How to Use Room Dividers in Small Spaces

If you have a small space, you may think that the last thing you need is an element like a room divider, which was literally made to close off and separate spaces. But room dividers are a great addition to any small space. They are a good way to section off and organize small spaces, which often have more of an open floor plan. And open-design dividers mean that you can get a more organized space visually without closing areas off from each other completely.

Room dividers are also a budget design addition to a room. They can cost anywhere from $60 up. And as for time, it can take as little as a couple of hours to decide on the right divider for you, bring it home and place it in the room. So whether you are looking for a fun style accent or need to add functional organization to your space, take a look below for different ways to use room dividers.

Room Dividers Open Design

Visually separate a space without closing it off by going with an open room divider design. Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

Visually Open Room Dividers

As touched on above, room dividers don’t have to visually close off a space. The photo above shows a room divider that has an open pattern. Designs like these are perfect for adding some conceptual organization between areas in small, open-plan spaces. And they don’t make the space feel claustrophobic.

Designs like these also come in a wide array of patterns. A pattern like the room divider in the photo above adds some interesting geometry to the space. Other open room dividers have more curved and free-flowing patterns to them. There’s a pattern for any design taste.

Room Dividers Rope Design

Your room divider doesn’t even have to be a traditional divider. Image:

Go Conceptual

The photo above shows that a room divider can be made of just about any material. You can get creative with the types of materials you use. For instance, a simple textured wooden post and some heavy vertical rope give the appearance of a room divider in the photo above. It adds visual organization to this artsy, relaxed space without visually closing the areas off from each other.

The idea above also shows how you can add greenery to your room divider. The vines on the rope add more of a visual block but, again, without completely closing off the spaces. And the vines add a natural feel that matches the potted plant in the background. It’s also common to see vines added to solid room dividers.

If you’d like to go for a conceptual idea to separate your space, here are a few ideas for unconventional room dividers:

  • Shelving where you can see from one side to the other
  • A full clothing rack
  • Sheer tapestry or curtain
  • Open shelving with fish tanks placed on the shelves
  • A line of tall plant life

These are just a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

Room Dividers Blue Accent

A boldly colored room divider makes a great accent in a corner. Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Use Room Dividers as Accents

It’s also common to see room dividers used as decorative accents. If you have a smaller space you’d rather not close off, think about putting a room divider in a corner. You can see the concept in action in the photo above, where a bright blue room divider adds a shock of color to an otherwise boring corner. You could do this idea with any bright accent color, like cherry red or bright purple.

Also, you don’t have to stick to solid colors. There are room dividers with bold art printed on them (like this item here). And a room divider with a full art scene on it gives the optical illusion that your small space is larger since it feels like you’re looking into a window to another world.

And remember, take your time to weigh your options. There are many different types of room dividers out there.

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How to Light Your Hallway

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Don’t let hallway lighting be an afterthought. Use this guide to light your hallway well. Image: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

Lighting is important. Interior designers, real estate agents and staging pros will all tell you it’s true. If you want your home or apartment to feel inviting, it needs to be well lit. That’s pretty straightforward in most of your home. You put a lamp on your nightstand. You hang a pendant above your dining table. But what about the smaller, trickier spaces? Specifically, how do you light your hallway well?

Because hallways are so narrow, they present two problems. First, the minimal available floor space necessitates a certain kind of light. And, of course, it’s the harder type of light. You can’t simply place a lamp here. When you need to light your hallway but keep walkways clear, mounted lighting is your only option.

The other hallway lighting challenge results, again, from the hallway’s narrow design, which can make it feel claustrophobic. Your hallway needs to be thoroughly and brightly lit. Otherwise, it risks feeling too confined.

But don’t worry. There are solutions to both of these problems. The need for maximal free floor space might force your hand in choosing certain types of lighting, but there are still plenty of good options available. And you can easily fend off that claustrophobic feeling by mounting lights at strategically placed locations throughout your hallway. Use this guide to get all the details you need to light your hallway beautifully.

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The style of lighting you choose will shape the feel of your hallway. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Choosing your lighting

Most hallways are designed to be wide enough to allow a single person to move through them comfortably — and not much else. If your hallway is wide enough to accommodate a console table, count yourself lucky. For those of us with hallways that need every available inch of width to feel comfortable, wall- or ceiling-mounted lighting is the way to go. With these options, you keep the walkways open but can still wash your hallway in a warm and inviting glow.

