small house interior design – When you live in a small house or apartment, fitting in everything you need is difficult. Trying to fit everything and make it look good is an even bigger challenge,
but that’s what makes small house interior design so fun: Coming up with clever solutions to those obstacles makes it all the more rewarding in the end.
Luckily for you, we’ve got quite a few small space tricks up our sleeves, with hacks ranging from hanging beds to hidden storage, tricks of the eye, and more.
Whether you live in a studio apartment or want to get more out of a tiny room in a small house, these small house interior design ideas will make it feel so much larger while maintaining style.
1. Incorpoate Reflective Materials
RUSTIC WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY
Opt for white lacquered walls and glossy tiles, as designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here.
The high-shine materials are reflective and will generate the same maximizing effect that a mirror will, bouncing light and making for a generally airer space.
2. Opt for Pocket Doors
Pocket doors with glass windows allow for shared light to flow throughout the space while also creating separation. And even better, they slide right into the wall when not being used, taking up much less space than swinging doors.
3. Add a Gallery Wall
TREVOR PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY
Though it may sound counterintuitive, covering a wall floor-to-ceiling can make a small space feel larger. In Rudy Saunders’s apartment, an assortment of framed works (plus an overscaled watch clock!) draw the eye up, making the 375-square-foot studio feel more expansive.
4. Be Resourceful
When space is limited and you don’t want to shop for new, bulky furniture, use a chair as a side table and install wall sconces to save surface space.
A cheerful color, like this pale turquoise hue, is also a good idea to set a happy mood in a tiny room.
5. Think Vertically
By hanging subway tile vertically—rather than the more common horizontal hang—designer Eneia White makes this modestly sized bathroom feel both taller and more streamlined.
A tight palette of black, white, and blush prevent it from feeling cluttered.
6. Hide the Utilities
For the restaurant at The Cornell Inn, Toledo Geller used drapery to cleverly conceal pipes and HVAC, creating an elegant canopy while avoiding visual chaos.
7. Hang a Swing!
Since it doesn’t take up any literal floor space, a swinging seat gives the appearance of a much more open room. For proof, look at the daybed Tiffany Brooks hung in this room at the Kips Bay Palm Beach showhouse.
8. Shrink Your Dining Table
Small round tables aren’t just for breakfast nooks. Ditch the giant dining table and give yourself some extra space by opting for a small, round dining table instead, like Emily Henderson did here.
9. Use a Day Bed
Add a day bed and watch your bedroom double in size. If you don’t have a designated guest room, this could also come in handy in your living room.
10. Maximize Shelving
In this Manhattan apartment, Cece Barfield Thompson corralled the owner’s books and accessories into one room, where built-in shelves—complete with gallery lights—make the items look deliberate. The best part? This library doubles as a dining room in the small apartment.
11. Express Yourself Everywhere
Yes, even on the fridge—no, especially—your fridge and other bulky appliances. Since there’s limited space for extras and less room to pile in all your favorite items, you’ll need to beautify everything.
Here, Anthony Dunning turned a regular old refrigerator into a design opportunity by dressing it up in removable wallpaper.
12. Mount Your TV
A media console is the biggest space waster in a small living room. Mount your TV on the wall or above a fireplace and you’ll regain necessary floor space.
13. Hide Your TV
KARYN R. MILLET
Or, even better, hide it! Whether inside of a credenza or disguised as artwork, this design trick is perfect for anyone whose living room is always their family room, dining room, and/or more.
14. Do Double Duty
Pieces that can serve multiple purposes are key: Find a table that can function as a desk and dining table, get a deep sofa that can double as a guest bed, or buy cubes that serve as a coffee table and bonus seats when guests are over.
15. Take Advantage of Architectural Quirks
Every single inch counts in a small house, so be sure to take full advantage of architectural quirks—this way, they’ll actually become your favorite thing about the space.
That radiator by your window? Invest in a pretty radiator cover and customize a cushion so you can use it as a window nook to read and relax in.
(And you’ll be able to forgo the bulky couch that’ll take up half the studio!) Pile on the pillows and add a pendant light for tasks, as Jae Joo did here.
