Getting creative with small spaces opens up new possibilities. Image: Twelve Chairs

If you have an unused small space in your home, it can be a little frustrating trying to figure out what to do with it (no apologies for that pun, by the way 🙂 ). Maybe you feel like whatever you do, the space just looks cluttered. Or, perhaps nothing seems to fit where you feel it should.

By getting creative, you can bypass the frustration and create a small space you’ll love. Below are several interior design tips you can use to make your small space not only work, but look it’s best.

Look for alternative uses for your floor space

Previously ignored space under the stairs goes a long way with some creativity.  Image: General Assembly

There are many areas in your floor space you might view as completely useless. For instance, you may have a little floor space under an outcrop from the wall. Or maybe there is some floor space between two support beams, or a corner behind a chair.

The truth is, these spaces have plenty of potential. For instance, a small table could go between support beams, creating an instant display area, storage space or worktable. A small sofa could go under that awkward outcropping. That corner behind the chair could be home to a floor lamp.

Unused floor space under the stairs? Get creative! We’ve seen everything from chairs and reading lights, customized bookshelves, foldout desks, and TVs added to this space. Of course, a much more common (but much less fun) use for this space is basic storage.

Make use of small space furniture

Loft beds open up new possibilities in a small room. Image: Lark Architecture

You can find special furniture made specifically for small spaces. These piece usually have fold-up, or multi-use, functionalities. Pieces of furniture with small space functionality include:

  • Fold-out desks
  • Murphy beds
  • Loft beds
  • Fold-out, or extendable, tables
  • Ottomans or coffee tables with storage space inside

Don’t think of loft beds as simply college dormitory staples: there are some stunning styles made for “grown-up” spaces. Hoisting the bed off of the floor adds a new dimension of unused floor space you can fill with a reading nook, a writing desk or a sofa.

Invest in floating shelving

Floating shelving creates a whole different dimension of storage.  Image: Alex Maguire Photography

One of the best ways to organize a small space is to utilize shelving that doesn’t take up floor space. That’s where floating shelving comes in.

With floating shelving, you can add a makeshift bookcase without taking up flooring space. You can display your valuables on floating shelves without having to add a space-consuming curio. You can even use them to hold file boxes, making them a great tool for organization.

Another benefit of floating shelves: they fit almost anywhere.  Place them in nooks, over bookcases, under stairs, over the sofa or even over doorways.

Take stock of everything you own

Large corner sofas like this one work well in small spaces.  Image: P + A Interiors

Take a look around your house and decide what you don’t need. For instance, do you really need that huge decorative lamp, when a ceiling light or recessed lighting could do the job while freeing up space?

With small spaces, adopt a “less is more” attitude. For instance, instead of many cluttered small art pieces that barely fit on a wall, try going with one large piece that makes a statement.

Or, try trading all those tiny knick-knacks for one larger statement piece. You could also get rid of some unnecessary bookcases or display cases that way.

The principle also applies to furniture. How much do you really sit on that chair? Could it be replaced with something that folds up and is put away when you don’t have company?

You might also want to invest in larger furniture, which seems counterintuitive. But when you have a small chair and love seat, they actually take up more room because you have to leave space between them. You’ll actually get more sitting space out of one large sofa than a bunch of small chairs, which can make the space look more cluttered.

Planning on incorporating any of these tips to make the most of your small space. Have any tips of your own? Leave a comment and let us know!