Pendant lighting

Pendant lights can make a statement in your hallway. Find one that really catches your eye and hang it to transform what would have been a very forgettable space. Pendant lighting is best for hallways with high ceilings. Otherwise, a low hanging fixture could induce that sense of claustrophobia you’re trying so hard to avoid.

Wall sconces

You don’t necessarily have to rig something to your ceiling to light your hallway. Sconces can help you provide ample lighting without ever needing to pull out more than a step stool to change the bulb. This type of lighting is best for wider hallways, though, since the sconces will protrude from the walls, encroaching on the space of your hallway walkers.

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Can lighting may be simple, but it’s effective. Image: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

Can lighting

Sometimes the simple solution is the right one. Can lighting is an easy and effective way to light your hallways. Since the fixtures themselves will probably go largely unnoticed, this lighting style works with virtually any home style.

Track lighting

If you want to add an architectural feel and give yourself highly customizable lighting, track lighting delivers. This style is ideal for industrial and contemporary spaces.

Mixed lighting

Who says you can’t have it all? You can mix and match these lighting types to find the ideal way to light your hallway.

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Place lights strategically to make your hallway feel bright and open. Image:

Placing your lights

Now that you’ve chosen your light style, you need to make sure you have enough of the light itself to make your hallway feel sufficiently lit. Here are a few quick and easy tips to help:

  • Place lights every eight feet, at least. Smaller lights with lower-wattage bulbs should be placed more frequently.
  • Draw the eye down the hallway by placing a light close to either end.
  • If you’re choosing sconces, place them high on the wall to draw the eye up and make the space feel open. Otherwise, you risk that whole medieval, torch-on-the-wall-of-a-castle vibe.
  • Stand at both ends of the hall and check for dark spots. Make sure the light stays consistent and doesn’t dip in brightness between light fixtures. Brighten shadowed parts of the hallway as needed to keep the space feeling open and inviting.

That’s it! You’re now ready to light your hallway like a total champ. And, sure, your guests may never notice what a great job you did. But they’ll also never feel like they’re traversing through a cavern when they’re walking down your hall.

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Small Apartment in Taipei Reveals Great Storage Options

All images courtesy of A Little Design.

This small apartment in Taipei, Taiwan, envisioned by A Little Design studio, ranks high in creativity. Despite a total living space of 22 square meters (236 square feet), the flat is as practical as it gets.

According to the designers, the space clearly defines all the living functions. The stairs lead the way to the upper “bedroom” but also increase the accessibility to the cabinets in the wall. A fridge and a cupboard are located under the stairs, thus expanding the kitchen.

“The sofa area behind the wardrobe is a small, cozy corner which makes up for not having a living room,” the designers further explained. “The sofa can also be used as a single bed to host a guest and the deep drawers below complement the storage.”

Specially designed for a business person permanently on the move, the apartment had to include an ingenious solution for a working space. It more than meets that requirement. First, it has a retractable table upstairs that serves as a desk. Additionally, a side table adjoins the sofa on the ground level, perfect for placing books and magazines when working. And the sofa becomes an ideal reading nook with plenty of natural light coming through the large window.

Enjoy the virtual gallery below and let us know if there are other details that you find inspiring.

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3 Ways to Plan a Small Yard Green Space

Small yards come with many challenges. One of the biggest is struggling to make a lawn work in them. The simple fact is that with less space to work with, the lawn itself has to be impeccably planned so that it fits in with decking space, decorative accents and other common yard functions. Otherwise, you risk a yard that looks cramped and cluttered. Luckily, there are a few design principles that will help that small yard green space just work.

Be prepared. Planning the landscape of your backyard is one of the most involved home projects you can undertake. It can take weeks to months to plan. You can also get expert advice from lawn care professionals on the best way to keep your small lawn green.  Depending on what you decide to do, prices can range in the hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. After all, you could be looking at anything from building an entirely new deck to simply installing new landscaping accents. Projects can also run from a few days to a few weeks in time. But when you get your backyard just right, it will be worth it.

