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Whether you live in a 300 sq foot “apartment” in Manhattan or 900 sq foot home in San Francisco housing a family of four, you can live stylishly and comfortably in a small space. All it takes is a few steps and dedication to utilizing every single inch you have. Check out these tips to maximize a small space and give your home more breathing room.

Photo via Waiting on Martha
Photo via Waiting on Martha

1. Multifunctional Pieces Are Your Friend

A multifunctional piece can help your space look less cluttered, even if you’re a collector. Minimalist and mid-century modern furniture makes small spaces look larger because the individual pieces are streamlined and simple, taking up less space. A vintage chest is great for storage, and also acts as a chic coffee table. A nightstand can also acts as a desk.

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  • Storage

    Vintage Aluminum Trunk



sasha bikoff
Interior design by Sasha Bikoff, photo by Nicole Cohen

2. Be Crazy Creative

Part of the fun of living in a small space is the creativity it requires. Got too many clothes stuffed into your closet? Go hunting for some cute roller racks and start using your clothes as decor! Make your rolling bar cart do double duty as a nightstand when you’re not entertaining. Build cubbies into the underside of your bed to hold shoes or books. Or, get a modern day Murphy bed that tucks away when not in use. Brilliant.

Photo via 428 Main
Photo via 428 Main

3. Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s Got the Smallest Space of Them All?

Using a mirror creates the illusion of a bigger space by reflecting what’s already there. Don’t be afraid to put a mirror in an unconventional space! Fun frames will serve as decor, or an unframed mirror seamlessly blends into the wall and will enhance the magnifying effect.

Photo via Waiting on Martha
Photo via Waiting on Martha

4. Wall Space is Useful

There are tons of tutorials out there about DIY shelves and other wall-mounted storage units. Find a few favorites and get crafting! Having extra shelving or space to display knick-knacks will provide you with more valuable real estate on your side tables and counters. Or even better, use wall shelving as temporary desk!

Small space living bedroom
Photo by Nick Steever, apartment of Brigitte Boyer

5. Use Color Carefully

While color is a fun way to spice up your home, in a small space it can quickly become overwhelming. Stick to a few splashes of bright hues (colorful books, bedding, or rugs are fun ideas) and keep everything else neutral.

Small space living coffee table
Photo by Brigitte Boyer

6. The Devil’s in the Details

In a small space it can sometimes feel like there’s not even enough room to let your personal design style show. Fix this problem by paying attention to the little details in your house that allow you to express yourself. Vases of flowers in your favorite colors, a vintage tray, or a mini-gallery wall of your personal photos can help. Constant and deliberate editing of your home will be a must.

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  • Decorative Bowls

    Ben Seibel Dimpled Brass Catchall



  • Books

    ‘The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India’ Vintage Book

Courtesy of Offset

7. Keep It Clean

A small house will get dirtier a lot faster than a large one, and it’s important to make your home feel welcoming, tidy and well…clean! Keep a duster around and do a whole house vacuum a few times a week. The good news is with fewer square feet comes fewer carpets.

Featured: interior design by Daphne Steinberg, photo by Nanette Wong

July 13, 2016

Viva la vintage! Chairish curates a fabulous collection of chic, one of kind vintage furniture and decor. Shop our hand-picked, "best of the best" offering of Mid-Century Modern, contemporary and antique finds. Happy hunting!