As more architects explore the potential of tiny homes, finding ways to optimise small interiors is a growing area of interest for designers. Some minimalists advocate that living with less creates simplicity, efficiency and a calmer existence, allowing us to focus on what’s important. Could downsizing be the answer?
Whatever your living situation, there are plenty of ways to make a small room feel bigger. If space is at a premium, here are some of the best interior design solutions for a small house or home.
Mirrors are one of the simplest ways to create the illusion of a larger room, particularly if placed directly opposite a window. In this interior by California design studio Amber Interiors, a large round retro style mirror makes a bold statement in the hallway.
The darker the walls the closer they’ll come towards you, so there’s a reason why so many of us reach for the white paint – it makes rooms appear larger. In this beautiful Swedish summer house inspired apartment by Australian designer Frag Woodall, the small kitchen area looks bright and spacious. The lack of window treatments also lets in maximum light.
Furniture with legs
Being able to see the floor underneath your furniture will make the room feel more spacious, so choose furniture with legs rather than big bulky pieces. In this space designed by blogger Kate La Vie, she chooses a slimline midcentury style sofa placed centrally in the room. Don’t be tempted to squash furniture right up against the wall – giving it some breathing space will also make things feel more roomy.
Good storage is probably the no.1 priority for a small house. If building work is an option, having storage and furniture that is tailor made for your space allows you to take advantage of every available nook, or in this case, a high ceiling. In this beautiful kids room, also by Amber Interiors, bunk beds appear to almost be part of the architecture of the house, whilst the shelving alcoves offer lots of places to present personal items. Photo by Tessa Neustadt
Fold out furniture
Furniture that can be folded up and stowed away when not in use is essential to small house living. This wall hung desk features in a Malibu house designed by Boyd Design and doesn’t take up any floor space. Ideal for homeworkers looking to shut up the office at the end of a working day.
Tables for disassembly
Tiptoe* are a French company making steel table legs and brackets for more flexible living. If space is limited, you can store away the tabletop and legs then reassemble them when you have company. Their products are made in France and come in a range of modern colours such as tomato red, eucalyptus green and ash pink.
Glass coffee tables
Glass or transparent furniture creates the illusion of space and airiness because you can see the floor through them. This one is the Pedrera brass coffee table by Barba Corsini for Gubi, available from Smallable*. You’ll also find a wide selection of original 1970s vintage glass coffee tables at Vinterior*.
Folding and extendable dining tables
Extendable dining tables provide much needed flexibility in a small house. This classic drop leaf design by Ercol is ideal for a quick and easy transformation when entertaining. It’s a signature design dating back to the 1950s so you can find plenty of original vintage versions* on the second hand market.
Wall hung bedside tables and lamps
Possibly the most discreet bedside table ever? This bedroom styling idea comes from the Czech blog By Koczanska where the additional use of wall mounted bedside lights saves all the more space. This metal bedside shelf made of 2mm steel is by Danish brand, Nichba Design.
Hanging plants from the ceiling means you can add lush greenery to your home without having to take up any surface space. This is the home of Brisbane based photographer and ceramicist Nicolette Johnson whose beautiful home was featured on Design Sponge.
Concrete designed this compact hotel room in Amsterdam’s Zoku hotel with a stylish raised bedroom area. The hotel also happens to have a Green Key Gold certification – the international hallmark for sustainable hotels and restaurants. See more of this space on Huh Magazine.