Designing in a small space can be a formidable challenge. How do you have room for the kids, the mother-in-law, the Pinterest attempts, the heaps of laundry, and your large milk creamer collection? Before you give up and opt for a bigger house or take your collections en masse to the Goodwill (keep the kids and the spouse), try some of these suggestions for making your smaller home work for all your needs:

Utilize All Space From the Floor to the Ceiling

Why waste the top third of your walls and cabinets? Put these spaces to use. If your cabinets don’t go to the ceiling you can either replace them or install shelving along the top. Store creative items on the shelves such as books, decorative glassware, or apothecary jars. A sleek security camera up and out of the way can protect your space but not cramp your decor style. On other walls, don’t buy free-standing bookshelves, which are generally not taller than six feet. Instead, use custom shelving such as Elfa shelves which are custom cut to fit your space and come in a variety of finishes to take advantage of all of the space. Fill vertical space with greenery.

Transform a Bedroom Into a Multipurpose Room

Need a spare bedroom and an office but don’t have room for both? Take out the closet rod and shelving and create a built-in office nook. Depending on your decorating style, you can custom cut an antique door, melamine, or glass to serve as the desk. Add shelves or cabinets above the desk to maximize the space. Invest in a stylish, handcrafted Murphy bed to free up space in the rest of the bedroom, especially if the room is small. Another option: get a modern sleeper sofa for a room that also serves as a media room.

Create a Divide

Do you have two kids who need their own personal space but not two separate bedrooms? Instead of bunkbeds, get creative about custom room dividers. From a long curtain rod or custom ordered dowel from your local lumber store, hang eight foot long muslin curtains. Or divide the room with hip engineered wood and steel bookcases that give each kid ample storage without taking up too much floor space.

Make Everything Serve More Than One Purpose

In small spaces, everything you do should serve more than one purpose. Large storage baskets under a wall-mounted sink can also serve as a place to store clean towels or as a laundry hamper for the dirty ones. Maximize your laundry room by adding a workspace for crafting that can also be used for folding laundry.

Turn Odd Spaces Into Built-in Storage Areas

Have space under your stairs? Turn it into a wine cellar or storage closet. And speaking of the stairs, turn your stairs into useable space by making the stairs themselves book storage. Transform an unusable nook by giving it purpose with a built-in bench seat with a lift-up top for storing blankets inside or baskets underneath for shoes.

Make Small Spaces Feel Bigger

Dark colors on walls and furniture close a room in and make it feel smaller. Instead, stick to whites and light grays and accent your furniture with small seasonal pops of color. A unified floor also helps a space appear bigger. Trade in your carpet, linoleum and tile for a single, unified flooring look throughout your entire house, such as wide-plank engineered hardwood. Eliminating transitions between flooring types enables the space to be used more efficiently, without defining where one room starts and another ends.

About the author

Matt Heitmann

Realtor®, Real Estate Agent

Thanks so much for stopping by! Whether you are selling the home you take pride in, purchasing your first home, or relocating to Wisconsin, I'm looking forward to showing you the great homes available! I want you to feel sure that the home you purchase is that special one, and just right for you! Go Badgers!!

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