Living in a Small Space: Three Things that Make a Big Difference

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Jess Watson)

Do you live in a small space? Do people sometimes confuse your bedroom for a closet? Can you reach your kitchen sink from your couch? If you’re looking for ways to make your space more livable without spending a ton, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three classic ways to make living little work for you:

(Image credit: Community Import)

1. Lighting
Small is one thing, but small and dark is quite another. Almost nothing has the power to transform the a room like good lighting.

Work with the natural light available to you by keeping furniture low and out of the light’s path, using window treatments which let in as much light as possible, and by using reflective surfaces like mirrors to increase the light’s throw. In terms of artificial light, make sure you have sufficient general, ambient and task lighting for all the ways in which you use the space. Once it’s properly lit, even a small room can feel spacious.

→ Make the Most of Light: Tips for Perfect Curtains

(Image credit: Fantastic Frank)

2. Organization & Storage
It goes without saying that in a small space, storage, and more importantly, organization, is key. Furniture with added storage and built-ins are a great way to achieve the former, and the latter comes down to habit forming and learning to live with less. (And don’t just thing built-ins are for the living room: they work great in bedrooms too!) It’s a constant struggle for many of us, but tidying regularly and paring down will make a big difference in fully embracing your small home, not simply making do with it.

(Image credit: 101 Woonideen)

3. Versatility & Flexibility
In a small space with multiple uses, having a flexible layout and/or furniture can be a saving grace. Search out pieces with multiple uses: a desk/dining table hybrid (or even a DIY wall-mounted breakfast table), a comfortable and stylish sofa bed, nesting tables and rolling pieces can all make life a little easier for the small apartment dweller.

(Image: Jess Watson for Apartment Therapy: Revisiting Beth’s Teeny Tiny Peek-a-boo View)

-Re-edited from a post originally published May 6, 2013 – NT