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10 Inventive ways to live big in a small home

Living in a small space can be tough at times — storage is lacking and the area can end up looking and feeling cramped. But there are some effective ways to maximize even the smallest of homes and make them feel much larger than they are. We’re sharing 10 tips for doing just that.

We recently took inspiration from a home in Western Massachusetts in an episode of Offbeat Spaces that clocks in at a mere 220 square feet. The micro home might sound like something built for elves, but it proves you don’t need a lot of space to live large.


Avoid clutter

bold yellow dinnerware set

The small space in the video isn’t crammed full of vases, pillows, candle holders and other decorative objects, nor is it filled to capacity with furniture. The house is kept open and airy so that when you’re living there you don’t feel constricted. If you want to see some color, choose bright dishware that will stand out from any open shelving. We love this bold yellow dinnerware set (, $32 to $48).


Say yes to shelving

Classique wall shelf

Include extensive wall shelving to keep from crowding limited surface space with dishes, serveware and even small appliances. That way you don’t need to worry about all of your everyday essentials causing clutter. Take a look at the Classique wall shelf from Smart Furniture — several in the kitchen (or any room) would allow for lots of storage (, $41).


Choose smaller fixtures

small wall hung sink

In the bathroom, the home owners chose to install a small sink to save space. It’s still stylish, but not full size, which makes the room feel less cramped. Check out this small wall-hung sink that saves space but still looks great (, $135 to $203).


Choose the right table

NORBO wall-mounted drop leaf table

A kitchen table that attaches to the wall but folds down when it’s not in use can help save space. We like the NORBO wall-mounted drop leaf table from IKEA, which can seat up to four (, $30).


Utilize under-bed storage

Captains Bed

If you have a small bedroom with minimal space for storage, choose a bed that’s higher up so you have plenty of storage beneath it. Either find a bed with drawers, like this one with six drawers from Urban Green (, starting at $1,499), or buy some bins that can easily be stored under the bed.


Draw the eye up

satellite pendant lamp

Unique light fixtures, in this case old pipes in the kitchen/all-purpose room, draw the eye up and give the illusion of more space. We’re currently coveting the satellite pendant lamp from CB2 that seems more sculpture than light source (, $70).


Get creative in the bathroom

The floor drain in the bathroom means there’s no need for a separate shower stall — the whole room is essentially a shower. Just keep anything you don’t want to get wet (towels, your hair straightener) out of the water flow.


Maximize counter

A tiny kitchen likely means no space for a double sink, let alone a dish-drying rack. Instead, shelving above the sink allows for drainage, meaning you can put washed dishes away without having to dry them first (they drain right into the sink below).


Make a multipurpose space

If you don’t have space for a separate kitchen, living and dining room, combine all three into a multipurpose room that allows for entertaining, living and eating without needing to worry about having rooms that are specific to each need.


Place storage strategically

Cabinets above the sink/stove area (the higher the better) allow for storage that can hide in plain view. If you can fit cabinets higher up (get a small folding step stool to reach them), you won’t have to worry about finding a space below for things you don’t use every day.

More home organizing tips

Clever ways to organize outdoor gear
Stay committed to your shelves: How to keep your shelves organized
Be a modern mom: Chic ways to organize your kitchen

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