Small Cool Lessons: Discovering Small Space Design Ideas That Really Work

Small Cool Lessons: Discovering Small Space Design Ideas That Really Work

Carolyn Purnell
May 21, 2013

Small Cool 2013 is well underway, and we've seen some really innovative space solutions so far. I've been so inspired by all these small homes that I've even begun visiting the archive to get more ideas. Here are some of my favorite small space tricks, drawn from last year's Small Cool entries. 

Top Row: 
1.  Suzi's Nod to History: Living in a small splace doesn't always mean living with small furniture. An antique cabinet takes up a whole wall, adding a ton of storage and a ton of character. 

2.  Mel's Complete & Balanced: Efficient organization, a monochromatic palette, and tons of closed storage keep this small space highly functional and uncluttered.

3. Sandy & Nick's Seems Huge: Sometimes the teensiest spaces can be the most inviting. Sandy and Nick amped up the cozy factor with dark walls, and they made the most of an awkward layout by using wall space for storage and for bedside lighting. 

4. Michelle's Dream Space: No matter how small it may be, treating your outdoor space like an extension of your home always makes the place feel bigger. 

5. Jennifer's Gathering Place: Because of the small square footage, Jennifer's sofa has to abut her bed, but in order to create a visually separate space, she installed a curtain between them. At night, it can be pulled closed to create a private sleeping nook, and during the day, it can be pulled back to let more light in.

Bottom Row:
6. Isobel's Creativity on the Walls: If there's not a lot of floor space, use hooks! Hooks keep objects looking organized, and it helps keep objects off the floor.

7. Tanaporn's Sunny Studio: Tanaporn's tapestry backdrop is renter-friendly, and it nicely defines the sleeping space and adds a bit of softness to the room. 

8. Valeria's Free-Flowing Space: If you've got wall space, maximize your vertical and horizontal use in order to get as much storage as possible. In Valeria's space, the sleek, thick, uniform shelving keeps the look clean and streamlined. 

9. Chris's Breathing Room: A breakfast bar eliminates the need for a dining table and keeps the flow of the room open. Also, thanks to the well-considered interspersing of  flowers, these practical wall-mounted rails make cookware look decorative. 

10. Caroline's Elegant Simplicity: A little pattern goes a long way, helping define certain use-specific areas. The fact that the rest of the walls are white helps the small, open space feel cohesive. 

(Images: as credited above)

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