We’ve been there, and we get it: Decorating small spaces can be very, very hard. Scratch that; it can feel near impossible—particularly when you’re wading through clutter in a tiny closet or cramming toiletries into an overflowing medicine cabinet. But armed with our small space decorating ideas, we have a feeling you’ll be able to make it work…and then some. Our tips are practical, easy to implement, and effective, and they’ll have your home looking clutter-free and so much bigger in just a matter of hours. What’s more, because we know pragmatism isn’t everything, the ideas we’re sharing with you today are fun and beautiful to boot. We’re of the mind that decorating small spaces shouldn’t be frustrating, and it also shouldn’t hold you back from creating the home of your dreams. After all, with today’s market of organizational products and storage solutions, there’s always a way to maximize the capacity of any room. Add a splash of creativity and a can-do attitude, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success—no matter the size of your home. Get started here with our best tools, tips, and ideas.
Swap Your Sofa for a Settee
Yes, a large couch will work in a space-challenged house (see this living room for proof), but some rooms call for something less intrusive. This loveseat does the trick—and its small stature doesn’t even look out of place.
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Get the Look: Huntingdon Chesterfield Loveseat
Here’s a Chesterfield-style beauty that’s not only smaller than your typical couch; it’s under $500 too. And if you don’t love the neutral shade, there’s also three blues and four earthy tones to pick from.
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Invest in Smart Furniture
You shouldn’t have to go to great lengths to add organizational elements to your room. Instead, pick furniture that has storage space built right in. That way, you’ll be all set to begin with—and you won’t have to add extra clutter as you continue to troubleshoot space problems.
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Get the Look: Zinus SmartBase Mattress Foundation
If you’ve already got your furniture picked out, and it’s not storage-friendly, the least you can do is stretch its organizational capabilities. This SmartBase Mattress Foundation adds 13 inches of storage beneath your bedframe, allowing for ample box and crate storage. (It also happens to boast upwards of 26,000 glowing customer reviews.)
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Make Your Walls Work Overtime
This space-saving, schoolhouse-red desk folds up when not in use and can be repurposed in multiple ways: as a cocktail bar, craft station, or, if you equip it with a mirror, a vanity.
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Get the Look: Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk
We can’t get over how handsome this option is. A corkboard, fold-down desktop, four storage compartments, and an angled paper organizer keep us coming back for more.
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Think Up, Not Out
For a book-loving client bound by tight quarters, Washington, D.C.-based designer Lauren Liess doubled her storage space by adding a bank of extra-tall shelves that slides open to reveal a bathroom door.
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Get the Look: Rustic Wall Mounted Shelves
For extra-cramped spaces, forgo the bookshelves and go with wall-mounted shelves, which take up no floor space at all. (These ones happen to be easy on the eyes too.)
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Put Your Pantry on Display
No space for a pantry? No problem! Just outfit a utilitarian shelving system with breathable baskets that can corral everything from various types of produce to bulky bags of dry goods like flour and sugar. For even more versatility, try a wire basket storage cart equipped with casters, which make it possible to roll it out of sight when not in use.
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Get the Look: Wire Basket Storage Cart
A rolling wire basket cart is an easy way to create a makeshift pantry. And since it rolls out of sight when you’re not using it, you don’t have to worry about things looking untidy all the time.
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Utilize the Area Under the Stairway
This overlooked part of the house has tons of pack-it-in potential. Here, Chicago architect Tom Stringer cleverly incorporated drawers for a family of four that wanted to maximize the often-overlooked space.
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Get the Look: Seagrass Wicker Stair Step Basket
If you don’t have room beneath your stairs, make some room above them with a stair “step basket.” These genius catch-alls are a fun way to make the most of every last inch of your home.
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Hang Your Draperies as High as You Can
Here’s a little designer secret: The hands-down easiest way to make ceilings look higher is to place a drapery rod really close to the ceiling—roughly 2 inches below the crown molding will do the trick. While you’re at it, be sure to extend the rod at least 4 inches on either side of the window so that the window appears wider—and allows in more light.
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Get the Look: Floor-Length Sheer Curtains
These curtains are easy to place above your windows, since they’re extra-long and will easily reach the floor. But we also love that they’re sheer. That translucence provides the illusion that they’re taking up even less space.
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Consider Retro Appliances
Generally speaking, vintage (and vintage-inspired) appliances, like the refrigerator pictured here, have a smaller footprint than modern-day behemoths. They can also add decorative charm—and a welcome pop of color!—to a small space.
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Get the Look: Red Smeg Refrigerator
This ’50s-style Smeg refrigerator is just under 24″ wide (compared to the 36″ width of many standard modern models). It’s a serious showstopper.
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Double Your Space With Mirrors
While it sounds like a vanity project, surrounding yourself with mirrors creates the illusion of more room. Tip: A mirrored backsplash in a small kitchen will also work visual wonders.
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Get the Look: Reclaimed Wood Framed Mirror
This rustic-looking, hand-stained mirror is extra large, so you won’t need to invest in more than one to surround yourself with that sleek, mirrored look. Bonus: It’s available in 15+ stains. And it’s handmade!
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Find a Foolproof Neutral
You can do a bold color in a small space (a dark brown library can be so cozy!), but a predominantly neutral palette generally makes the flow of a house feel less choppy. We’re partial to the clean, peaceful look of this master bedroom.
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Get the Look: White Dove Paint by Benjamin Moore
This cream hue adds warmth without going too yellow. Still, it’s a little more interesting than a blank wall.
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Let There Be (Wall-Mounted) Light
Table lamps call for—you guessed it—a table. And in a small space, that’s not always guaranteed. Why not try a sconce instead?
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Get the Look: Vintage Wall Sconces
This pick provides a happy pop of yellow, while the brass keeps things sophisticated. And the general vibe here is equal parts city and country, which we love.
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Put a Closet in Plain Sight
This stack of vintage luggage adds decorative oomph to a hallway while providing 12 “drawers” of storage for out-of-season pieces.
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Get the Look: Decorative Suitcases
These two decorative suitcases together come to just under $75. For such a gorgeous, vintage-inspired look, that’s practically a steal.
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Use Every Inch of Storage Space
Maximize efficiency in a small kitchen by installing a wall-mounted shelf to keep baking supplies off the counter but within easy reach. Double the shelf’s utility by adding hooks to hang towels, pot holders, and tools.
Inside cabinet doors, pin up items to be kept out of sight, such as rubber gloves, sponges, and plastic bags. Using hot glue, affix magnets to the back of plain clothespins, then glue the opposing magnets directly to the door.
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Get the Look: Stackable Kitchen Cabinet Organizer
If installing a new shelf sounds like far too much work, just use one of these expandable, stackable organizers instead. They’ll allow you to double your storage space without needing to make any permanent renovations.
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Hang an Expandable Rack
To maximize space in a small laundry room, put a front-loading washer and dryer beneath a counter so you have work space. Space-saving drying racks are also an excellent idea.
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Get the Look: Space Saver Fold Away Racks
This folding drying rack is the ultimate, flexible space saver. And stainless steel looks good in just about any home.
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Swap Extra Chairs for Built-in Seating
Built-in seating requires less space than chairs. Plus, it provides the bonus of much-needed storage underneath.
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Get the Look: Mobile Snack Table
If built-in seating isn’t a possibility and you live alone, you can always forgo the dining table altogether and opt for a “snack table” instead. The bottom rack fits nicely underneath a couch so you can enjoy meals right in front of your TV.
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