​Turning your home's lack of space in your favour

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
homify Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Loading admin actions …

A small living room, a very narrow hallway… these, and more, show up in the majority of houses, leading the occupants to either tear their hair out in frustration, or come up with stylish alternatives to their space problems.

No, we don’t mean picking up a sledgehammer and going mad on those walls (rather dial up a professional if you want to renovate and enlarge those rooms), but rather channelling that energy into more effective means that can trick the eye and brain into thinking that those small rooms are, just perhaps, not that small after all.

Sound like black magic? Well, you don’t need to sell your soul for these tips, as they are free and ready for the picking. Thus, let’s see the options that you (or you and an expert, in some cases) can take on…  

1. Use open spaces

Yes, open plan layouts are indeed lifesavers when it comes to saving up space – just think of how much space all those walls swallow up when combined. 

Thus, our first tip: opt for open plan layouts for your interiors, and make use of every available centimetre.

2. Go up

How about using that vertical space, seeing as it’s just floating around and not doing much? Putting in a staircase/ladder and a mezzanine level is an excellent way to conjure up a bit more legroom. 

And you can use that new room for whatever you require, from a guest bedroom to an extra storage room.

3. Be clever with your furniture

Yes, small furniture pieces certainly take up less space, but don’t just forget about the larger options. A big wardrobe, for example, can hold more clothes and accessories, thereby making it a wiser choice in comparison to a smaller model. 

However, if your choice will lead to a cluttered look (like an oversized sofa which leaves no room for walking), we say go with the smaller option.

4. Reflection and deception

Furniture- and décor pieces can also help conjure up visual space, such as a mirror which not only doubles up on the room’s visual size, but also helps reflect incoming light, thereby making the entire room seem brighter.

But forget about that modest little wall mirror and instead go for a floor-to-ceiling mirror-clad option.

5. Space dividers are important

As we said, open plan areas help with space, yet don’t toss out those space dividers just yet. 

An effective room separator will help put a ‘flow’ on those open plan rooms, like a neat little kitchen island effectively dividing up the kitchen and the dining room, for example.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of exterior spaces

Don’t shut out those exterior spaces completely. A generous-sized window or glass door can bring in both sunshine and a lovely view, even if it's just to your outdoor terrace. 

But even then, it will still make that tiny room / interior space seem less cramped.

7. Opt for lighter colours

Narbonne Avenue Clapham, Bolans Architects Bolans Architects Minimalist living room
Bolans Architects

Narbonne Avenue Clapham

Bolans Architects

Darker colours may make a room seem cosy, but when your walls, floors, and furniture display lighter colours, they reflect light instead of absorbing it, making the space feel bigger.

8. Move away from the walls

Cushions, Sian Elin Sian Elin Living roomAccessories & decoration
Sian Elin


Sian Elin

Shoving your furniture up against the walls makes everything look and feel cramped. 

Rather give your sofas and side tables a bit of breathing room and add a few centimetres between them and the walls.

9. Be clever with hidden storage compartments

The perfect coffee table - Private Residence, Oslo LINLEY London Living roomStorage

The perfect coffee table—Private Residence, Oslo


Just about anything these days (from a coffee table to an ottoman, and from a bed to a bathtub) can help with hidden storage compartments, helping you reduce your home’s clutter levels and making the surrounding space seem more open.

10. Follow The Cantaloupe Rule

BODRUM YALIKAVAK SAKLIKORU , Esra Kazmirci Mimarlik Esra Kazmirci Mimarlik Living roomAccessories & decoration
Esra Kazmirci Mimarlik


Esra Kazmirci Mimarlik

The Cantaloupe Rule entails that one should opt for decorative accents larger than a cantaloupe, otherwise they crowd the room. 

So, rather go with fewer decorations that are a bit bigger, as they will help lessen the cluttered look. 

We have many more ways to help you out with those tiny rooms, like this: Smart Furniture For The Small Spaces.

Which of our ideas will you try out in your home?

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!