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Karen Gastle

Small house interior design is growing as the places people call home vary in size and space. It can be a challenge to design small houses, so this task is truly a unique opportunity for unconventional design tactics. It just requires a few tweaks to make the space inviting without appearing overcrowded.


Here’s what you need to know about small house interior design and how to make a space that meets everybody’s needs.


Small house interior design is about designing beautiful spaces when limited design space is available. Don’t let the lack of space intimidate you. It can be a blessing in disguise, forcing many to clear clutter and initiate a clever design system you probably would never think of otherwise.


Plenty of stylish, clever ideas exist no matter the size of your room. It’s merely about tricking the eye to create the illusion of a bigger space that appears cozy and enlarged, instead of trapped and tight.


Traditional ideas of room décor and design don’t always work in small spaces, and substitutions are necessary to get the vision across while allowing space for purpose and original function.

Less Is More

Key takeaways for designing in small spaces is decorating in ways that maximize natural elements like light and space. You’re trying to make a room feel bigger than it actually is without physically changing anything. A careful eye is needed to judge colour and scale.


Plenty of tips are useful and creative tips exist for small house interior design. Save space and think about keeping items off of tables or the ground. Table lamps can be substituted for swing lamps or suspended ones. Bigger pieces of furniture can do double duty. Think: bed frames with storage pullouts underneath; ottomans that open to hold blankets, coasters, and other living room items; and bathroom vanities with room to store everyday items underneath. This way, no space goes unused and you maximize the room you already have.


Built-in shelves on walls are perfect for holding canisters and containers if it’s a narrow bathroom or office space. Consider light paint colours over dark ones to give the walls length. Mirrors are a simple fix to create the effect of more space. Place them strategically around the home to make rooms look bigger and longer.

Two-in-One Solution

Furniture isn’t the only character pulling double shifts: Smaller rooms require a design plan with the same idea. When you don’t have much room to play with, rooms need to switch easily between purpose. From living rooms doubling as offices, staircases with storage underneath, and using furniture to separate rooms as necessary, any room can play two roles.


It’s about maximizing what you have and creating an optical illusion that there’s more. Make the space underneath the staircase more than an odds-and-ends storage spot. Create utility cupboards underneath to organize and hide basic household items. Many interior designers get inventive by adding stair landings that double as seating areas, or designing unique wall-mounted display solutions. Surrounding walls are great spots for holding storage or décor without cramping the room.


Japanese-style sliding room dividers are a popular option for opening and privatizing rooms. Their simple design makes it easy to divide two rooms, such as a bedroom and living room, or to open up a space. “Theater wings” are another choice for enlarging a room that gives the illusion of more space than in reality. When limited space is available, multi-purpose rooms allow versatility and easy conversion.


Don’t be intimidated by small house interior design. You can still design small spaces with the same function and beauty as you would for larger rooms. As it makes its way onto the design stage, keep these tips in mind for new clients and incorporate them to grow your current business.


How to Grow an Interior Design Business

Karen Gastle

As an account manager, Karen has experience working with design firms of all sizes to integrate DesignDocs to streamline business processes, increase administrative efficiencies, and deliver higher profits.
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