Smart Design With Suzette: Small Space Design Tips

Smart small kitchen design. Courtesy/Suzette Fox

Smart Design with Suzette

Small Space Design Tips

If your home or apartment feels small to you, maximizing space is essential. My first home was a 900 square foot bungalow in Florida. I quickly learned how to make the best use of a small space.

Squeezing in as much usable space as possible makes rooms livable by helping it function properly, keeping claustrophobic feelings (and clutter) at bay, and making a home (especially a tiny one) feel more spacious.

No matter the square footage, it really comes down to being smart about organization and storage, making your space as efficient as possible. So keep these tips in your design tool belt.

Create Zones

Think about all the things you do in a space – relax, eat, sleep, work – and then establish separate zones for those activities. Keep the flooring consistent throughout to expand the space.

Make Every Piece Count – Dual Purpose

Look for multiple uses in everything you buy. An ottoman is nice, but an ottoman with hidden storage is even better. A table that can be used for dining and a desk makes a lot of sense.

Think vertical to save space. Courtesy/Suzette Fox

Think Vertically

Go vertical and use the space up to the ceiling whenever possible – shelves and storage that have a small footprint but are tall can really help in a small space. Take bookcases and cabinets all the way up. It draws the eye up, making a space feel more expansive than it actually is.

Create Site Lines

Tear down walls, enlarge windows, or swap solid doors for glass to open up views and connect adjacent spaces. Then choose a dark floor against light colored walls and furniture to create the illusion of space.

Window Coverings
Hang curtains so that when they’re open, the entire pane is clear; open curtains should fall beside the window and not obscure any of it. Consider hanging curtains from the ceiling, rather than from the top of the window, which will add height to the space.

Kitchen Cabinets
Light-colored cabinets, open shelves and glass-front doors will help to lighten a space. Too many cabinets, especially made of dark materials, will give the impression that the room is much smaller than it actually is.

Custom cabinetry. Courtesy/Suzette Fox

Go Custom
Made-to-measure closet systems are fabulous. A well-designed system can maximize your closet space and eliminate the need for furniture. I designed my master closet system and was able to eliminate an entire dresser. Best decision ever!

Keep It Clean and Get Rid of Clutter

A clean home always feels bigger without clutter. Have a place for everything and then everything can go back in its place. Edit, edit, edit. Look at everything with a critical eye. Don’t store anything that you don’t use.

Mirrors and Glass 
Making a small space seem grand depends on maximizing light. Fill your room with light. You can do that with a glass coffee table, rather than a wood one. Place metallic accessories around the room to create reflections. You can also strategically hang mirrors near windows to bounce light around. Mirrors help magnify the space.

Glass makes a space look bigger. Courtesy/Suzette Fox

Make your small space work harder with smart solutions for making it look and feel more spacious.

“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website

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