Small spaces present decorating challenges, but with a little imagination and help, they can be transformed into truly stylish and usable rooms. Even a closet can be made into a cozy home office nook. The key to designing and furnishing your small room is to make the best use of every square foot while not overwhelming the space with too much furniture and clutter. That’s why choosing well-made multi-purpose furniture is your best bet. By serving more than one purpose, a multi-functional piece uses less real estate and allows you to create a better sense of openness.
Don’t have a grand foyer or a mud room? A tall wooden storage cabinet can be used in a modest entryway as both a place to rest your keys and a place to store hats, mittens, umbrellas, boots and more.
Kids get the smallest rooms in the house, usually, and sometimes they have the most stuff. Choose bed frames with drawers underneath and shelves attached where toys, books or clothes can be easily stowed. A small table with drawers can act as a craft table, as a play surface and a way to store toys and crafting materials. A tufted storage ottoman would be great for a kids’ room. It’s perfect for putting feet up while reading stories, and it can hold toys, books or supplies.
If you work from home, but don’t have a dedicated office space — or one that is very small — look for a desk with cabinets and drawers that can also be cleared and used as a small bar set-up for entertaining, or some other function. Use the cabinets and drawers to keep your office supplies and files out of the way when you need to clear the desk.
The living room always serves multiple purposes in any home, but when the room is small, it can get cramped and look cluttered. Covering one wall with a large entertainment center with shelves is a stylish way to reduce the clutter. The entertainment center can accommodate various TV and stereo components, plus the shelves can store books, display art objects and more. Ottomans and coffee tables that open to reveal hidden storage are great for blankets, throws and games.
If your dining space is small, but you crave a large tabletop to seat extra guests, opt for a table with leaves. The table can stay small day-to-day and not overtake your dining space. But when extra table space is needed, simply pop in a leaf or two. Or use a drop-leaf or butterfly leaf table and forget trying to find a place to stash the extra leaves. A functional and stylish hutch or sideboard adds extra storage for linens, dishes and cookware.
Choose American Made
Just because your room is small doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality pieces. American made furnishings are your best bet. Well-made furniture lasts longer and is better for your health. Cheaply manufactured furniture, which is often made from plywood and particle board/pressed wood, contains formaldehyde or isocyanate glues. It breaks more easily and is made with toxic materials that send out fumes which you (and your kids) inhale.
Look for manufacturers that make their own furniture, such as C.R. Laine, Four Seasons, Highland House, McKinley Leather, Leathercraft, Norwalk Furniture, Smith Brothers, Thibaut and Wesley Hall. Select handcrafted furnishings in solid wood with wood joinings (not nails or glue), with drawers that function seamlessly, and that include thoughtful and artistic details.