Professional Tips & Tricks for Small Spaces

Professional Tips & Tricks for Small Spaces

Janel Laban
Jun 20, 2013

House Beautiful's annual Small Spaces issue is about to hit the newsstands and they gave me a sneak peek at their big, twelve point guide to making the most of any size home. While the whole feature is definitely worth a read, I was most intrigued by the tidbits that come from the pros; the tricks that those who do design for a living think make the biggest difference in small spaces...


Miles Redd: Go for a dark, moody color if you want it, but do it in a high-gloss, lacquer-like finish. With that reflective quality it doesn't look dark so much as rich.

Barry Dixon: Saturate a space in one medium or dark color. Use it on every wall, the doors, all the trim, and the ceiling. It takes away all the boundaries.

Erinn Valencich: If it's already small and dark, make it darker! The in feels deliberately intimate.

Patrick Wade: When everything is neutral, everything works together. If things are all different colors, it can be overwhelming.


Graham Hill: The extra functionality that one more closet gives you is worth any tiny square footage sacrificed for it.

Bill Haney: The design elements that give you the best quality of life have nothing to do with square footage. Things like copious windows or two layers of insulation  - which drops utility bills and makes your house quieter - enhance your enjoyment of home.


Ken Fulk: Use two small round tables instead of one big coffee table. They're better for traffic flow than one of those huge knee knockers, and easier to move.

Barbara Barry: A mirror opens up and brings light into a dark space. It's like creating an extra window.

Maxwell Ryan: Any space feels bigger when you leave some things out. Emptiness allows the eye to rest.

Clare Donohue: Choose one set of dishes for all occasions, one saute pan, and one set of glasses - those stemless wineglasses work for juice, cocktails, wine, milk. Live only with what you love and use daily.

For more of House Beautiful's strategies, tips and inspirations for small spaces, pick up the July/August issue or visit House Beautiful online

(Image: House Beautiful)

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