Using Furniture & Decor to Help Make Small Spaces Work

There's no question that a small space requires creative living. And whether you welcome or curse at the challenge to your decorating prowess, discovering the multi-purposing potential of your small space is a must. We've rounded up some fun products and DIY inspiration to help you meet that challenge and create some division in your small, multi-functional spaces.

Shelving Units: One of the toughest obstacles in a small space can be finding storage for all your goods. Using open shelving is a tried-and-true method for creating separate areas while also offering storage and an open, airy feel.

1. Pezzo White Storage Unit-Bench (cb2, $259)—This piece can be used as a bench or stacked with others to create a taller unit. Talk about multi-functional!

2. Highpoint Contoured Bookcase (Target, $195.49)
—I used a case much like this one to create a faux hallway in my home for years. I loved it, and guests always commented on how much they liked the setup.

Curtains: Curtains are an inexpensive and non-permanent way to define spaces within a home. 
3. Magical Thinking Aviary Curtain
(Urban Outfitters, $59 per panel)—When using a curtain to create division, choose a subtle pattern on a sheer curtain to allow light to flow between the spaces and to avoid having the curtain take up too much visual space.

Rugs: Sometimes actual room division can be too much in a particularly small space. A rug in one area of the room is a great way to define separation without really creating it.

4. Chenille Charade Carpet Tile (Flor.com, $20.00 per 20" square)—These fun squares from FLOR can be mixed and matched for any color combination or size that your space requires.

5. Embroidered Ellie Rug (Anthropologie, $78–$1,298)
—This gorgeous rug from Anthropologie comes in many different size options. You can even layer rugs to define several areas in one room.

Seating: Seating, a pair of chairs or a sofa, may not spring first to mind as room dividers, but are a great way to work with what you have, rearranged, to visually divide your space.

6. Avec Peacock Apartment Sofa (cb2, $1,199)
—A sofa is a great way to create the feel of division without visually blocking the rest of the space. This small-scale sofa is perfect for a small room and is particularly yummy; it's too bad I'm not currently in the market for one.

DIY Inspiration: You don't have to buy new furniture - maybe try making one of these projects:

7. Classroom Whiteboard, Chalkboard, and Pegboard Dividers (Honor Roll Supply, $79.99 each)—These classroom dividers are available for purchase, but similar ones could also be easily DIY'd for a custom look or size. How fun to be able to use a divider as vertical storage or even changeable artwork.

8. Metal Structure by Sanindusa (Trendir)
—This metal piece is sculptural, offers fun storage, and could easily be recreated with PVC pipes.

9. Hanging Vintage Window (Better Homes and Gardens)
—Hang a salvaged window, door, or screen picked from a garage sale or even the side of the road for a quick and quirky divider.

10. Rolling Screen (Pure Inspiration)
—Pure Inspiration offers a great tutorial for creating this rolling screen, which can be personalized to match its space. What a great way to create separate spaces temporarily or on an as-needed basis.

(Images: as linked above)

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