Like many of you I live in a rental house and while I am blessed to have a landlord that allows us a bit of freedom (ahem have you seen our kitchen makeover?) we definitely still have to make the best of our situation. We have small rooms and awkward spaces that we can’t exactly change… so we pull up our big girl panties and get to work on our very best small space solutions.
Of course, even though living in small spaces comes fairly naturally to me (we lived in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment affectionately nicknamed the craphole for far too long) we have more space now then we ever have before. So it wasn’t until I received an email from one of my readers that a lightbulb went off in my head to share my best small space tips!
Take a look:
My biggest struggle with decorating my home is that there are 7 of us living in an apartment which leave us all squashed up so finding or making space is a absolute nightmare for me.
Short, sweet and too the point… too many people, not enough space, small rooms. Karen sounds like she has the whole nine yards and while I’ve lived in many houses, apartments, dorm rooms… and a few were quite small but don’t think I’ve ever been squished quite like she has!
So here are a a few smart small space solutions to help maximize your space!
Maximize Your Entry
Front doors can become dumping grounds… especially in homes with large families and lots of people. Even in homes (or apartments) without a designated entry area a shelf and space for shoes, coats, backbacks, keys, mail… can be the perfect solution. Think covered boxes or bins if you have clutter that you want to conceal, a small dish or hook if you need a specific place for your keys or even a place for shoes.
(psst… want more info? Click on each photo to go to the original blog!)
Storage, Storage, Storage
The main goal is to find items that can pull double duty. Things like this little bench can provide seating and storage… storage is definitely the big one!
Find Dead Space
Think of every possible nook and cranny you can make into usable space. Don’t have a pantry? Maybe you can make a rolling pantry like this one to maximize space in the kitchen.
Use the Space Over the Door!
Try adding shelves around your doors… these are gorgeous and built in but even a hanging shelf placed over a kitchen door is a great storage solution for those items you don’t use everyday. A shelf over the door in the bathroom is great storage for towels and extra toilet paper rolls.
Here’s an example of a cute little shelf in a bathroom! With a tall basket or box you can hide clutter and store things that might not be display worthy… like tampons or cotton balls.
Try adding a chair to your bedside table to capitalize on the double function… remember the main goal in a small space is to give every single item as many functions as possible. Then add storage storage storage!
When you don’t have the space to build out make sure to build UP. Vertical is where it’s all about. Think about building bookshelves, storage on doors, ceilings, closets… use what you have to store the things you need.
Use Your Closet Space
If you don’t have an spare room for a home office don’t count that extra space out just yet. Think about re-modeling a small closet or nook into a functional home office. This space may be tiny but it is mighty! I love how the stool she used can be easily tucked away so the doors can still close and let’s face it… sometimes awesome things come in small packages!
Look Behind the Door
Think outside the box y’all… if you have a small bathroom don’t use wall space to hang towels. Try placing your towel bars on the back of your door for extra space. Or ditch the bars altogether and try a few hooks… they’re way easier for kids and a hanging towel looks put away instead of fussing with hubby’s and kids about neatly folding the towels over the bar.
Also I’m thinking about never having a towel bar again… hooks just seem like a better idea all around.
Clean Off Your Counters
Remember earlier when we talked about using vertical space? If your counter-space is just a littttle too small (our last bathroom literally had only enough space for a toothbrush and bar of soap) try storage on the wall next to the counter. I love these little mason jars however floating shelves are super functional too!
Don’t Forget to Check Behind the Sofa
Running out of room in the living room? Try running a sofa table in-between your couch and the wall. You’ll have space for lamps and other items… if you have a little more space tuck a long table with chairs behind your sofa. Now you have an extra eating area, homework space or even a desk.
My last tip isn’t exactly revolutionary or even space specific. In a small space use mirrors to make the room seem larger! Behind the sofa, in the entry way, bedrooms, dining rooms… a mirror will reflect light and make the room so much bigger and bigger is always better right?
I hope a few of those tips gave you a starting point for your space… good luck Karen!