11 ways to maximize a small space
Think about all the things you do in a space — work, sleep, relax, eat — and then establish separate zones for those activities. Subtle demarcations can help the space feel larger. You can evoke "rooms" with multiple seating areas, a tented or curtained bed, a window seat or built-in banquette, or even just a smartly placed table and chair. In this New York apartment, paint signals an entry.
Design by David Kaihoi
More from MSN Living: 10 of the smallest rooms we've ever seen
Choose elements that switch-hit. Find a table that can function as both a desk and a dining table. Get daybeds or deep sofas that can double as guest beds. A storage ottoman can provide an extra perch, a little table, and a secret hiding place. Invest in pieces that can be rearranged to transform the use of a room: Murphy beds, folding chairs, collapsible or flip-top tables. Pieces like nesting tables and secretaries take up less space than conventional furniture when not in use. Exploit wireless technology wherever possible to make it easy to reposition lighting, speakers, or home-office gadgets. And put furniture on casters, so it's easy to move.
Design by Stephen Shubel
Trick your eye
Make every piece count
Choose furnishings and decorative elements that offer maximum functionality in minimal square footage. "Use two small round tables instead of one big coffee table," designer Ken Fulk says. "They're better for traffic flow than one of those huge knee knockers, and easier to move."
Design by Ken Fulk
Use bigger — but fewer — furnishings
It may seem counterintuitive, but outfitting a small space with just a few large-scale pieces (rather than a mishmash of pint-size furniture) can actually make it feel grander. That said, don't be afraid of filling up the space. When a room is populated with furniture, it actually appears larger.
Design by Mona Hajj
Visual continuity creates calm
Soothing, even-toned rooms fool the eye into thinking they're more spacious than they are.
Design by Melanie Pounds
Bespoke built-ins, storage nooks, and furniture tailored to your exact needs can utilize every available sliver of space.
Design by Brockschmidt & Coleman
Create a jewel box
Splurge on sumptuous materials and exuberant treatments. Play up the petite size to heighten the sense of coziness. Give grandeur to subsidiary spaces like hallways with a salon-style hanging of artwork or a library-like installation of books.
Design by Meg Braff
Exploit the often under-utilized space between the tops of furniture and a room's ceiling with hanging or high-mounted elements. They'll draw the eye upward. Take bookcases and cabinets all the way up.
Design by Summer Thornton
Create sight lines
Tear down walls, enlarge windows, or swap solid doors for glass to open up views and connect adjacent spaces. Or create visual stumbling blocks with new walls or strategically placed screens or shelving that force you to take in the space slowly — suggesting that it's larger than it is.
Design Mark Egerstrom