Small Yard Green Space Curved Design

Small lawns look amazing when designed in curved patterns. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Create geometry

If you’re working with a small yard green space, one key way to make the most of it is to create a geometric look. A more geometric design makes a smaller lawn look like its own design accent. Otherwise, a small grassy area can look like something that was crammed into a space just because backyards should have lawns.

You can see in the photo above how stylish a smaller lawn looks when designed to flow with the surrounding yard. The curves also give extra room for landscape accents around the perimeter of the grass.

You can get creative with this idea. Another small yard green space option is to have a more boxed design with landscape accents around the lawn. Some yards even have a tiered design, where different layers of lawn go in a step pattern with stone retaining walls between layers.

As an additional note, the smaller the lawn is, the more its borders should add a sense of organization to the space. For instance, equidistant small shrubs or batches of tall grass around the borders can add attractive accents while making the yard’s design look purposeful and orderly.

Small Yard Green Space Deck Area

Larger deck styles can fit in smaller backyards when balanced with green space. Image: Dimasik_sh/Shutterstock

Add balance

Another idea is to balance out the smaller lawn with other textures and materials. For instance, it’s common to add decking or stone pathways around small patches of lawn and shrubbery.

The photo above shows this idea working with a small yard green space. The lawn itself acts as an accent to the decking style around it. And since the decking totally surrounds the lawn, it gives a sense of balance. The square design of the lawn also gives a clean geometry to the space. Ideas like this are good for small spaces because you can expand your usable outdoor space with a larger deck or patio while minimizing the amount of your yard that requires upkeep. That makes it easier to keep your green spaces impeccably maintained, which is important in small areas where they’ll play a key role.

Small Yard Green Space Table Area

Lawns can be highly multifunctional. Image: rodho/Shutterstock

Merge spaces in your small yard green space

Another idea is to get multifunctional with your spaces. This is a common method for getting all you want out of a space, even if you’re working with less of it. You can see an idea of how this works in the photo above. Since there simply isn’t much space to work with, an outdoor eating area goes right on the lawn itself. Surrounding such an area with plenty of plant life can make for a cozy dining experience.

You can use this small yard green space idea in a few different ways. For instance, you could use the small space lawn for a single recreational use, like a volleyball net. You could put a child’s outdoor playhouse along the lawn. Or a small zen garden could go right in the middle of the lawn.

And remember, your lawn should reflect your lifestyle. If you’re more active outdoors, you may want to pick a more multifunctional design over a decorative one. You can also always get help from lawn care professionals to create your best yard.

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10 Must-Have Konmari-Inspired Home Organization Products

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TechCrunch recently reported that organization goddess Marie Kondo is looking for investors to expand her empire. Rumor has it that part of the expansion includes a possible home organization line. While we wait, how can we declutter and organize the minimalist-chic Konmari way? Yamazaki, a Japanese home organization brand, is the answer.

We love their understated, multi-purpose home organization products like an easy-to-move shoe rack or their genius folding dish rack. Their collection is available on Amazon, making it quick and easy to stylishly create a space for everything. Here are 10 must-have Konmari-inspired home organization products by Yamazaki:

1. Tower Over-The-Sink Folding Drying Rack

yamizaki home organization for marie kondo komari method

If your counter space is limited or you don’t want to keep an unattractive dish rack next to the sink, this folding dish rack can be put away when you’re done. All images courtesy of Yamazaki.

2. Tower Side Table

small side table ideas

Stylish steel and wood are not only versatile enough to work with any room’s decor, but they also add a sturdy feel to this small-scale side table.

3. Tower Shoe Rack

yamazaki japanese konmari-inspired products

This vertical shoe rack is perfect for small spaces and designed to be moved around easily.

4. Tosca Under-Shelf Storage Rack

small kitchen organization

Clear your valuable counter space by hanging this organizer from a floating ledge or open cabinet.

5. 7672 Tower Coat Hanger

small space organization ideas

Available in black or white, this coat rack can also work as a closet alternative.

6. Compact Tower Side Table

yamazaki home organization products

Modern and multipurpose, this side table can hold a lamp or work as a free-standing tray or laptop station.

7. Rin Toilet Organizer

small bathroom organizers

Bathroom organizers can be beautiful and Yamazaki proves it. This simple design hides everything you need while providing easy access to the items.

