Designing for Small Spaces

Whether your whole home is petite or you are simply researching design ideas for a small bathroom or kitchen there are plenty of tricks and tips for designing within small living spaces.

If you're designing a small home, remember the many benefits these petite spaces provide. They are less wasteful, more cost effective and packed with personality. Lowered utility costs, taxes and simplified maintenance make smaller homes quite desirable, especially in today's economy.

Flexibility and versatility are the two main components in designing for small spaces. The ability to work and play in your living space effectively is key, because a functional room always feels larger.

Here are some ways to benefits found in all small spaces such as coziness, security, intimacy, charm and functionality. Find the natural character of the room you are designing and then begin to add decorative accents.

Sloping lot house plan
This two-story Craftsman house plan features a large bonus room above the two-car garage, which is perfect for an office, extra bedroom or media room. To see the actual floor plans for this home, click here.

Create extra space by incorporating features such as built-ins and window seats. Don't forget to utilize the space found under a sloping ceiling.

Planning is always an important component in interior design, but it is particularly crucial in designing for small spaces. Sit down and draw out a detailed layout of each room, including a supply list. Pay close attention to the potential uses for the room, furniture layout, storage spaces and of course, your personal style. Then decide on a budget for every room, to see if you need to make changes to your design plan.

Sloping lot house plan
This popular cottage house plan features an open floor plan and plenty of amenities for 1,634 square feet. To see additional images and the actual floor plans for this home, click here.

Maximizing light and airflow is the key to creating a spacious feeling in a room. Relatively simple changes can make a difference in enhancing light like using metal, glass, polished wood and leather, which all reflect light to add to the brightness of a room.

Bring in the outdoors by having lots of large windows in key gathering rooms like the living room, dining room and kitchen.

Sloping lot house plan
This new Tuscan home design features an open floor plan and plenty of outdoor living spaces making entertainment easy. To see the actual floor plans for this home, click here.

Avoid single-point overhead lighting in small spaces since it tends to draw the walls in. Instead, increase the number of light sources (pendants and sconces are great for small rooms). To avoid glare (which is common in small spaces) creatively conceal your light sources with lampshades, angled spotlights or recessed lighting.

Choose compact furniture, because the size of the space needs to balance with the size of its furnishings. When selecting furniture, consider maximizing the functionality of each piece. For example, in a small dining room or breakfast nook the addition of benches provide extra seating and use less floor space than chairs.

When decorating your small space focus on simplicity to keep the space balanced. Paint and color selection are the easiest ways to achieve consistency. Here are some great tips:

  • Paint only one wall a rich color, leaving the rest neutral.
  • Most of the color palette of the room should be neutral, adding to the sense of space. Use darker and richer colors as accents.
  • Choose cool colors, like blue and green, which are distance colors and make a small room appear larger.
Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online