Inspired by her 300-square-foot studio, producer and blogger Rebecca Orlov created loving. living. small. as a place to share small space style, design tips, resources, interviews and inspiration. Rebecca has lived in small spaces in Los Angeles, New York and is currently in a charming (and yes, small) home in the Washington, D.C., area that she shares with her husband and rescue pup.
Living in a home with a small footprint is certainly a daily adventure. Navigating space limitations and thinking outside the design box can be somewhat of endearing design obstacles. If you are a small space dweller like me, then I am sure you have a few design tricks up your sleeve for stirring small space inspiration. I tend to follow five basic design tips that all design lovers can embrace in their own space.
Choose Furniture with Legs
[1. Mid Century Danish Teak credenza desk by RetrogradeLA; 2. Side Table by 1wood; 3. Chairs by Kai Kristiansen for Kroup by robinstreasurechest; 4. Oak and steel desk by hedgehouse; 5. Mid Century shelf by SnapshotVintage.]
Furniture with legs allow the eye to keep moving through the space to the wall. Consider side tables with thin legs and drawers to keep clothes or store items, and remember to use all your space, including next to your bed. An added benefit to desks and tables with long legs is that ottomans and other items can be stored underneath when not in use.
[1. Upcycled Captain’s Porthole mirror by TheWhiteWorkshop; 2. Floating shelves by CommonType; 3. Art deco tray from Deconfanatique; 4. Reclaimed leaning mirror by robroy; 5. Upcycled mirrors by BeautiSHE.]
Mirrors reflect light and make small spaces look bigger. A leaning mirror is a classic touch, while a sophisticated convex mirror is a way to add nice detail. Small mirrored trays pick up light and can be used many different ways: as displays, to hold drinks, or for jewelry. Rustic floating shelves with a metal slide front offer reflection, a place for storage and a surface, and free up floor space.
Collections can add balance in small spaces. Try displays in odd numbers — say 3, 5, or 7 of an item. Art, plants and flowers, or even groupings of display cases can be turned into a collection or display. Bell jars in different sizes allow the eye to focus on small details, like a shell collection.
A Pop of Color Rocks
[1. Graphic modern bowl by nicoleporterdesign; 2. Custom silhouette by BklynSilhouettes; 3. Lucite tray by ParkerRain; 4. Colorful dots cushion cover by LemidiJapon; 5. Contemporary pouf by Zeldabelle.]
Color adds dimension and detail. Brightly colored acrylic decor and furniture works well in small spaces because the room doesn’t feel broken up by furniture. Throw pillows are a cool and affordable way to add color and can be changed out when you’re in the mood to mix up your style. Ottomans and poufs in vivid hues can serve as tables, seats, and footrests — a flexible must-have in a small space.
Since you can’t always design out, go up in your small space. Forget the floor and hang your plants in a well-designed vertical garden or create a gorgeous art gallery wall. Consider using one color for your frames and mix up the sizes. Don’t forget that your ceiling can be a fun place for design elements. Tin tiles are renter-friendly and have little reflection. A neat light fixture can become a focal point, drawing your eyes up and throughout the space.
The most important tip, whether you are a renter or homeowner, is to have fun and to enjoy your small space. Make it personal, make it comfortable and, most of all, make it your place to call home!
Do you have a favorite design tip for small spaces?