Many of us are used to the complexities of small-space living these days (closets, remember those?), but no one is as uniquely aware of the challenges of designing for a small space than Sara Malek Barney of Austin’s BANDD Design. After staging the interior of America’s first-ever 3D printed home, a homey 650 square feet, Malek Barney has proven again and again that even small living quarters can house high-impact style. Her philosophy, as it turns out, is relatively simple, and her top tips are ones that anyone can apply to their home.

1. Use some of that precious space for lighting. It’s one element that makes a huge difference. “Overhead lighting can make a space feel stark and washed out,” Malek Barney says. “Utilize lighting like floor lamps and candles to add warmth and comfort to your small space.”

2. Having a small space doesn’t mean you should limit your bold style. Color and pattern are easy ways to amp up the impact. Some of Malek Barney’s favorites? “I just don’t think I will ever get tired of a fabulous, deep teal, and I will forever have a place in my heart for geometric patterns. They just sing to me,” she says.

3. Storage is always worth the spend. “Invest in a storage system,” implores Malek Barney. “Since space is your biggest commodity in a small home, investing in a pro’s help for maximizing your storage is an expense that will pay for itself in your happiness!” (Anyone who has had their life changed by the magic of tidying up will agree with this one!)

4. Baskets are key. And they work in *every* room. “Never underestimate the power of baskets. Whether on a countertop, bookshelf, or next to you bed, baskets can easily corral small items in your home. They are also great because you can move them from room to room when cleaning up a space,” says Malek Barney.

5. Look For Pieces That Do Double Duty. “I absolutely love pieces with multiple purposes, especially in a small space,” Malek Barney admits. “Look for a bed frame with hidden storage drawers or a desk that double as a dining table. Finding multiple uses for a piece can double the function of your space!”

How do you maximize style in a small space? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @BritandCo!

(Austin pied-a-terre images via Katie Jameson; 3D-printed house images via Regan Morton of Crown V)