15 Truly Tiny Living Spaces That Make the Most of Every Inch

colorful cubby area
Photo: Anthony Masterson

Make the most of a tiny living space using these decorating ideas and storage solutions. If you're an apartment dweller or have recently embraced the tiny-home lifestyle, you're probably familiar with the complexity of decorating a small space while also keeping it tidy. There's no need to ditch your belongings or suffer in clutter simply because of your home's square footage. Use ideas from the following tiny living spaces for motivation to make the most of yours.

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Go Big with Bookcases

living room with dark green sofa and fireplace
Helen Norman

Any small living space can benefit from floor-to-ceiling bookcases, whether they're built in or standalone. Not only do they provide maximal storage, but they also create the illusion of a larger, taller room. Use a combination of open and closed cabinets to conceal clutter while simultaneously showing off your favorite belongings.

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Create a Multi-Function Room

laundry under shelf behind curtain
Kat Teutsch

One room can be used for a number of purposes with a little creativity. A washer and dryer tucked behind a curtain in a dining area forms a hidden laundry room. Hooks for hats, bags, and jackets create a mini mudroom using just a sliver of empty wall space.

03 of 15

Loft a Bed

loft with sitting room below and bed above
Courtesy of Urbanology Designs

Instead of squeezing a bedroom and living area together in one small room or studio apartment, make the most of available space by lofting the bed. Doing so awards you extra room to bring in a bistro set or a small table and bench to enjoy meals. A gallery wall and statement wallpaper add a boost of style.

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Use a Dresser-Desk Combo

office with round mirror and dark walls
Jim Franco

Since working from home has become the new norm for many, it's important to have a designated space to focus. While it's not always possible to dedicate an entire room to a home office in a tiny space, there are creative ways to squeeze in a desk. Task an underused surface, such as a dresser top, to be your desk and keep a chair nearby. Use wall-mounted shelves to store books and office supplies.

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Install Bathroom Cubbies

bathroom with vintage decor
Anthony Masterson

Bathrooms are notoriously short on storage. Maximize the room's vertical potential by adding cubbies to an open wall. Now, towels, toiletries, and even a few decorative accents have a home without taking up too much precious real estate.

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Hang Floating Shelves

white kitchen open shelving over sink brass accents
David Tsay

Utilizing vertical space is a trick professional organizers love to employ in small spaces. A cramped kitchen can benefit from floating shelves spaced out above a sink or near a range to hold dishes, pantry items, or cooking essentials. Store lesser-used items on top shelves and keep everyday things within arm's reach.

07 of 15

Carve Out a Sleeping Nook

colorful cubby area
Anthony Masterson

A serene bedroom doesn't have to be sprawling. It simply requires a comfortable place to rest after a long day. Position a bed below a nook with an overhead light and perhaps some storage underneath for the perfect spot to fall asleep.

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Convert a Closet for Laundry

black front-load washer dryer laundry nook baskets wallpaper
Edmund Barr

If your home lacks a basement or dedicated mudroom, transform an extra closet into a laundry room instead. A washer and dryer can take up considerable space. By backing them into a recessed closet, you'll save floor space and be able to shut the doors to hide any messes. A countertop laid above the machines leaves room to fold clothes, and overhead cabinets store cleaning supplies.

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Extend Your Living Space

hayley and dog sitting outside renovated tiny home
Ellie Lillstrom

For the days when the weather cooperates, having an outdoor extension of your living area can make all the difference in how spacious your home seems. If a remodel is in your future, consider adding French doors that open to a porch, patio, or backyard. Or simply emphasize the outdoors by using sheer curtains that let in plenty of light.

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Set Up Zones

bright living space guest house above garage
Julie Soefer

In a studio apartment, it's important to establish boundaries between various living spaces and their functions. Sleeping, cooking, eating, and relaxing should each have their own distinct zones within an open layout. Use furniture or area rugs to divide and conquer your tiny space.

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Embrace Built-Ins

eclectic colorful breakfast nook with built in bookshelves
Ellie Lillstrom

Floor-to-ceiling bookcases lead to spectacular style and smart storage. However, shelves aren't the only small-space storage option. A charming window seat not only maximizes pathways in a small room, but the base can be used for drawers or baskets to tuck away extra items. Colorful, patterned pillows and a fuzzy throw blanket complete the cozy seating.

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Embrace Minimalism

kitchen with white subway tile white cabinets black fixtures
Edmund Barr

Clutter impacts tiny living spaces much faster than larger ones simply because more stuff is packed into less space. Keep both your belongings and your home decor to a minimum by decluttering regularly and decorating with neutrals. Furnishings with clean lines can also help keep a small room looking neat and tidy.

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Use Unexpected Space

guest house laundry linen and pantry storage
Julie Soefer

Living in a small home can test your ability to creatively plan and organize. Using every available space wisely is the best approach to maximizing storage, so look for underused areas, such as the inside of cabinet or closet doors. Install narrow organizers or shelves to store small items that can be hidden once the door is closed.

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Extend a Headboard

pull-down murphy bed in kids bedroom
David Greer

Make a statement while simultaneously providing essential storage in a tiny bedroom by selecting a headboard with cubbies or shelves. This Murphy bed frame draws the eyes up to visually expand the room. Use wall cabinets to store items you don't use on a regular basis but still need a place to store.

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Construct a Multi-User Workspace

office long two-person desk blue walls gallery wall art prints
Jay Wilde

You can create a quiet corner for multiple family members to work or study regardless of the size of your home. A long wall-mounted desk paired with a couple of comfy seats is the ideal workspace and accommodates multiple users. Pop a pet crate underneath so your furry friend can keep you company throughout the day, too.

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