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11 Small-House Tricks

Homeowner and designer Doug Davis shows how he makes the most of his charming 534-square-foot home. Steal the decorating and space tricks that make it live big for your own small spaces.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Small Home, Sweet Home

      A few design, style, and organization tricks can make a small house live large. Customize these ideas to your layout and floor plan for a personalized, yet strategic setup that works for you.

      Our Best Small-Space Ideas
    • Tricks for Small Living Rooms

      Trick #1: Exposed-leg furniture airs out a space, but every room needs a little grounding. Here, the skirted sofa is up for the job. Without it, the leggy pieces would look as if they were ready to walk away.

      Trick #2: A patterned area rug can make a small space look busy. Layer a smaller patterned rug over a larger solid rug to introduce just the right amount of pattern panache.

      Trick #3: Choose materials that don't obstruct sight lines. Here, a wire mesh coffee table adds texture and function without visual weight. "It's the same effect as a Lucite piece in that it's almost invisible," Doug says.

    • Multiple Choices

      Trick #4: Think versatility. In this living room, a dresser becomes a media console and, with drawers removed, a bookcase. "It's also like a mantel, giving me a place to create a focal point," Doug says.

    • Mirror, Mirror

      Trick #5: Create the illusion of a spacious room by adding mirrors to your decor. The simple, yet versatile accessories add depth to the room and open it up with added light and dimension. "Antique glass is a nice way to open up a room without feeling like you're staring at yourself," Doug says.

    • Small Kitchen, Big Ideas

      Trick #6: Slimmed down appliances, including a 24-inch-wide gas range and a 27-inch-wide refrigerator give the 8x11-foot kitchen an unexpected gourmet quality.

      Trick #7: Use texture to convey style. Ribbed glass (rather than clear glass or solid doors) becomes build-in decoration in a hard-to-decorate space. Inside, everyday dishes stand out like display pieces.

    • Eat, Prep, Work

      Trick #8: Double up function when needed. This home lacks a dining room and contends with a small kitchen. A restaurant work table in the corner of the kitchen is a dining table, countertop, and desk rolled into one. Backless stools keep things visually light.

    • Seek Storage

      Trick #9: Add storage where you can find it. In the kitchen, a 4-inch filler piece of cabinetry by the range is a spice and glass rack.

    • Sweet Sleep

      Trick #10: Built-in storage units provide plentiful storage space while avoiding floor-hogging dressers and armories. Doug went between the studs to gain to-the-ceiling storage in the bedroom.

      Trick #11: Go with rounded furniture, like this bedside table, to allow more move-around space.

    • 9 of 9
      Next Slideshow Stylish Solutions for Awkward Spaces

      Stylish Solutions for Awkward Spaces

      In case you haven't heard, awkward is the new cool. Embrace that small corner, uneven nook, or shallow mantel with these stylish tricks that will make you wish you thought of them sooner.
      Begin Slideshow »

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