8. Tower Book End

home organization ideas featuring Marie Komodo inspired products

Never lose your glasses again with these bookends featuring a small pocket for items like pens, bookmarks and glasses.

9. Tower Free Standing Shower Caddy

small space home organization ideas

The smart design of this bath caddy keeps your bottles angled for easy access and is available in black or white to go with your decor.

10. Tosca Dish Riser

small space organization ideas

Make use of vertical space stylishly by stacking items using a shelf like this one.

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How to Design a Small Space Open Floor Plan

Usually, when you see a photo of an open floor plan, it’s this spacious, modern design. The kitchen sits way off in the distance, large windows let in plenty of natural sunlight and there may even be space for multiple sitting areas. But just because you might have a smaller space, that doesn’t mean that an open floor plan is out of your reach. With some smart adjustments, you can create a small space open floor plan.

This might be one of the most involved home projects you could undertake. If you don’t live where you already have a small space open floor plan, you may have to work with a remodeler, move or even design your own dream home. However, if you already live with a small open floor plan, some of the design ideas below can help you make the most of the space you already have. As such, the cost of this project could range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new build or it could be a free endeavor of just moving around furniture.

Small Space Open Floor Plan Small Sofa

A single sofa or loveseat can work wonders in small space open apartments. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Go Minimalist with the Furniture

Whether you already have a small space open floor plan or you’re in the process of designing/finding one, a major feature in the space will be the furniture. If you are working with a smaller space, you’re not going to have as much room for multiple sitting areas. And you’re going to want to keep the space looking as open as possible.

The easiest way to work with furniture in a small space open floor plan is actually to go big. This is counterintuitive, but a single larger furniture piece along the wall keeps the space more open. Otherwise, you’re cluttering up the space with many smaller items like individual chairs. Depending on the layout of the room, you could use a long sofa, a sectional or even add a loveseat.

Small Space Open Floor Plan Wall Art

Boldly colored wall art can make a stunning focal point in an open space. Image:

Create a Focal Point in your Small Space Open Floor Plan

If you’re working with a small space open floor plan, you might want to create a focal point to add visual interest to the room. One focal point item will add plenty of style to your space without cluttering up the smaller area the way designs with more working parts might. Examples of small space focal points can include a:

  • Small accent wall
  • Fireplace, either real or electric (smaller electric fireplaces fit well into small spaces)
  • Single piece of larger, bold furniture, like a brightly colored sofa
  • Television over a mantel or a display cabinet
  • Piece of large wall art

These ideas also create their own sense of organization, as you’ll often organize other items like furniture around the focal point.

Small Space Open Floor Plan Loft Design

Open railings can visually expand small floor plans. Image: Waclaw_EPI/Shutterstock

Think Open Balconies

If you’re in the process of finding a new place to live or designing that dream home, a key feature to keep in mind is an open loft design. That way, even if the space is on the smaller side, you have a whole second story that is visually open.

An open loft design leads to the illusion that the space is far bigger than it is. And it helps add to the small space open floor plan feeling by actually opening up the space. This is a design that is both illusion and literally more open.

Small Space Open Floor Plan Light Colors

Neutral and bright shades can stop a small space open floor plan from feeling closed in. Image: Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock

Keep it Bright

You’ll also want to keep a close eye on the color scheme of the room. A common feature of open floor plans is that they tend to stay on the bright and neutral side of the design spectrum. A small space open floor plan is no exception. In fact, in smaller spaces, it’s even more important to keep the space light and neutral. Lighter colors help keep spaces feeling free and open.

Also, keeping the area well-lit will help it feel more open since darker spaces usually automatically feel closed off. You might consider elements like large windows or skylights. These will keep the natural light flowing into the space. If these are not an option, other lighting features like recessed lighting, pendant lighting and even casual chandelier designs can keep the space well-lit.

And remember, everything in this style is about keeping the space looking as open as possible. Your small space open floor plan goal is to make the space feel more expansive.

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10 Small Corner Desks That Transform A Corner Into A Functional Small Home Office

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Productivity is possible, even in the smallest of spaces. And if you’re space-challenged, there’s no better place to set up your small home office than in an awkward, unused corner. Check out these 10 small corner desks — and how they’ve been styled — for great ideas to transform a corner into a functional small home office.

