Solutions to Make a Small Home Livable

Living with limited space can be a challenge. See how these homeowners streamlines and uses smart storage to make tight rooms livable.


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Living room
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Perfect Pairing

    Even small homes can live large, thanks to smart furniture choices and use of space. When space is limited, keep scale in mind and find furniture that isn't oversize. A glass coffee table and sofa and chairs with exposed legs do the trick in this tight living room.

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Expand the Space

    Mirrors reflect light, which will make a space feel larger than it is. This living room is filled with dark, rich finishes, but the space is anything but cavelike thanks to large windows -- which let in lots of natural light -- and plenty of reflective surfaces, such as this mirror above the fireplace.

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Crisp and Clean

    Creating storage in a small kitchen can be tricky. Designing a storage-smart island such as this one is the perfect way to maximize a tight space. And the centered pulls add a nice personal touch by making the cabinet doors look like old-fashioned bins.

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Double Duty

    When space is at a premium, turn seating into storage. Here, a banquette located across from the kitchen island houses small appliances and dog food beneath the cushioned seats.

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Around the Table

    Round tables are great for eking out a bit of extra space. They provide a better flow throughout the room and can seat more people. The exposed table base and thin chair legs also take up less space and make the room appear more open.

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Lighten Up

    The amount of light is always important in a small space. In the dining room, shades that close from either the bottom up or top down allow flexibility in both light control and privacy. The padded window seat offers another comfy spot to read or relax.

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Display Cabinet

    A dining room hutch can hold storage overflow from the kitchen. Items not used every day, such as serving dishes and linens, can be housed in a dining room hutch to make space for kitchen essentials in cabinets. Glass doors provide depth and allow you to display your finest dishware. Also, the all-white walls of the dining room reflect sunlight and make the space appear larger.

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Cozy Den

    The same principles used in the living room are applied in the narrow den to create an inviting space. Shades of white and gray, plus a mirror above the sofa, reflect light, and appropriately scaled furniture comfortably fills the space. Consider placing a sleeper sofa in a den so it can double as a guest room.

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Literary Arts

    When wall space is limited, even books can serve as artwork. Here, stacked -- rather than upright -- books serve as pedestals and artful backdrops for a few favorite pieces in the den. Also, the light-color painted trim and ceiling create the illusion of height in a tiny room.

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Neutral Oasis

    A neutral color palette makes for a calm master bedroom retreat. Plus, the light colors create the illusion of more space in tight quarters. To avoid neutral overload, introduce a few colorful accessories. Here, a turquoise lamp does the trick.

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Relaxation Station

    Window seats maximize the functionality of small or awkward nooks. The bed and dresser in this bedroom take up most of the floor space, but a window seat tucked into a narrow nook adds a comfy seating area. Topped with a thick cushion and soft pillows, the master bedroom window seat becomes the perfect place to read and relax. And the pop of bright pink upholstery adds a nice contrast to the subtle hues of the rest of the room.

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Play Space

    Give kids plenty of play space in their bedrooms by pushing beds against the wall. An upholstered queen-size headboard along the side creates the look of a daybed and keeps kids safe from bumping the wall while they sleep

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Cleanup Time

    Bins, buckets, and shoe organizers give kids visual cues to remind them where everything belongs. When they see that there's a place for everything, they're more likely to put things away on their own. Here, books and toys are easy to grab and put away with this kid-size bookshelf.

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