Most of us have too much stuff…including space. Despite a significant decline in McMansion construction as of late, many families reside in quarters designed to house growing collections of shoes, toys, gadgets and more. For others, minimalist living in spaces no bigger than a standard master bedroom is like tacking a nearly impossible project. Their goal: to create a space that is both functional and inspiring. These daring people have never accepted that a lack of space means the absence of clever solutions and beautiful design.

As the housing industry continues to produce more modest homes, consider a few ways to make the most of small spaces.

Paint it!

Paint can make a huge difference in a small space. Using a darker color could end up making your space look even smaller… depressing even. Use bright colors like crisp whites or pale yellows or blues to brighten rooms. Another trick to widen a narrow room is to paint crown molding to match the ceiling, creating the illusion that the ceiling is wider than it is and minimizing the tunnel-vision effect.

Keep it simple.

Choose simple materials, sleek furniture, light colors and reflective materials to open up rooms that are stuffy. Stainless-steel appliances and shiny fixtures and hardware reflect more light, making a small area feel more expansive. Mirrors also reflect light, creating the illusion of more space. One looking glass is enough to expand the perceived depth of a room, but two amplifies the effect even more.

Spice it up.

Flooring can enhance any space, big or small. When installed diagonally, however, flooring (whether wood or tile) helps make rooms appear wider than they really are. If you’re opting for wood, choose wide plank flooring to increase depth while also making a space unique and inviting.

Furniture for thought.

Use tall furniture and built-ins to draw the eye upward, convincing the mind that the room has volume. Tall furniture coupled with high ceilings is a perfect combination because it forces the gaze up, making ceilings appear even higher.


Bay windows, spiral staircases and vertical cabinetry can make a difference in a space that is less than large. Just remember to enhance your home in ways that make sense for your lifestyle and budget. Small tweaks can go a long way in making a space look and feel roomy without breaking your budget.

Teeny-tiny spaces aren’t for everyone. Those willing to take on the challenge, however, will find that strategically-placed furniture and building products will make a small space home sweet home. It’s true – good things often come in small packages.