1. Harper Blvd. Kemble Metal/Glass Corner Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corner desks

For a sleek and contemporary look, choose a glass top to lighten up the corner. If you don’t have a window to look out, hang a mirror or wall canvas on the wall.

2. Fynn Wall Mount Corner Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corner desks

This floating desk is wall-mounted to allow space for a chair to tuck in. The cubbies are perfect for holding files and other items.

3. Ellen Corner Desk at Target, $130

small corner desk

This furniture-like small corner desk can also work as a small TV cabinet.

4. Friedman Corner Desk with Hutch at Wayfair, $183

small corner desks

Make maximum use of a corner by adding a hutch that takes advantage of the wall space over the desk.

5. Fold-Out Convertible Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corner desks

This well-designed wall desk has cubbies and a cork board to keep you organized. The actual desk surface area drops down, with the door becoming the supporting leg. To clear the area when done, put everything back in the cubbies and fold the unit back up to close.

6. Ameriwood Home Parsons Corner Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corner desks

The shallow lower shelf of this small corner desk can hold additional items like books or a small printer while still allowing space for your legs.

7. Willingham Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corner desks

If all you need to create a home office is a spot for your laptop, this wall-mounted small desk may be the solution. Hang it on one of the walls of your corner for a mini work station.

8. Tangkula Corner Desk at Amazon, click for price

small corer desks

Some small corner desks have very limited surface area and storage. But this unit features a pullout keyboard tray and shelving large enough to hold a desktop computer tower.

9. Moorton Corner Computer Desk at Wayfair, $286

small corner desks

This transitional small corner desk can work in many home styles. Use a cube or square ottoman as a desk chair if your corner area space is limited.

10. Calgary L-Shaped Desk at Wayfair, $223

small corner desks

The L-shape of this desk fits well into a corner, with an integrated bookcase serving as one of the supporting legs.

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9 Small Space Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

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When it comes to designing and decorating small spaces, most people know the cardinal rules. Keep things light; make sure the furniture matches the scale. But while trying to make sure you’re getting the most out of every inch of a small space, you could be doing the total opposite. When designing around a less-than-robust space, think beyond the usual suspects. Avoid these small space mistakes by taking the big picture into account. Follow our guide to avoid some of the most common gaffes.

Minimal home with bookshelf

Only have the storage you actually need. Image:

Too much storage

When you’re dealing with a small space, all storage feels like good storage. You need a place to keep your stuff uncluttered and organized, right? But going too crazy with storage solutions like boxes and baskets can ultimately trip up your design and make a room feel smaller. Stick with the storage solutions you need and stash them away under furniture so they aren’t under foot.

Small scale pieces

It’s important to choose furniture that fits the scale of the room. An overstuffed couch in a tiny study can make it feel cramped. But too much small furniture can have the same effect. In some cases, one large piece feels more spacious than several smaller pieces, such as rugs. Opt for large anchor pieces and pepper in to-scale furniture to make a room feel roomy.

Traditional living room

Use lighting to illuminate every inch. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Skimping on light

Lighting is another area where people make small space mistakes. No one wants to trip over cords and plugs in a small room, so some homeowners opt to skip accent lighting. After all, shouldn’t overhead lights be enough? Unfortunately, dark corners can make a room feel smaller than it already is, so use accent lighting to illuminate every inch of a small space for big impact.

Being total wallflowers

Pushing all the furniture against the walls of a small room might be a clever stager’s trick, but it doesn’t always work. It can make for strange layouts and limited design. Consider moving couches away from walls to allow for narrow tables or a layout better for socializing. The center of the room might feel a little smaller, but you’ll gain big design points.

Bright, modern kitchen with backplash

Choose texture over bold colors. Image: JR-Stock/Shutterstock

Relying on color only

You’ve probably heard that light colors make a room feel large and dark colors can make a room feel tiny. But the way a small space feels is probably less about color and more about texture. Color alone can be choppy and disjointed, especially when viewed with the rest of the home. Instead, keep colors monochrome in your home and utilize texture as your main design strategy. Woodwork and textiles bring character to a small room without boxing it in.

Stopping with the walls

A small space needs all the help it can get, so don’t stop painting once the walls are done. By extending the same color onto the ceiling, it creates an unbroken line. This can make a room feel much more spacious than it really is.

