May 31, 2016 Small Spaces

These Tiny Homes Get Small-Space Design Right

by Liz Lynch

Compromising on space doesn't mean conceding on style. A tiny home can still be functional, beautifully designed, and totally enviable. Granted, achieving such a space can be a little more difficult when square footage is limited. To jump-start your creativity and spark ideas for maximizing your own small space, we’ve round up some tiny homes that nailed small-space design. From clever use of mirrors, to endless storage ideas, we've got the lowdown on how to upgrade your own tiny space.

To give a small space visual interest and appeal, mix pieces in a wide variety of textures and materials. This small Scandinavian home combines colorful rugs, woven baskets, billowy curtains, and tall plants. The result is dynamic and interesting and helps distract from the room’s small proportions.

Dash & Albert Samode Fuchsia Rug ($45)

This narrow office space makes the most of its oddball layout by utilizing a narrow bookcase as a spot to store books, magazines, and even shoes. The slim desk makes it easy to navigate the space—which also serves as an entryway and a hallway.

CB2 Stairway Wall Mounted Bookcase ($399)

Incorporating a bed, bookshelves, and nightstands onto one single wall in a tiny bedroom could have felt like a crowded visual assault. Instead, thanks to this room’s neutral palette, the space feels airy and serene rather than cluttered.

Serena & Lily Rope Bin ($88)

In this 500-square-foot home, the one open space had to accommodate a living room, office, dining room, and bar while also being open to the adjacent kitchen. Furniture that can serve as double duty is what makes this space work, like a desk chair that can be flipped toward the sofa when guests come over to chat, and utilizing the computer’s monitor as a television.

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Frida Arm Chair With Tibetan Fur ($976)

Lucky for this small-space dweller, the small living room came with a whole wall of windows to flood the space with light. To maximize this feeling of lightness opt for light paint, and airy window treatments. Anchor the space with a bold rug, and a few stocky (but appropriately scaled) furniture pieces.


CB2 Silo Tall Side Table ($179)

Mirrors reflect light and views, and depending on their size, they can double the perceived size of a room. In this tiny Paris apartment, the architects placed a wall-to-wall mirror on the back bathroom wall, making the entire place feel twice as big.

Room & Board Infinity Mirror ($799)

In a small bedroom, a tiny wall mounted nightstand doubles as a bedside lamp. The surface is just large enough to perch a drink or a book. A stepping stool (invaluable in a small space with high storage) doubles as a tiny bookcase.


Frama 90 Degree Wall Light (price on request)

We love how this small home threw out the conventional wisdom that every nightstand needs a lamp, and instead utilized a slim-profile floor lamp next to the bed to free up some surface space on the side table. Decorating a small home requires some creativity—be sure to call on yours.

Circa Lighting Mia Floor Lamp ($420)

A tiny kitchen usually equals lack of storage, but by opting to use utensils, glassware, and plates that are all as attractive as they are functional, many seemingly ugly necessities can now be stored in plain sight. Place decorative hooks under upper cabinets and hang any attractive items out in the open to free up some space.

Anthropologie Silvered Marble Double Hook ($48)

Like we frequently say, a small space doesn’t have to be small on style. Case in point, this lively room where a mix of patterns, bold paint choices, and smartly scaled furniture feels dynamic and personal. Plus, spending time making a small place truly reflect your personality and tastes will ensure you always feel at home, even if it is tiny.

Lulu & Georgia Triangle Splash Pillow ($30)

What are your best small-space decorating tricks? Share your wisdom with us!