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Living Large: How to Create Space in a Small House

Small Gray House With Fence
By:Danielle Hanula| Last Updated:03/14/2024
Time to Read: 5 min

Tips to Maximize Space in a Small House

Smaller homes can easily check off the same boxes on your wish list that a larger house can. A few of these small house design ideas and organization tricks can make you feel like you’re really living big. When space is limited, it’s important to be resourceful of what you do have by making the most of your square footage. Follow these tips and tricks to organize, declutter and open up your home for comfortable small space living.


Maximizing Space in the Living Room

Exposed Leg Table, Shelves and Loveseat in Living Room

1. Buy Exposed-Leg Furniture

Add more visual space to your living area by furnishing it with pieces with exposed legs and chairs without arms to give the room an open feel.

2. Mount Your TV

An entertainment center can be a big waste of floor space in your family room. Mounting your TV above your fireplace, or on the wall, will save space while offering a modern, less cluttered look.

3. Choose the Right Art

Choose an oversized piece of art to anchor the room and make your space appear larger than it actually is. A general rule of thumb is that the frame should take up two-thirds or more of the wall.

4. Keep It Neutral

Maximize your room’s brightness by keeping the wall colors neutral, in light or pastel shades. You can also brighten things up by adding mirrors to reflect your wall colors, especially if the space is lacking windows or natural light.

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Small House Design Tip
Keeping colors light and neutral in any room of your house will make it appear larger and more open.

5. Build Strategic Storage

Avoid bulky storage pieces and go with floating shelves or built-in bookcases to give yourself organization options without taking up floor space. Multipurpose furniture pieces that can be both a seat or table and a storage solution are also helpful, such as a bench, trunk or ottoman.

6. Think Big With Your Rug

Picking a large area rug is a great way to make the room feel bigger. One that sits under the couch, coffee table and other furniture will draw the eye wider.

Not sure where to start when it comes to decorating your home?
Check out our Complete Guide to Redecorating Your House!

Maximizing Space in the Kitchen

7. Hang Magnetic Strips

Save counter space by hanging your knives and other stainless steel utensils from a magnetic strip stuck underneath your upper cabinets. You can also use these to hang your most-used spice jars.

Hanging Blue Coffee Mugs in Kitchen

8. Use Open Wall Space

Floating shelves are great for storing pots, pans and other light appliances. You can also use pegboards or racks with hooks to hang your coffee mugs and use a larger cup to hold your silverware.

9. Declutter Countertops

Keep your countertops and other kitchen surfaces clear to use strictly as a workspace when cooking or baking. Follow our tips for decluttering kitchen counters to maximize space.

10. Pick the Right Color Scheme

Similar to your living room, using lighter, bright colors can help reflect light and make your kitchen instantly seem larger. Keep your wall color light, and use your countertops to add in a pop of color.

Maximizing Space in the Bathroom

11. Make Use of Over-the-Toilet Space

Purchase a shelving unit that fits over your toilet, or add some floating shelves to help with maximizing space in a small bathroom.

Bright Bathroom With Pedestal Sink and Round Mirror

12. Free Up Floor Space

Choose a pedestal sink or floating vanity to add floor space and make your bathroom feel bigger. You can place baskets under your floating vanity or next to your pedestal for storing extra towels and washcloths.

13. Add a Mirror

Mirrors reflect light, making a room feel larger and more welcoming. Whether you add a bathroom mirror or a medicine cabinet with a mirrored front, this simple touch will brighten up your space.

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Small House Design Tip
Add a mirror to any room you want to feel more spacious and sunnier.

14. Install a Pocket Door

Having a pocket door can save space, versus a traditional door which swings into the bathroom and takes up room. Check out additional space-saving ideas for small bathrooms here.

Looking for more ways to create space in your small home? Check out our Guide to Space-Saving Storage!

Maximizing Space in the Bedroom

15. Buy Multifunctional Furniture

Consider choosing a headboard with built-in bookshelves or a bed frame with drawers. This is a great way to add storage to your bedroom, without compromising on style.

16. Mount a Mini-Shelf

Instead of bulky nightstands, add a floating shelf to the wall on either side of the bed. You could even use an old crate turned on its side, with the top for a nightstand and the inside for storage.

17. Brighten It Up

Another small space living hack is to hang wall sconces on either side of the bed. This adds functional lighting that won’t take up floor or nightstand space as traditional lamps would.

18. Pick Light Window Treatments

Embrace natural light to open up the room and choose white or light-colored gauzy curtains to accent your windows. If you prefer blackout shades for sleeping, use those under your curtains and keep them raised while you’re awake.

19. Clean Out Your Closet

Smaller rooms tend to have smaller closets, so to stay organized, make sure to revisit your wardrobe every season and rotate your clothes. Learn how to declutter the bedroom in 5 steps for more insights.

Maximizing Space With Dual-Purpose Rooms

When working on creating space in a small house, one simple tip is to make your rooms multifunctional. In many cases, you may already be doing this without realizing it. All it takes is a little organization, and you can easily add more useful space to your home.

Laundry and Mudroom

Combining your laundry and mudroom can give you the best of both worlds. Keep shoes, coats and outdoor accessories organized, while also being close to laundry in case of a muddy emergency.

Kitchen and Dining Room

Having your dining room table combined with your kitchen space makes hosting a meal easy. Consider purchasing a kitchen table with a leaf – a board that adjusts table size – so you can add extra seating when you have guests, and save space the rest of the time.

Office and Guest Bedroom

Depending on how much space you have in this bedroom, you can opt for a daybed or sofa bed on one wall and a desk on the other. Don’t let your guest bedroom collect dust waiting for an overnight visitor. Instead, use it regularly by adding an office or even a playroom for your kids.

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