Working with small spaces

Many of us live in small spaces…whether you’re a renter, a first time home buyer, or maybe you live in a fabulous older home that was designed with smaller rooms.  This isn’t a bad thing, you just need to know how to select the right furnishings for the job!

Step One: furniture that is multi-functional
One of my favorite tricks is a coffee table that can double as extra seating when you’re entertaining.  An upholstered ottoman with a large tray on top is highly functional – perfect for entertaining or if you’re like me, just somewhere to set your wine glass while kicking your feet up!  The Essex Upholstered Ottoman from West Elm is a good example:West Elm Essex Upholstered Ottoman

Another piece that does double duty is a “pouf”.  I have these sturdy, wool poufs in my own home and not only do they give you additional seating, but they’re also small enough to move aside when you’re not using them.

Step Two: choosing furnishings at the proper scale
Although the “designer” at your local retail store may point you towards some stylish selections, how can he or she really know what works in your particular room?  Many retailers offer over-sized and overstuffed furniture, which is undeniably cozy, but can really crowd a small room.  Instead, utilize slim, tailored pieces to provide more breathing room and your small space will instantly feel bigger.  One of the best uses of your money is to hire an Interior Designer to come up with a space plan for your home.  They will provide a range of furniture dimensions so that you can make an informed decision while shopping.

Step Three: float furniture away from the walls
One of the most common mistakes I see is cramming furniture up against the walls in an attempt to open up the space.  Call me crazy, but you actually want to do the opposite.  Pulling large pieces of furniture away from the wall allows breathing room and creates depth.  This living room designed by Kendall Wilkinson is a good example of floating the furniture in the middle of the room.Kendall Wilkinson Design Pacific Hillside

Step Four: enjoy your spacious home!

Denise Maloney Interior Design