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Designing Small Spaces for Optimum Functionality

Designing small spaces continues to be a viral trend in the interior design industry. We see van life social media influencers sharing tips and tiny home episodes on HGTV. The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) acknowledges through its AIA Small Project Award the importance of using architectural design to enhance small spaces that are functional, but still fit into their environment.   

Enhancing small spaces requires us to create an illusion of more space. We use color, light, and the placement of furniture and fixtures to achieve this. Consider the following when you design small spaces for optimum functionality, but don’t be afraid to personalize the room in a way you are comfortable with – especially if it goes against the norm.  

How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Are you wondering how to make a small kitchen appear and feel bigger? Start by looking at your kitchen layout. Remove a part of the wall between your kitchen and dining or living room if you can, and let as much natural light into your kitchen as possible by keeping window treatments to a minimum.

Use shades of white for your cabinetry, walls, countertop and ceilings to reflect light and make the walls recede. If you find white too sterile, use the lighter shades of a color you like. Change to a wall-mounted range hood for a lighter look, and keep clutter off your countertops with open shelving. 

Decorating Ideas for Small Apartment Living Rooms

Living rooms are always a multi-functional space. We visit with friends, use it for work, and want somewhere for visitors to sleep over if we don’t have a second bedroom. So,  how can you decorate a small apartment living room to fulfill your needs? Use a sleeper sofa for visiting guests and keep the bed linen in a storage ottoman. A wall-mounted folded floating desk can serve as a working or dining space. 

Keep window treatments light, but don’t be afraid to go bold with a gallery wall to add a bit of personalization. Use your favorite image as the focal point and build the gallery around it.  

Small Bedroom Design Ideas 

The best small bedroom décor ideas include lots of storage to help you keep the room decluttered. Utilize underbed storage as much as possible and select bedside tables with multiple storage options. Place the bed against a wall and add custom built-ins all around it. Decorate the niche above the bed as if it’s a headboard, and add sconces for light. 

Keep the walls light and add color with curtains hung at ceiling height to draw the eye upwards. Lighter colors make a bedroom feel more airy and lighter, but if you prefer a cocooning effect that goes against the norm, paint the room a warm, dark color.  

Small Bathroom Design Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger 

It is amazing how much one can fit into a small bathroom with the correct layout, but how can you make the space feel bigger? Replace the standard bathroom door with a sliding door. Minimize the visual weight of your shower with clear doors and use small floating vanities to create a feeling of openness. 

Use moveable storage in your bathroom if you are renting. Choose small bathroom tiles to design your shower floor, but larger tiles in a similar shade against the wall to create a feeling of unity and space. Backlight the mirror for a modern look if you don’t have the room for sconces.

Seth A. Leeb, Architect, has more than 25 years of experience with residential and commercial architecture, custom home remodeling and residential interior design. No project is too small to justify consulting an architect. Contact us today for architectural expertise in designing small spaces, or visit our website at: https://leeb-architecture.com/ 

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