Breaking up the space

In your efforts to make a room feel bigger, you could be doing the total opposite. Breaking up a small space with small furniture, bold accent colors or fussy textiles and drapes automatically causes the eye to see a room in fits and starts. Instead, keep your eye line as fluid as possible. Consider the room in conjunction with the rest of your home and avoid furniture and accents that break up the space.

White bedroom with blue accents small space mistakes

Minimal decor keeps a small space bright and airy. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Too much decor

It’s a common mistake in interior design in general: there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Don’t feel pressure to “design” every inch of a small space. Leaving some tables bare or a couch without pillows and throws might not be the most interesting choice, but it gives the eye a break. That break can offer the illusion of extra space. This is an easy solution to one of the most common small space mistakes.

Not seeing potential

It’s one of the saddest small space mistakes of all. Small rooms and spaces are often relegated to unused rooms or corners of the home. But with the right design, every area in your home can be functional–if not palatial. Consider the potential in small spaces. What you consider small might be a cozy place to read or a great place to enjoy your morning coffee. See past size and put your smaller spaces to work by thinking outside the square foot.

Hey, we can’t all have homes big enough for a football game. But every nook and cranny can be thoughtfully designed to have a purpose. Embrace the tiny life by avoiding the small space mistakes that make your home feel more compact than it is and you’ll find that size doesn’t matter.

Do you have any additional small space mistakes that we should avoid? Let us know in the comments.

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Helpful Hints for Small Room Arrangements

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Small spaces can be tricky to decorate. You can spend hours scrolling through Pinterest, gathering your inspiration for your compact quarters, only to find that in practice you feel extremely limited. Whether you’re in a full-blown tiny home, a small apartment or just have a room in your home that’s short on square footage, we can help. We asked our Freshome team for their top tips on small room arrangements. Here are 12 helpful hints you’ll actually be able to use in your small space.

small room 4

Floating shelves and high-hung window coverings draw the eye up, making the space feel larger. Image: ThreeDiCube/Shutterstock

Think lofty

When you don’t have a lot of space along the x-axis of a room, think about the y-axis. Using your walls well can transform your room.

Float some shelves

In a small space, it can be hard to find a balance between overcrowding the room with furniture and it looking sparse. If you’re streamlining your furniture but still want the space to feel structured and designed, floating shelves are ideal. The Walnut Floating Shelves from The Container Store are perfect for displaying your favorite art and decor pieces while keeping table surfaces clear.

Get large-scale art

Again, just because you don’t want to crowd the room with stuff doesn’t mean you want it to look spartan. You can dress up even the simplest room with large wall art. If your room is especially small, swap a bold, graphic art piece for a large mirror. It will bounce light around the room, helping it feel bigger.

Elevate your window coverings

Help your room feel larger by drawing the eye up to your ceilings. When you hang your window coverings, hang the rod near the top of the wall. The long line of drapery helps the room feel more expansive.

small room 1

A single large piece of furniture can anchor your small space. Image: Ruben Ramos/Getty Images

Think big

It’s a small room, so you should only put small items in it, right? Au contraire. Thinking big can help you transform your small space.

Add one large furniture piece

Confusing, we know. Why would you add something that’s going to take up a lot of your precious square footage? The answer lies in the feel of the room. Too many small-scale pieces can make the room feel cluttered and unanchored. Adding one large focal piece – whether that’s a comfortable sofa or a centering entertainment center – makes the room feel established.

Throw down a big rug

A light-colored, softly patterned rug can help brighten and soften your space, while also helping you delineate sections. Set a rug like West Elm’s Foil Diamonds Distressed Rug under the dining table or coffee table to create a sense of purpose for the space. Voilà! The rug delineates the area, clarifying its use.

Take a step back

When you’re designing a small room, it’s easy to get caught up in the details. But thinking big ensures you end up with a room in which you’ll actually want to spend time. Look at the room as a whole. If it’s still feeling small and cramped, make changes that will have a big impact, like lightening the wall color or adding more lighting to each corner.

small room 3

A multitasking ladder serves as wall art and blanket storage. Image:

Think utilitarian

In a small space, each item needs to pull its own weight. This is a time to think smart and get sneaky.

