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small room ideas

Space-Savvy Solutions For 5 Tiny (and Tricky) Spaces

Designing and furnishing a small space is no walk in the park. In fact, it can pose quite the challenge! Though your space is small, there are so many considerations to think through. How do I arrange the space? What furniture should I buy? Can I even fit a sofa? Where am I going to store all my stuff? Challenges abound.

Let’s not forget that many small rooms are not only small, but can be kind of awkward. This means you’ve got a tricky layout to crack, making these pint-sized spaces even more of a design dilemma

Every small space comes with it’s own slew of challenges. But with a few clever and creative tricks up your sleeve, you can design a functional and stylish space.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the tiniest (and trickiest) spaces we’ve seen, and break down how our designers tackled them. Take a peek below for some small room ideas and small space hacks from our designers.

Ready for a crash course in our best small room ideas? Keep scrolling to see how these 5 tiny spaces met their match.

 

1. A Recessed Living Room Nook

small room ideasThe Challenge:

More like a nook than an actual room, this tiny living space needed furniture that fit with a precision worthy of NASA engineers. Luckily for these homeowners, trying out sofas with 3D online interior design saved them lots of time and backaches. The priority was to find pieces that fit and make the most of every square inch of floor space.

small room ideas

The Solutions:

  • Find a sofa that perfectly fits the small space. Consider your options, like which side you want the chaise to be on. A great option here? Exploring small apartment furniture and apartment-sized sofas.
  • One of our best small room ideas? Try a rug with an organic shape, like a cowhide. This creates a sense of flow in the space and draws attention away from the size of the room.
  • Choose a coffee table with hidden storage, which is one of our favorite sneaky storage ideas for small living rooms! 
  • Pull in a chair with an open, airy frame that won’t add visual weight to the room. It also helps to break up the boxiness of the space.

See This Room in 360!

2. A Small Home Office for Two

small room ideas – officeThe Challenge:

This small spare room needed to work as an office for two, with space-saving storage options. It also needed to have some sort of relaxed seating. It was a tall order, but we managed to create a small office design that really worked on all counts.

small room ideas

The Solutions:

  • The L-shape arrangement of the desks uses the corner and wall space to its full potential. All without cluttering up the room. That’s a tiny room design win-win in our book!
  • Don’t be afraid to try two different desks—one with plenty of storage and the other with a slim base for fit. (But going for matching finishes will help the shared home office arrangement look more cohesive.)
  • Adding a petite, armless sofa made for ideal seating that isn’t bulky.
  • A C-shape side table can function like a lap desk for working on the sofa. You can also easily move it next to your desk for a place to put your coffee or drink (no more desk spills!).
  • Hang up wall-mounted floating shelves to take advantage of vertical wall space for storage and display your favorite home decor.

See This Room in 360!

3. A Compact Bedroom

small room ideas bedroom

The Challenge:

This small bedroom posed some major interior design challenges to its occupant. On the bright side, this tiny bedroom gets lots of natural light. However, this space needed some small bedroom design tips to keep it cozy but uncluttered. There’s no closet space to speak of, so finding ways to incorporate extra storage was essential when thinking through small bedroom ideas for this space.

small room ideas bedroom

The Solutions:

  • Fill out the space at the foot of the bed with comfy and functional accents, like a bench and/or a pouf. They’ll also make the space feel less utilitarian. This is one of our top small bedroom ideas—because even a tiny bedroom should be more than “just a place to sleep.”
  • Lean a floor-length mirror to make the space feel bigger and more open. Have limited floor space? Try a series of mirrors for a similar effect.
  • Pick narrow storage pieces to give you the storage space you need without taking over your room. Narrower pieces can squeeze into corners and along walls without feeling bulky.
  • Layer rugs, like a colorful one paired with a cowhide or fluffy shag rug, to add lots of cozy texture in any small bedroom
  • This is one of those fun, simple home decor ideas that doesn’t take up additional space! Bonus: an organically shaped cowhide rug is a great way to add style to a small bedroom—while helping the space feel less boxy.

See This Room in 360!

 

4. A Narrow Nursery

small room ideas nurseryThe Challenge:

The goal was to create a stylish nursery—but one that was also highly functional. Given this room’s narrow shape, the furniture needed to be arranged in a line along one side of the room, which had the potential to look awkward. The parents also wanted the crib to be in clear sight at all times and there needed to be space for a changing table. Bring on the small nursery design tips!

small room ideas nursery

The Solutions:

  • Stagger the crib and changing table down the narrow hallway to preserve the walkway while also improving the look of the space. (Essentially, this just looks better than lining up both pieces along the same wall!) This also places the crib in the center of the room, between the two windows, optimizing sightlines.
  • No need to include both a dresser and a changing table. Have a dresser do double-duty by adding a changing table topper. This is also a great way to design for now and later!
  • Add sconces rather than table and floor lamps. They’re a great way to add lighting without taking up floor space—not to mention they’ll be out of baby’s reach!
  • Tuck in a daybed that provides an adult nap spot. Plus, it can also easily make for a guest bed in a pinch! Choose one that has an open base and comes without arms or a back so that it doesn’t add visual bulk.

See This Room in 360!

