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Big Design Ideas for Small Spaces
Posted by:Denise Butchko,

For as long as this “tiny living” movement stays on trend, you need to be on your game to get the most out of the space your clients ask you to work within.

Tiny nooks and spaces show up all over a house and people want to really maximize each of them, but closets are still the predominant location where people need to get functional storage from every inch possible.

desk storage

Great storage in a built in desk.

Here’s a couple of guidelines to help you with creating storage and organization for these spaces:

Starting Thinking in Zones

And not end zones for football. Zones as areas for organized living.

Do you need a technology zone where devices are dropped, charged and stored?

Do you need a work zone where the laptop goes, there’s plenty of power and horizontal space for you to work with files and paperwork?

Is there a sports zone where the kids dump ALL equipment and toss their filthy bits into a basket?

Asking these questions and designing accordingly will be super helpful to your clients.

As you identify these, group your personal belongings accordingly and then incorporate visual cues like paint colors, floor rugs, even pieces of furniture spaced strategically to divide the zones into their appropriate areas.


Trick Your Eye Into Seeing More Space

Mirrors expand space

-Mirrors are a terrific and simple way to do this. They can be small or large. Wall mounted or sitting on tables. Singular or grouped together. You can place them on the wall at window height to create the illusion that there actually is a window in the spot. It expands the space. You can even put a large mirror on the wall next to the side of your bed so it looks like an entrance to another room.

-Hang curtain rods at ceiling height and hang curtains that are the full height regardless of where a window starts and stops. The vertical visual creates the illusion of bigger.

-Place your lighting strategically so your eye goes to different heights and locations in the space. You can do this by combining the use of floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces.

You may not be the one doing the curtain hanging or lighting placement, but suggesting these ideas to your clients further establishes you as the expert and shows you’re really concerned with meeting the client’s needs.

Use Furniture That Multi-Functions

-A bench that also works as a table or tables that can be used as seating. Murphy (or Wall) beds are terrific space savers and the design options offered today are quite diverse. There’s actually a Wall Bed that also serves as a desk. It’s amazing. Here’s a link to a video if you’d like to see it in action:

Build In Storage At Every Opportunity

-Display space is nice, but not as important as storage when space is tight. Keep in mind that you can “go up”, meaning that you can use the walls as “vertical storage” with shelving or cabinetry.

-Using baskets and boxes helps keep things looking nice and stylish while still functional and increasing overall storage capacity.

Combining even a few of these tips into your living space, whether large or small, will help you feel better, find things more easily and live life more stylishly.

If you’d like more tips on designing effectively, you can download my five favorite closet design tips and those to your design toolbox.

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Denise Butchko

Having experience in both “panel shops” and “mill work shops”, I’m able to bring a unique blend of expertise and perspective to the table (or closet, if you will). I know when a simple solution of “parts” is best and when to incorporate cabinetry for better design and structural integrity.

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