Hide storage

A small space needs storage. When your space is compact, the last thing you want is to have unwanted items sitting out, right in your eye line. While bigger spaces might be more forgiving, little rooms keep everything in plain sight. That is, unless you get creative. Look for furniture with hidden storage. West Elm has a Stacked Disk Coffee Table with a hidden compartment inside, while Pottery Barn has a Tamsen Storage Bench where you can tuck items away.


Choose pieces that can be used for multiple purposes. A padded ottoman could be an ideal place to put up your feet or, with the addition of a tray on top, a place to serve drinks and snacks. West Elm’s wheeled Mid-Century Bar Cart can be pulled front and center when in use or tucked away conveniently. Multifunctional furniture can help you extend the use of your small room without cluttering it.

Get organized

If you do plan to leave items out in your small space, make sure to organize them. Grouping like with like can help your space look tidier. And don’t be afraid to turn to baskets to keep things readily available without forcing your guests to look at them the whole time they’re in the room.

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A ceiling-mounted lamp adds light and height to the space without taking up any precious square footage. A small coffee table adds functionality without cramping the room. Image: Westend61/Getty Images

Think thin

We talked about leveraging the elevation in your room to make it feel larger. Similarly, height can be a huge help when buying furniture for the space.

Stack it up

If you’ve got books, decor items or blankets you want to display in your small room, get a narrow bookcase. It’s a perfect display opportunity that minimizes square foot usage. Target’s Carson Narrow Bookcase is a tall, skinny bookcase that gives you five shelves of storage but is just 18 inches wide.

Add tiny tables

Small accent tables can make your compact room significantly more useful without making it feel cramped. Tuck a table at the end of the couch, side of the bed or in an unused corner. You’ll be amazed how much more pleasant it is to enjoy the room when you can easily put down your drink or book.

Choose skinny or mounted lamps

Whether you’re picking floor or table lamps, look for thin or wall-mount options. In a space where square footage is precious, these lamps can be powerful. They enable you to add more light – which makes the space feel larger – without sacrificing the flow of the room.

A small space can be a design challenge, but with these 12 actionable tips, you’re ready to tackle it. When you try them out, let us know which one was most helpful in the comments!

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Trends in Bathroom Technology

What’s new and cool in bathroom technology? Freshome rounded up experts from the National Kitchen + Bath Association, Moen, KOHLER, Delta and Philips to get the latest news on this year’s hottest trends. According to Elle H-Millard of the National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA), “We are looking for ‘an experience’ in the bathroom. The technology is all about making our experiences better, whether it’s about being more efficient, safer or more functional.” And while there are bathtubs that make you want to soak for hours, a lot of the new bathroom technology reflects the overwhelming popularity of showers.

Check out some of the ways that technology is shaping the bathroom experience.


U by Moen

The U by Moen Smart Shower. Image courtesy of Moen.

“From setting the thermostat from across the room to creating a grocery list while doing the dishes, consumers continue to capitalize on the convenience offered by digital voice assistants,” says Michael Poloha, Group Manager of IoT at Moen.

“With this in mind, Moen has expanded the capabilities of our first-to-market U by Moen shower to provide even more innovative ways to interact with water. [We are] now offering enhanced functionality with Amazon Alexa and compatibility with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.”

Poloha explains that U by Moen is a next-generation Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower. “It offers mobile connectivity and unmatched personalization, providing homeowners countless ways to create their ideal showering experience with three choices to control the shower: voice activation, a smartphone app and an in-shower controller.”

U By Moen App

The U by Moen Smart Shower can be controlled via an app. Image courtesy of Moen.

“The U by Moen smartphone app gives users the ability to create up to 12 personalized presets, including name, greeting, outlets, temperature, shower timer and notifications,” Poloha explains. In fact, users can even pause the shower once it has reached the desired temperature. “Not only can users create their personalized shower experience from within the app, but they can also fully control the shower from their smartphone,” he says.

The U by Moen shower was also designed with security in mind. “Each shower has a unique encrypted key to ensure the connection is always secure,” he says.


The KOHLER Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker uses Bluetooth technology to stream your favorite music directly into the shower. “Through the development of our new KOHLER Konnect Smart products, one thing we have learned is that the experience must be seamless,” says Jonathan Bradley, Channel Manager at KOHLER. “Voice activation technology empowers the homeowner to easily control water, light, sound and color to create an experience all their own.”