16. Use Mirrors
It’s the oldest design trick in the book: Mirrors will make your space feel larger, lighter, and airier. And a fun convex one like this adds a lot of personality without taking up a ton of space.
17. Make Every Piece Count
Choose furnishings that offer maximum functionality in minimal square footage. For example, instead of an end bench, opt for a desk with a small side chair. You can use it for work, getting ready, and more.
18. Think About Scale
CORINNE MATHERN DESIGN
If your kitchen doesn’t have an island and you don’t have a living room that’s separate from the kitchen, don’t give up on making it functional.
Opt for a tall wooden table that can provide some extra counter space for cooking and as a two-top dining table. Use this one in a kitchen by Corinne Mathern Studio as your blueprint.
19. Keep It Neutral
Calm, even-toned rooms fool the eye into thinking they’re more spacious than they are. Make sure to add a variety of textures to keep the space from falling flat.
20. Convert a Closet
Designer David Kaihoi used some seriously smart storage solutions to make his New York City apartment work harder—including creating this compact laundry “room” in his closet.
That way, when he’s not doing laundry, he can close the door on these eyesore appliances.
21. Customize Storage
Bespoke built-ins, storage nooks, and furniture tailored to your exact needs can utilize every available sliver of space. When they’re part of the walls, you don’t lose nearly as much valuable square footage. And extra storage under a bench helps, too.
22. Create Zones
NGOC MINH NGO
In interior designer Max Sinsteden’s studio, he made his sleep zone feel separate from the rest of the room by hanging a super high curtain and then suspending a floating painting to break it off even more.
“I hate seeing a bed from the front door, so I added a curtain to partition that space. When you close it, you honestly feel like you’re in a Parisian hotel,” he tells us.
This means you can entertain, too, without feeling like everyone’s hanging out in your bedroom. “A small space doesn’t hamper me from inviting 50 people over.”
23. Use All Available Surface Space
Even a windowsill can provide extra storage space for decor, lighting, and other essentials when there’s no room for an extra table.
24. Get a Wall Desk
Think you have no room for an office? Think again. A mounted wall desk takes up way less room—and you can even mount shelves above it for even more storage space.
Designer Tariq Dixon transformed an unused corner by installing a wall-mounted desk.
25. Use Strategic Seating
small house interior design – Opt for extra seating that can fold up and be super compact so you can store it away while the guests aren’t over. A stool like this one in a living room designed by Hecker Guthrie is perfect.
26. Use Bigger (But Fewer) Furnishings
It may seem counterintuitive, but outfitting a small space with just a few large-scale pieces (rather than a mishmash of pint-size furniture) can actually make it feel grander.
Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.
27. Go Big in a Small Space
It’s easy to overlook a room when it’s super tiny, especially because there simply isn’t enough useable space for décor. But it’s definitely possible—and well worth it—to elevate and personalize these little rooms.
Take this powder room in Ailana Michelle Ralph’s home, for example. With a light blush pink wall color and a surrounding gallery of eclectic artwork, the small room packs a lot of punch.
28. Build Up
small house interior design – Exploit the often under-utilized space between the tops of furniture and a room’s ceiling with hanging or high-mounted elements. Take bookcases and cabinets all the way up—it’ll make the room feel higher.
29. Forgo Bulky Pieces
Though the under-the-sink storage can be great, larger vanities with a lot of drawers and cabinets can end up looking oversized and awkward in small spaces.
In this bathroom designed by Studio DB, the dainty marble vanity has plenty of surface space and the extra towel tracks and hooks take care of the storage needs.
30. Build a Partial Glass Wall
Tear down walls, enlarge windows, or swap solid doors for glass to open up views and connect adjacent spaces.
31. Incorporate Good Lighting
Good lighting will make or break any room–big or small. Make sure to especially install good lighting in smaller, cramped spaces like a bathroom with a tiny window, as shown in this gorgeous space.
32. Edit Yourself
You don’t have to display everything. After all, nothing makes a room feel smaller than clutter.