 

5. A Shoebox-Sized Studio

Small room ideas – studio apartmentThe Challenge:

This long studio had the trifecta of tiny apartment interior design challenges. It had to function as a living space and bedroom and also provide a little area for dining and small gatherings. So, we brought in all our best small apartment design tips to make the most of this tiny space.

small room ideas – studio apartmentThe Solutions:

  • A floor mirror helps open up the space and make it look bigger while making use of a tricky corner by the window—a great way to maximize a small space.
  • In tight apartment spaces, clever use of corner spaces can be a space (and life) -saver. Make the most of your walls through hanging shelves and sconces and bringing in tall, slender bookcases to display some home decor and give you some extra storage. (Wall-mounted bookcases are a favorite tiny room design hack of ours, since they take up less floor space than a traditional bookcase.)
  • A tiny studio apartment like this doesn’t have space for a sofa. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego any seating! Simply opt for a small accent chair, along with comfy and moveable seating, like one or two poufs. They can also double as footrests and side tables if needed!
  • Speaking of seating—a chair can take advantage of the unused space at the foot of the bed, making for a comfy place to watch TV, read a book, or wind down with a drink at the end of the day.
  • For easy-to-stow dining seating, bring in bar stools with open, airy frames.

Looking for more studio apartment ideas? Check out our studio apartment layout guide.

See This Room in 360!

 

Struggling to design a small space in your home?

In case you missed it, all of our designs are done virtually, by real interior designers, in an accurate 3D model of your exact room. If you’re struggling with a tricky, tiny, or just plain awkward space, we can help find interior design solutions tailored to your exact space.

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This post was updated on February 14th, 2021

studio apartment layout

Small Space Ideas: 1 Studio Apartment, 2 Clever Layouts

In our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Often the trickiest part of designing a space, finding the right layout for your room can be a challenge. We will feature a variety of rooms – from the square to the narrow, to the just plain awkward – outfitted with two different layouts that work.

If you’ve ever lived in a studio apartment, you know that while space may be limited, your design possibilities are not. This week we tackle two layouts for a square-shaped studio with an open floor plan.

studio apartment layout guideExplore the two studio apartment layout ideas below and steal a few ideas for your own studio apartment!

The space: A 450 square foot studio apartment with a corner kitchen and two walls of windows.

The Challenge: Designing a layout that included a desk, space for TV viewing, and dining area, all while maximizing the usability of the space to make it feel open and uncluttered.

studio apartment layout guideIdea #1: The Open Layout

Layout idea #1 is all about creating flow inside our studio apartment, making the space feel open, airy, and uncluttered. This setup is great for those who like to entertain and have people over often.

studio apartment layout guideWhy It Works:

  • The furniture hugs the walls, maximizing open space to create a layout that emphasizes good flow.
  • The bistro table for two in the kitchen separates the dining area from the rest of the space. This is also a great way to combat a lack of counter space (a not uncommon problem in small spaces), as the table can double as a kitchen island.
  • The bench stands in for a coffee table, but can also double as extra seating when guests come over.
  • Poufs tuck neatly away under the bench, and also work as footrests, side tables, or perches for guests or pets.
  • A triple threat, the bookcase provides extra storage, acts as a room divider, and gives privacy to the bed area.

studio apartment layout

This Is Great If You…

  • Love to entertain and host small and large gatherings in your space.
  • Live alone or don’t need a studio apartment layout that maximizes privacy.
  • Hate clutter – there’s nowhere to stash a mess in this layout.
  • Want to take advantage of a layout that maximizes extra space – for yoga, dancing, or any other activity that requires a little extra breathing room.

studio apartment layout guide

Idea #2: The Zoned Layout

By using floating furniture to section off – or “zone” – spaces, this studio apartment layout makes each distinct area feel like its own room. The best part is that the bed is totally tucked away in a cozy corner that feels secluded from the rest of the space.

studio apartment layout guide

Why It Works:

  • “Floating” the sofa in the middle of the room helps divide the space into distinct areas, like living/dining, bedroom and office.
  • Place the dining area by the windows to create a sunny breakfast nook vibe.
  • Tuck the bed away behind the desk area, to create a separate space with more privacy.
  • Plop the sofa directly across from the wall-mounted TV to make Netflix binges more convenient and comfortable.

studio apartment layout guideThis Is Great If You…

  • Want a studio that has distinct spaces for all your activities, rather than feeling like one open room.
  • Don’t need a lot of space to host people in your studio apartment.
  • Live with a partner and want a space where you can cohabitate with a little more privacy and space to do your own thing.

Explore More Studio Apartment Layout Ideas

Back by popular demand, we’ve rounded up more of our best studio apartment layout ideas for 2020 and beyond!

studio apartment layout ideasLayout Ideas for an Open-Concept Studio Apartment

Designing an open-concept studio? Explore two ways we designed this space—one as an open live-work-sleep space, and another as a divided studio layout.

Explore The Layouts

L-shaped studio apartment layoutLayout Ideas for an L-Shaped Studio Apartment

Another common studio apartment layout conundrum? The L-shaped layout. We came up with two different layout solutions for this space that serve two different purposes. So whether you want a queen-sized bed, an office space, TV viewing, or a designated dining area, this layout guide has you covered with studio apartment layout ideas galore.

Explore The Layouts

studio apartment design tipsGet All of Our Best Design Tips for Studio Apartments

From how to maximize your square footage to hacks for making your small space seem larger, get the full scoop on all our best design tips and tricks for studio apartments.

Read The Guide

Need help finding the best layout for your space?

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