These Are the 8 Most Stylish Small Space Ideas We’ve Seen So Far in 2021

published Sep 10, 2021
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As an apartment dweller, I always enjoy scoping out the homes featured on Apartment Therapy for ideas that can be used in a petite place like mine. Luckily, there are endless examples of stylish, small-space friendly ideas that pop up every day — so many, in fact, that I took the time to narrow down the very best ones to help you make the most of your small home. The following eight space-saving techniques just might be the best ones I’ve seen so far from the small spaces AT has toured in 2021. Though the square footage in each of these homes may vary, I know one thing’s for sure: Strategic furniture placement is king!

Credit: Erin Derby

Build off your bed

This Brooklyn renter not only DIYed her loft bed, but she also ensured that it would include storage shelves, too. The structure she set up provides a stylish home for records, books, plants, and much more in her 350-square-foot space, all the while leaving a minimal footprint and providing a little bit of division to break up her studio. Even better, she found a similar type of wood for her coffee table and wall-mounted shelving as well, which cuts down on the visual noise too many finishes or different wood materials can bring to a space.

Credit: Erin Derby

Be strategic with shelving

These Brooklyn renters also got creative with shelving. They floated a metal unit in the middle of their living space, and it separates the apartment’s work station from its kitchen. If wall space is at a premium, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your layout. So long as you choose a backless or visually light piece for this kind of central placement — and style each shelf in the round so it looks good from all sides — you’ll be golden.

Perch plants in the kitchen

Maximalists living in small spaces will want to make like these Atlanta renters, who utilized the tops of their kitchen cabinets to showcase plants and a few favorite possessions. When there’s limited room for shelf space in a unit, working off of existing structures and architectural features is key.

Show off your shoes

Shoes can most definitely double as works of art — just ask any footwear fanatic. In a small space, figuring out a strategy to store heels and boots in particular can prove challenging, but one NYC renter got ultra creative with a ladder. Now, hooked onto rungs by the heels, her shoes are equally easy to remove and put away. Plus, this solution adds a sweet, personal touch to this colorful studio.

Credit: Ellis + John

Skip the headboard

A sleep space gets a bold makeover, thanks to a pop of paint in this Brooklyn apartment. If your unit has a fun architectural feature like this arched recess, embrace it! The shape negates the need for a headboard (so long as you pile on the pillows for support). In fact, keeping the space free of a bulky frame ensures the sleep nook appears open and clutter-free. Again, it’s all about working what you’ve got to your decorative advantage!

Add a pop of color

Similarly, these DC condo owners opted for white paint to make their bedroom feel larger, but they didn’t forget to bring the fun with a pop of yellow paint via a large painted circle on the wall behind their bed. The hue helps center the bed in the room, and once again, it serves as a minimalist solution to a traditional headboard.

Get crafty in the kitchen

By adding a rolling island to their setup and making valuable use of wall space, these renters mastered small space kitchen storage to a T. Hanging pots and pans on a special wall holder makes it easy to grab tools while cooking and also frees up valuable cabinet space. Petite wooden shelves provide a perfect place to display cookbooks — and with their vibrant colors, the books add plenty of personality to this side of the room.

Credit: Erin Derby

Work your perimeter

Placing furniture directly along the walls of this NYC studio apartment makes it feel much bigger than the 260-square-feet it is. Don’t be afraid to push your bed or desk into a corner to pull this off! Layout rules are meant for breaking. This renter has taken full advantage of the entirety of her space allotted in this way and styled her belongings to allow for an open passageway, which makes all the difference when a space is on the smaller side.