5 Subtle But Clever Ways to Make a Small Space More Livable

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Think you have to make huge or dramatic changes to have a big impact on the way your space feels? It's just not so. In fact, sometimes it's the small and subtle changes — especially in small homes — that have the biggest effect on whether a home is its most livable. After the jump, find five simple, subtle changes you can make to a small space to up its livability (and maybe improve your sanity!).

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1. Replace swinging doors to gain more furniture rearranging possibilities
Having to accommodate a swinging door — one that opens out into your living space — can possibly keep you away from finding the best furniture arrangement. So consider replacing a door with a curtain or some other clever idea so you have as much freedom to rearrange as possible. An inspiring post to look to: Small Space Solution: Curtains Instead of Doors.

2. Replace free-standing work and dining surfaces
Tables and desks seem important and like the thing you can't live without, especially if you love working from home or eating at a table, but if you're feeling like your space is too cramped, this could be the first place to look to lighten your furniture load. You can replace the function with a folding or narrow floating workspace that can double as cafe seating.

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3. Surround your bed with a curtain
This is especially useful for those folks who live in studios or very open floor plans. Not only will a curtain visually disguise your private space from the rest of your home, but from within you'll feel more safe and secure (as well as not be able to see your whole home at once).

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4. Raise your bed to create more storage space
It's a lost area of valuable storage space if you aren't taking advantage of under-the-bed storage. You can consider purchasing a new higher bed or bed with built-in storage, you could DIY a higher bed or you could even just place your bed on risers (though admittedly probably not the most attractive option unless you hide with a bed skirt) to give you more inches. Then look into under-bed storage organizing tools to reclaim that space. Here are good storage beds you can buy.

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5. Spend the time and money customizing (to the best of your abilities) all the storage areas in your space
Don't waste precious inches in your cabinets, closets and other storage pieces. It's simply worth the investment of time and money to look into shelf dividers, lazy Susans, hooks and more. The best way to start? Use a weekend to take every item out of a particular storage area, and figure out just what organizing accessories could help you based on the way you need your storage space to function. Here are some tools to consider:

What's a small and subtle change you've made to your small space that has made your home more livable?

(Image credits: Michelle's Sweet and Eclectic Studio; Charlotte Moss design via Topsy Turvy; Melanie Acevedo for Domino; Design Within Reach; BH&G)

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Main, Style, Homekeeping, Small Spaces

Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.

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