cubes and the Medium Wire Baskets with Chalkboards to keep track of her family’s tech supplies.

15. With so many small products, bathrooms can become the ultimate place for clutter! Angie from The Country Chic Cottage uses the Galleon Covered Bronze Jars to keep all of her tiny essentials organized.

For all of these products and more, visit Walmart.com/BetterHomesandGardens 


I recently had the opportunity to help a friend move her daughter to college and set up her new shared dorm room. I was really excited to take on the challenge of making half of a room function as big as an entire apartment. Working is such a small space required me to:

  • Think Vertically – The number one way to maximize any small space situation is to utilize every ounce of space between the floor and the ceiling.
  • Think Twice – Anything that could do double duty and offer multiple uses/functions was a huge win.
  • Think Creatively – Just because something was given a single function, does not mean that is the only function. It also helped to mix and match multiple types of storage items together to create something even better in the end.

All of the small space organizing got me thinking… What every day furniture and storage pieces are ideal for making the most of a home? Here are a few ways to get a big bang out of common home furnishings.

Bookcases

Bookcase Organization Storage

Bookcases are probably the most versatile piece of storage furniture on the market. They work in makeshift entryways for shoes, handbags and outerwear. Pop one in the bathroom for towels and toiletries (many are slim enough to fit behind a door) or place one in your dining room to act as a bar, china storage as well as a small serving station.

Storage Ottomans

Filing Cabinet Ottoman

What makes storage ottomans so great is their triple duty flexibility. Seating? Check. Coffee table? Check. Concealed storage for variety of items? Check. Ottomans are a must in any small space as they offer the ability to keep everyday essentials neatly tucked away in most rooms throughout the home. Use them for filing, holding children’s toys, for storing games and blankets and even as amazing shoe storage in either an entryway or at the end of the bed.

Shoe Storage Ottoman

Narrow Shoe Cabinet

Shoe Storage Furniture

Courtesy of IKEA

When items flip out instead of pull out, you are instantly saving space. This shoe cabinet is a prime example of a very narrow piece of furniture that is able to handle your toughest daily clutter. Although ideal for shoes, feel free to toss your handbag, sweaters and outerwear into the mix.

Wall Mounted Cabinet

Jewelry/Vanity Flip Open Furniture

Once again, a narrow piece that flips open to offer more. The small box floats on a wall and opens up to create a multipurpose work surface. The piece acts wonderfully as a small vanity or desk, but also makes a fabulous minibar or entryway drop zone hot spot.

Flip Down Desk

Shelves

Shelf Desk

Shelving is a prime way to make the most of your vertical space, but how else can shelving hit a home run? Add a few brackets for stability and you have yourself a mighty space saving desk!

Wine Racks

Wine Rack Storage

Although everyone loves a fully stocked wine rack, they are not solely made for wining and dining. Wine racks are big winners in the bathroom for organizing hair tools and towels, in an office for rolls of gift wrap and yarn and in the kitchen for holding water bottles and table linens.

Storage Hutch

Storage Hutch

Hutches are not just for desks, although, they really do add a lot of real estate value in a small home office space. Search your local thrift stores and Craigslist for a hutch to re-purpose in the kitchen as an appliance garage and dish storage.

Towel Bars & Hooks

Towel Bars

Towel bars are nice and slim yet can take on the toughest organizing tasks. Primarily found in a bathroom or kitchen, but don’t forget they can also be installed on the backs of closet doors and cabinets. When paired with hooks, there isn’t much these little superstars can’t handle.

Hooks & Baskets

Basket on Hooks

Just like towel bars, hooks function fabulously all on their own. However, add a basket to the mix and suddenly you have tripled your storage power.

Basket on Hooks

Bedside Storage Manners

Beds tend to take up more floor space than any other piece of furniture, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of the space below the sleeping surface. Drawers are the most common solution when it comes to adding storage in a bedroom…

Bed With Drawers

However, I say go big or go home!

Storage Bed

Courtesy of IKEA

Compact Table

Norden

Courtesy of IKEA

There are a few tables on the market that condense to narrow console surfaces by day, and dining for four to six by night. These tables are also magical for individuals who love to sew and craft, yet have no space for a dedicated crafting room.

