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Behind the Design: Small Space, Big Style

Whether you’re just graduating from college and moving into your first home or moving out of your large home and downsizing, you’re part of the new wave of how people live today. Forget trying to fill up space with stuff. Streamline your home with inspiration, experiences and memories. Add furnishings that create a fun and transformative space. At Pottery Barn, we understand where you’re coming in your desire to downsize. That’s why we’re excited to share tips and ideas on decorating small spaces. We’ll help you make them feel comfortably spacious and fabulously functional. The key to small space room decorating ideas? Look for double-duty solutions.

Double-Duty Rooms

Compact and clever rooms have taken over having larger spaces in today’s homes. Rooms designed to do double duty make every square inch count. In a smaller space, you’ll use all of your rooms in all sorts of combinations and for all types of purposes.

Maybe your entryway is in your living room that’s also your family room and study. Or maybe you’ve combined a laundry room and craft workshop. What about a home office with a guest room? Or a playroom and gym? Perhaps you have a combination dining room/library/living room. Keep in mind that multipurpose rooms help you live well when they’re clutter-free. It’s also one of the ways to make a room look bigger. Rooms and their combinations are endless. So are the furniture solutions.

Double-Duty Furniture

Multipurpose furniture can also be space-saving furniture. It should be designed with detail and valuable uses in mind. Common pieces of multipurpose furniture include ottomans or upholstered benches that double as extra seating with storage in their bases. Bookcases can also double as room dividers. Trunks can double as coffee tables, end tables and storage units. Always remember the coffee tables with hinged tops that lift to expose storage. Some of these also let you turn the piece of furniture into a desk or dining table.

Think outside of that box! You’ll come up with other multitasking furniture ideas. You might double up a plush, tufted desk chair as a cozy armchair in a home office/living room combo. In living room/dining room combinations, turn upholstered dining chairs around for extra living room seating when needed. Your kitchen or dining table is one of the most valuable all-purpose work surfaces in your home. No room for a dining room console, sideboard or buffet? Use it (or a low bureau) in the bedroom as combination storage and nightstand. Use consoles and carts on wheels to your advantage. Have them double as extra working, storage and eating surfaces wherever you need them.

Double-Duty Accessories

There’s no need to forego accessories and decorations in small spaces. Just rethink them – even for the holidays – and then make them work more. Large shells and geodes become bookends. While you’re at it, think vertical.

Use your wall space to accessorize by hanging a lush indoor garden. Create a realistic foliage wall with wall vases. Hang a wine rack on the wall as an artistic touch. Wherever there’s empty wall space, put it to good use by hanging wall baskets, file bins, cubbies and floating ledges for storage and decor.

Use a chalkboard barn door as a privacy screen and command center/message center. Or, paint a room door, cabinet door or portion of a wall with chalkboard paint for the same effect. Mount a small desk on an empty space on a wall for a command center and extra desk surface that folds closed.

Double-Duty Storage

The way to uncover small space storage solutions is to look carefully at every empty space in a room. Look up, down, under and over everything. The most common unused spaces are often underneath beds, bureaus, tables and furniture. That’s where you can not only store odd-sized items but also keep boxes and baskets of organized piles of items you need to frequently access. With that in mind, always consider buying streamlined furniture. The pieces’ legs should elevate them off the floor. That way, you have that built-in storage ready to be filled. You can always leave it empty for an extra sense of airiness in the room.

Double-Duty Corners

Do you want more storage ideas? Some of the most underused spaces in a home are the corners. They’re valuable real estate just waiting for corner media consoles, corner floating shelves and corner desks. Look behind closed closet doors for hidden corners where you can install corner shelves. Suddenly, you’ve found yet another purpose for a room when you put those corners to work.

Small homes provide plenty of big opportunities. Use these helpful tips to make the most of your space, and you’ll enjoy it more than you thought possible!