How to Furnish a Small Space

Special Rooms, Special Challenges for Small Spaces

Not all rooms are created equal, and this is doubly true of small spaces. Even though small spaces typically need less furniture and your decorating dollar goes farther and makes a more dramatic impact, some rooms can still present unique challenges.

  • Kitchen - Free up precious cabinet real estate by displaying attractive items like bowls, crystal and vases instead of keeping them out of sight. Use multi-tasking appliances, like convection microwaves and blenders that morph into mixers and food processors. Hang pot lids on racks mounted on cabinet doors and hang the pots themselves on decorative display racks.
  • Living room - Lighten up dark rooms with light paint colors, multiple light fixtures and sheers instead of curtains. Stack trunks as a design element and for additional storage, and decorate with glass, light wood finishes and mirrors to lighten and open up the space. Instead of grouping a couch with a loveseat, try a couch and two tall chairs instead, or a loveseat and two chairs separated by a storage ottoman instead of a table. If you need extra space for overnight guests, you can buy chairs and loveseats that convert into sleepers.
  • Bathroom - Use over-the-door and decorative hooks to hang items like robes and towels that you use frequently. Use shower caddy-type shelving for necessary items, and over-the-commode shelf units. Install a mirror with storage behind it, and employ wire shelving to maximize the space under the sink.
  • Laundry area - Invest in a stacking washer and dryer and put wire shelving up to hold folded and hanging items. Employ a roll-away hamper that you can move from room to room and knock down to store.

In the next section, we'll talk about ways to make a small space cozy and welcoming.