Dressers

Dresser Update

Although bookcases tend to be my “go to” piece of furniture, dressers come in as a close second. They look good in any space and conceal clutter like no other piece of furniture can. But a little creativity will take you even further in the world of dressers. Hinge a drawer front to create flip down access to the contents (think bar or home office), and install a few hooks and rails to add extra storage on the side of the piece. The opportunities truly are endless.


I would love to know, what are your favorite furniture pieces for small space living?


14 Amazing Office Makeovers

Trend: 14 Amazing Office Makeovers

School is right around the corner and it might be time to makeover that old office. If you don’t already have an office, maybe you need to make space for one? Below you’ll find 14 inspiring office spaces from around the blog world. Some are complete room makeovers, and the others are office spaces for small spaces (that would be my category).


Amazing home office room makeovers:

1) This home office makeover is so amazing! I love how it turned out, from Centsational Girl.

This home office makeover is so amazing! I love how it turned out, from Centsational Girl.

2) I love everything about this office makeover, on Oh, I Design.

I love everything about this office makeover, on Oh, I Design.

3) The change in the paint color really made a difference in this makeover, from Style Girlfriend.

The change in the paint color really made a difference in this makeover, from Style Girlfriend.

4) A catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

This catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

This catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

5) A colorful makeover turned this office into a beautiful and inspiring space, from The Crafted Life.

This colorful makeover turned this office into a beautiful and inspiring space, from The Crafted Life.

6) This room really needed some love and storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

This room really needed some love and storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

7) A total office makeover might be what you need. This one is pretty darn amazing, from Curbly.

This total office makeover is pretty darn amazing, from Curbly.


Are you lacking space to actually put an office? Check out these small space office makeovers:

8) I love the idea of turning a tiny closet into the perfect mini office, from Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

This tiny closet is the perfect mini office, from Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

9) Give a gloomy computer armoire a makeover and you’ll have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

Makeover a computer armoire and you have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

Makeover a computer armoire and you have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

10) Another amazing closet turned beautiful tiny office. I love that they kept the door on this closet office, from Design Sponge.

Another amazing closet turned tiny office, from Design Sponge.

11) All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

12) If you’re really short on space, this wall mounted desk could be for you, from A Beautiful Mess.

If you're really short on space, this wall mounted desk could be for you, from A Beautiful Mess.

13) This might just look like a wall mirror, but it will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

This wall mirror will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

This wall mirror will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

14) I’m really inspired by this small closet space turned office, it has seating! Found on Remodelaholic.

I'm really inspired by this small closet space turned office, it has seating! Found on Remodelaholic

I hope you are very inspired by all the offices I shared. Have a wonderful Thursday!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. the images in the first photo are from: Home Story, Centsational Girl, and The Crafted Life.


15 Small Baby Room Solutions

Trend: 15 Small Baby Room Solutions

Back in May my husband and I got a bit of a surprise, we’re expecting our second child! We are beyond thrilled and can’t wait to bring this little love into the world, but we are also realizing that we don’t actually have anywhere to put this new baby. Whoops! Our home is 950 square feet and has exactly 2 small bedrooms. Our first daughter is 5 years old and we feel bad putting a little baby into her room, so we came up with an idea: we will turn our tiny kitchen nook into the smallest of bedrooms, ever. It’s so small, but perfect for a little baby/little kid. We just need to build a wall and door, and we are done.

Since this room is so small my husband and I will need to get a bit creative with how we arrange the room and what we put in it. Below you’ll find 15 Small Baby Room Solutions that have really inspired me to get started on my little baby’s room. Enjoy!

Closets turned into baby rooms:

1) This is inspiring. This 25 square foot closet was turned into the perfect little baby nook. Talk about using the space you have, from Apartment Therapy.

This is inspiring. This 25 square foot closet was turned into the perfect little baby nook. Talk about using the space you have, from Apartment Therapy.

2) I’ve been admiring this little crib in a closet space for years now. So lovely, from Apartment Therapy.

I've been admiring this little crib in a closet space for years now. So lovely, from Apartment Therapy.

