Angela Raciti: When in a Tiny Box, Think Outside of it

February 17, 2015


Did you have a chance to read my recent post about the Tiny House movement? It is all about the joy and freedom that comes when choosing to live with less. Whether you are downsizing or just in the midst of a spring cleaning panic, selecting and keeping the most important items while donating those that may not offer a purpose can feel so good.

It was not long ago that my husband and I were living in a 500 square foot apartment, so I understand things can get tricky fast, but I also know that paring down, staying organized, and making your home look stylish all at the same time can be done, and done well. Here are my top 5 tips based off of personal experience:

1. Assess your necessities and the way you live

Think about the day to day activities within your home and the make sure the layout works. Is there a chair taking up space in your bedroom when you could really use a dresser? What are you holding on to that you haven’t used in years? Reduce. Then reduce again. Take inventory of what is left and store accordingly. Put the least used things in the hardest to get to places, and the most used in the easiest.

Petit Vanou

Petite Vanou

2.  Think vertically

When square footage doesn’t serve you, oftentimes the volume can. Look up. What can you hang on the walls or store out of arms’reach to keep everyday surfaces clear and displayed beautifully? Carve out vertical space and make it functional.

Anne Zigler

Anne Ziegler’s Laurel Canyon home via Domino

3. Build it in

Nothing saves circulation space like built in furniture. Maybe a built in bed with shelving or drawers would be useful, or maybe your dining area is a little tight and could use a corner banquette with storage underneath. Built ins become part of the architecture of a space, so visually it doesn’t add to the clutter. Take cues from other details in your home when selecting millwork styles.

Ken Pursley

South Carolina farmhouse designed by architect Ken Pursley, via Apartment Therapy

4.  Don’t be afraid to go overscale, on some things

This trick is definitely counterintuitive. For example, hang one larger piece of art on a wall rather than multiple smaller pieces to keep things clean, simple, and artistic. In regards to furniture, think height rather than width as advantageous.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Bosworth Hoedemaker

5.  Understand window treatments

Knowing where to hang your window treatments is crucial. Mounting panels closer to the ceiling and out a few inches from the window makes a room appear taller and windows wider. You can also give the illusion of a taller window by hanging a shade higher up the wall.

meg biram

Meg Biram

What are some of your favorite design tips when dealing with small spaces?

Find A Resource

Search from hundreds of home services, products, destinations, and real estate opportunities.

View All Resources