11 Small-House Tricks
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.