3) If your closet isn’t long enough for a full size crib, buy a mini crib for your small closet, from Lovely Morning.

If your closet isn't long enough for a full size crib, buy a mini crib for your small closet, from Lovely Morning.

Shared rooms:

4) This shared bedroom is so lovely and Melissa shares where most of these items came from (if they were DIY or purchased), from Melissa Esplin.

This shared bedroom is so lovely and Melissa shares where most of these items came from (if they were DIY or purchased), from Melissa Esplin.

5) This shared space is so simple and lovely, from Bleubird.

This shared space is so simple and lovely, from Bleubird.

6) I love almost anything Joni does, but this small shared baby and kid room is the best, from Lay Baby Lay.

I love almost anything Joni does, but this small shared baby and kid room is the best, from Lay Baby Lay.

Closet solutions:

7) This open closet set up is lovely and perfect for a small space nursery, from Project Nursery.

This open closet set up is lovely and perfect for a small space nursery, from Project Nursery.

8) Use all the space in your closet with hanging shelves on the back of the doors, from The Avid Appetite.

Use all the space in your closet with hanging shelves on the back of the doors, from The Avid Appetite.

9) Maximize your closet space by installing cubbies and drawers, from Project Nursery.

Maximize your closet space by installing cubbies and drawers, from Project Nursery.

Diaper storage:

10) Turn a small closet space into the whole diaper changing space, along with other baby storage, from BHG.

Turn a small closet space into the whole diaper changing space, along with other baby storage, from BHG.

11) This changing table is actually a rolling tool cart… so cool. Just roll this thing around as you need it, from Apartment Therapy.

This changing table is actually a rolling tool cart… so cool. Just roll this thing around as you need it, from Apartment Therapy.

12) When you have a baby there are diapers EVERYwhere. I love this Ikea wall shelf turned diaper storage, from Our Dream Foreclosure.

When you have a baby there are diapers EVERYwhere. I love this ikea wall shelf turned diaper storage, from Our Dream Foreclosure.

Storage:

13) Add wheels to some old drawers and they can sit under the crib full of toys, from Oleander and Palm.

Add wheels to some old drawers and they can sit under the crib full of toys, from Oleander and Palm.

14) Use removable baskets to organize your baby’s dresser drawers, from I Heart Organizing.

Use removable baskets to organize your baby's dresser drawers, from I Heart Organizing.

15) Make these small space wall bookshelves for under $30, from Just a Girl Blog.

Make this small space wall bookshelves for under $30, from Just a Girl Blog.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. The images in the first photo are from: Lay Baby Lay, Apartment Therapy, and Project Nursery.


Stylish small spaces are defined by not only being stylish, but knowing how to make the most of small space so that it actually feels roomy and luxurious. To get this effect there are six things you should know:

 

1. Always include something big. Small spaces will actually feel smaller if you make everything tiny, so by placing at least one surprising, oversized object into the room (artwork or lighting are good choices) you will create a pleasing contrast that will help the room to feel much bigger.

2. Use the walls. Utilizing your walls for extra storage space is a must. Bookcases, hooks, shelves, wall mount lights and tall slim cabinets that rise up your walls will allow you to keep your floors open.

3. But don’t use ALL of your walls. If you want a room to feel open visually be sparing in your coverage of the walls you don’t use for storage. Cutting down on hanging art and clustering storage along one wall will cut down on visual clutter. A nice coat of paint is just as good as a piece of interesting art in a small room.

 

4. Use off whites for color and brightness. White paint on your walls will reflect more light and make your space expand visually, BUT off-whites (with a touch of color) are far more interesting and stylish.

5. Turn up the lights. Shadows caused by underlighting will contract even the best of rooms and make any space feel smaller, so always have at least three points of light in every room. For really tight spaces small scale track lighting is a great way to boost the light and uplights set in the corners are a great way to illuminate your walls and make them seem taller.

 

6. Paint or stain your floor dark. While going light and bright with walls and ceilings helps to expand a room upward, going dark on the floor creates a crisp contrast that also makes your floors disappear beneath your feet.

