Since most of us here at Brit + Co. reside in San Francisco, we totally get the challenges of living in a small space. But just because you’ve chosen location over square footage doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live in dorm-like conditions forever — in fact, far, far from it. Just take a look at these 14 unique ideas that really make major improvements to less-than-large spaces. Trust us: These unconventional and highly creative solutions are seriously inspiring — we can already feel an apartment redesign in the works!
1. Keep the Color Scheme Clean: Floor-to-ceiling white can make a larger space feel sterile, but the complete white wash look can instantly make a small interior feel airy and inviting. Accent the space with just one or two other colors to keep things streamlined — try using a neutral like black, grey, or even wood grain to get an ultra modern look. But don’t get us wrong, a clean palette can also be a colorful one — just limit the pops of color to only one or two of your favorite hues. (via Homesthetics)
2. Break Up Your Space: Even in close quarters, privacy is a must — it doesn’t matter if that alone time means a couch break from your S.O. or an escape from the glare of your computer. Instead of going with something that just takes up space, like a fold-out screen, use storage pieces like shelving units as room dividers to break us your pad. (via Houzz + Falioz)
3. Now You See It, Now You Don’t!: No room for a dining table? Guess again! Now that fold away tables are easy to find (and cheap!), small space dwellers can have the luxury of eating a proper dinner versus chomping down on the sofa, then reclaim their precious square feet once they’ve eaten all their vegetables. We’re nuts about how this designer added art to the underside of the table so that it adds to her decor when the table’s not in use. (via Homedit + Slow Noodle)
4. Keep Your Desk Space Clutter-Free: Clutter can pile up FAST in a small space, so always be on top of tidying areas that tend to get messy quickly—like your dresser, your coffee table, and especially your desk. Set yourself up right at the start: decorate minimally, make sure you have a designated space for everything you use daily, and create a plan for staying organized. (via 79 Ideas + Apartment Therapy)
5. Hang EVERYTHING: Highly coveted floorspace doesn’t have to be the only place to put must-have home items like bookshelves, end tables, lamps and planters. Hang ‘em on your walls or ceiling instead! It might be the most impressive way to free up the floor. (via 79 Ideas, Brit + Co. + Apartment Therapy)
6. Capitalize on Under Stair Space: Space is space — no matter how awkward the area UNDER the stairs is! So tap into that creativity and imagine the angled storage space of your dreams. We’re swooning hard over this kinda huge closet conversion, but even the space under smaller-angled flights can lend themselves to seating, a kid-friendly play room, or simply a place to set your shoes. (via Falioz)
7. Closet-to-Office Conversions: Trust us: the closet conversion REALLY takes your space to the next level. But thanks to seeing so much online inspo, the closet-to-office variety doesn’t seem so daunting. If physical files and lots of office supplies are key to your workflow, we recommend going this route — and tricking out the surrounding space with a disco ball, like the one in this pink and grey office space. Does that count as a work-related tax writeoff? (via Babble)
8. …Or Closet-to-Bedroom Conversions: We’re fairly certain we could WFH in a closet, but sleep in a closet? Now that’s a commitment. In the end, it comes down to how you want your space to flow: Hack a studio into a one bedroom for more living space, or settle into the one-room lifestyle — which would you choose? I currently sleep in the closet of my studio, and let me tell you, when it’s tricked out right, like the two literal bedrooms you see here—it can actually feel cozy instead of creepy. (via Herlig Heder + Apartment Therapy)
9. Embrace the Clothes Rack: Now that your closet is busy acting as your office or bedroom, it’s time to invest in — or DIY — a clothing rack. It isn’t just a practical move (you totally need somewhere to hang your stuff), but seeing your clothes in plain sight can help you reevaluate your core wardrobe and ditch the trendy fluff. It’s also great incentive to keep your garments in order (did someone say, color coding?) — just take inspo from your fave high-end boutique. (via Steffy’s Pros and Cons)
10. Be Smart About Bike Storage: My boyfriend and I don’t have cats — we have bikes: three of them in an SF studio apartment. And we’re able to stay cycle-obsessed in our small space by using an accent wall as a bike rack (don’t be afraid to double up your two wheelers on the same wall, just make sure they’re drilled into studs). Classy options abound, like The Bike Shelf ($299) that adds elegant storage space above your fixie, or DIY a rack for much less.
11. Chalkboard Paint It Up!: Why fill counters and tabletops with to-do scribbled sticky notes when you can turn your wall space into a giant notepad? Chalkboard paint does the trick, and we’re obsessed. (via The Junk Haus)
12. When in Doubt, Add Wheels: Another small space must-have? Mobile furniture, whether it’s equipped with wheels or just plain easy to move. ‘Cause think about it: when one room has to act as lounge, dining room and more, you’ll need pieces to conform. So you want legroom? Roll your coffee table out of the way. Need a place to set your drinks? Scoot it on back. It’s a game changer. (via Inthralled. + Apartment Therapy)
13. Wall Decals Are Your Friends: By now, your wall space has to be full of hanging furniture, fold up tables, and bike racks, (right?) but they also need some TLC. And when you’ve got no space for framed art, turn to wall decals — they’re versatile, easily removable, and this batch is so insanely modern. (via Brit + Co.)
14. Never Underestimate the Peg Board: Hang yo’ tools! Hang yo’ pots! Hang yo’ art prints on peg board! It’s a clever way to avoid putting holes in your walls while creating customizable storage space. And no, it doesn’t look too industrial: See how a coat of spray paint turned these into a color block wall? Who wouldn’t want to live in a space with a color block wall? (via Brit + Co.)
What small space snaps do YOU find inspiring? What tips do you have to make the most out of your space? Tell us in the comments below.