Bradley says homeowners prefer a system that works together instead of a mix of various products that don’t communicate with one another. “That’s another benefit of KOHLER Konnect. Everything can be controlled through one app to help the homeowner create a smarter bathroom routine.”


 Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror

The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror. Image courtesy of KOHLER.

Some of the KOHLER Konnect products include the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which has a built-in voice assistant allowing you to adjust lighting levels and even check your calendar using voice instructions.

The Veil Lighted Collection, which will launch in the second quarter, is a connected bathroom suite. “Motion-activated, synchronized, intuitive lighting mimics nature and supports sleep and wellness while KOHLER Konnect allows you to customize your preferences,” Bradley explains.

The original Kohler Numi Intelligent Toilet

The original Numi Intelligent Toilet (version 2 coming soon). Image courtesy of KOHLER.

“The Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet is KOHLER’s most advanced intelligent toilet and offers exceptional water efficiency, personalized cleansing and dryer functions, a heated seat and high-quality built-in speakers,” Bradley says. The flagship intelligent toilet has static colors, but the 2.0 version has dynamic and interactive multi-colored ambient and surround lighting. “Paired with the new speakers in the Numi toilet, these lighting and audio enhancements create a fully-immersive experience for homeowners,” Bradley explains. “Amazon Alexa built into the product provides simple voice control of Numi’s features and access to tens of thousands of skills, as well as a seamless integration of voice control into the bathroom.” The Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet will launch in the fourth quarter of the year.


“We are consistently searching for new, innovative technologies to bring into the bath space to further enhance the user’s experience,” says Bridget Hatter, Product Manager at Delta. The company recently announced the launch of the new Pendant Shower Head with LED Lighting. “These new pendants offer a distinctive appeal in your space, blending cultivated designs with modern technology,” Hatter says. “The tranquil illumination of the water-powered LED accent lights combine with H2OKinetic Technology for a soothing experience that transports you from shower to spa.”

The H2OKinetic showerheads and handheld showers have an internal system that controls the movement, speed and droplet size of the water. As a result, they provide three times the coverage of a standard showerhead. And the pause feature slows the water flow to a trickle so you can shave, lather, etc. while maintaining your temperature settings.


GRAFF M-Series

The M-Series thermostatic module. Image courtesy of GRAFF.

“Thermostatics are up and coming in bath technology and GRAFF’s M-Series is a great representation,” explains Celine Marcotte, Business Development Manager at GRAFF. She says the M-Series is designed to simplify the installation process while still offering a customized shower. “With the GRAFF M-Series modular system, the installer has the option to arrange diverters and stop/volume valves in different combinations to satisfy a variety of applications,” Marcotte says. “This innovative system allows for each piece to be aligned behind the wall in a single stacked valve, without having to connect every element with a separate pipe.” The system can accommodate as many as seven different functions with four different handles.


The Aqua-Sense Ceiling-Mount Showerhead System. Image courtesy of GRAFF.

GRAFF’s Aqua-Sense technology combines water, light and sound. The Aqua-Sense shower collection includes various options, such as a ceiling-mount shower system with a battery-powered controller and holder, LED chromotherapy lighting and rainfall, rain curtain and cascade water functions.


Philips Hue Adore Flushmount Energize

The Philips Hue Adore Flushmount Energize Lighting. Image courtesy of Philips Hue.

“The right lighting can have a huge impact on your daily routines,” says Mike Deschamps, U.S. Product & Channel Marketing Director at Philips Hue at Signify. “You should start your day with a cool, white light that mimics natural daylight. This will help you feel energized and prepare for the day ahead.” And when you’re getting ready for bed, Deschamps explains that you should have a warm light to relax and get ready to go to sleep.

“With Philips Hue and our new Adore collection, you can always have the right lighting in your bathroom,” he says. “All it takes is a tap in your Philips Hue app or a press of the wireless dimmer switch that comes with our lighted vanity mirror and ceiling fixture to set the light to support your need,” Deschamps adds. “Shave or apply makeup under a crisp white light or turn on a very dim light to help you navigate to the bathroom at night.”

Philips -Flushmount-Relax

The Philips Hue Adore Flushmount Relax Lighting. Image courtesy of Philips Hue.

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