Design Solutions: Small Spaces

One of the most challenging aspects of designing homes in New York City is the limited and unique amount of space there is to work with. Each apartment - from the basic floor plan to window placement down to every charming detail - is one-of-a-kind. Although it is overwhelming considering these challenges when choosing a new apartment, these design dilemmas are exactly what makes the process fun and worthwhile. While there is no one formula that will necessarily get the design job done, there are several tricks you can consider to maximize the valuable space you do have.

1. Select Multi-Purpose + Function Furniture
Your entry table can double as a console / TV stand, your dining room table as a desk, that cute x-bench / ottoman as seating or a cocktail table for your next party. Invest in pieces that provide multiple functions such as this clever banquette designed with storage in mind.

designed by David Kaihoi

designed by David Kaihoi

2. Enlighten Your Space
Add multiple light sources both at eye level sitting down and standing up and make sure to turn them on. By providing multiple focus points, lamps and fixtures help to expand a room visually, creating the illusion of depth and more space.

designed by Chet Pourciau

designed by Chet Pourciau

3. Play with Scale + Height
Scale is very important in small spaces. Counter to what you may think, small pieces of furniture may actually make a room look even more petite. Strive for a nice balance of pieces of all sizes that comfortably fit the space. Additionally, hang curtains (including the one for your shower) from the ceiling all the way to the floor. Even if you have small windows, it won't seem that way.

designed by Miles Redd

designed by Miles Redd

4. Create (the illusion of) Space with Mirrors
Mirrors are not only functional, but they also double the light and create the illusion of space with their reflection.

5. Buy Infrequently + Edit
With your particular budget in mind, focus on purchasing quality and long-lasting pieces, even if you must save up for them. Edit out furniture and accessories that do not meet your needs or match your style. You will spend less money in the long run and your space will be much more cohesive.

designed by Burley Katon Halliday

6. Create Contrast + Interest with Color + Prints
Stain or paint the floors, choose a punchy color for the front door, add some funky wallpaper and textiles, and generally do not be afraid to make your own personal statement in your home. Small spaces are perfect for a little bit of drama.

via Lonny

via Lonny

7. Make the Space a Reflection of You
Thoughtful collections and personal items show your own unique flair and make the space truly yours. Allow your personality to shine through and you'll be glad to call whatever space you have home.

designed by Nick Olsen

designed by Nick Olsen

Emily C. Butler

Emily C. Butler, 1153 3rd Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA

Emily C. Butler is a New York City based interior designer + decorator.