Good chic furniture that will optimize a small space without looking awful is also important, and because you need so little, splurging makes sense. Here are my top choices that I’ve used again and again:

  • Stanley Console by Gus Modern. With only two legs and a slim surface this is the perfect piece for a hard working entryway.
  • Elfa Shelving. Well priced, stylishly designed and with many options for wood color and depth, this is my go to source for quick wall storage.
  • Ercol Bar Stools. Handmade in England, this simple beautiful design now comes in colors to make the most of a bar area in the smallest amount of space.
  • IKEA Gulliver Crib. If you’re putting together a baby’s nursery, this is the slimmest, nicest thing you can buy.
  • West Elm Tripod table. Round always wins and three legs is better than four. This is a perfect small table for a kitchen.
  • Hailo Big Box Trash Can. Attractive slim trash cans are hard to find. This one is top of its class.

Having lived in small spaces all of my life, I feel that I’ve learned a few things about how to live in them well. Some may seem counterintuitive such as “put big things into small spaces,” but often what works is not obvious. Many people like to compare outfitting a small space to outfitting a boat, with a small space set aside for everything and all the surfaces covered, but this is first generation thinking and small homes on land are not boats. Homes need more breathing room and carefully fitting everything in creates a suffocating environment. Second generation space planning uses a number of tools to push and exaggerate the small space, making it feel much bigger emotionally than it is physically in square feet. In the end of the day whether your space FEELS small or big is what it’s all about.

 

1. 20% Emptiness = Happiness

One-hundred percent perfectly full is a loss, not a victory. Every room, every shelf and every cabinet should have a little breathing room to allow your eye to rest and make it easy to put something away without struggle. Traditional Japanese architects are said to plan their buildings around where the shadows fall and not where the light does. Being this conscious of shadows and the empty spaces and planning for them is a game changer. Leaving 20 percent empty and waiting will achieve this.

 

2. Lighten Walls, Darken Floors

The lighter you paint your walls, the more luminous your room will be, as well as the farther away they will seem. While doing the same to the floor might also make the room feel bigger, I find that dark-stained floors feel cozier underfoot and create contrast at the bottom edge of the walls that makes them seem brighter and taller to boot. A dark floor is earthlike and has a way of falling away underneath you as you enter a room, and if you paint your ceiling extra bright white it will magically suspend itself upward and open up like the sky over your head.

 

3. Put Big Into Small

If you get too frugal with a space and scale everything down to fit in, you will get a very small feeling resonating through. Inserting one or two large pieces into a small space is surprising and creates a “change moment” that we find refreshing and allows us to consider a small room as being larger than it really is. Large artwork, rugs, lighting and even beds balanced against appropriately-sized pieces will create an energetic contrast and a sense of luxury.

 

4. Three Points of Light

Light is your most powerful tool when manipulating space and getting it to expand. Our sense of space comes from where our eye can travel and it is drawn to light and avoids darkness. While paint colors and reflectivity are important, starting with adequate light is essential. Most homes, I have found, are underlit, so I have a simple guide: make sure you have three light sources in every room and don’t include simple light fixtures in the ceiling’s middle, as these shed a very poor light. Light should glow at the level you are living. Table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures that direct their light down to the walls or the floor are best. When things feel small, add more light!

 

5. Mirrors Multiply Light

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but mirrors DO multiply the ambient light in a room and allow your eye to extend beyond the walls they hang on, creating a much greater sense of space. Again, the feeling of how much room you have is directly related to how far your eye can travel and mirrors definitely help. Add them to dining rooms, hallways, bathrooms and living rooms. Keep them out of the bedroom, as they are stimulating and don’t support a deep rest.

 

6. Doors Eat Up Space

Most homes have too many doors. Really. Doors take up a lot of floor space in order to open and close properly, making floor planning challenging, and they are often quite unnecessary between interior rooms. Bi-fold doors and sliding doors on closets can get stuck and shut down 50 percent of a closet. In space-challenged situations, I often start by scouting the doors to see which ones I can remove right away. This allows for more movement and more room for furniture. With closets, my classic solution is to remove the doors and replace them tightly with heavy white canvas curtains. This allows 100 percent accessibility and also allows light within the closet to make the curtain glow as if it were a window and not a dark hole.


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