LH Interiors, Lisa Higgason, ASID, RID
Murphy bed wall unit with the bed down

Utilizing space effectively

No matter the size of your home, we all need to make the most of the space we have. Because floor plans are more open than before, many rooms must be multi-task areas. The most common is the guest room/home office combination. A sleeper sofa, futon or Murphy bed is a great space saver for a room that will primarily be used as an office. Other homes will need to have a home work-station in a living room, dining room or master bedroom, which can easily be achieved by adding a small writing desk or an armoire with a fold down workstation. Game rooms often double as work-out rooms and laundry rooms as storage or mud rooms. Additional powder baths can be tucked underneath a stairway or transformed from a hall closet.

Murphy bed wall unit with the bed stored
Collage of storage ottoman

Multi-use furniture is a great way to utilize space. A storage ottoman can be used as a coffee table, at the foot of a bed, or in front of a fireplace as extra seating during warm weather months. A media console keeps electronics out of sight and also serves as a side board for parties. A “pie safe” or hutch buffet will add much needed storage in a dining or breakfast room. Instead of traditional nightstands in the bedroom, triple drawer dressers will store clothes and have enough room for books and a lamp on top. Adding an island in the kitchen will boost storage, create a work surface and preserve the natural flow of the space.

Breakfast area with built in cabinets
Detail of built-in cabinets

Built-in cabinets and shelves are another great way to utilize space. Shallow floor to ceiling shelves look great in a breakfast nook, hallway, stairwell or bathroom and add display, as well as, storage space. Storage cabinets can be installed over and around a bed, sofa or seating area, and even in a wide hallway. Building a window seat in a breakfast nook will add multi seating and lots of storage below.

Hallway/mudroom built in cabinets

When utilizing space effectively, it is very important to consider the size and scale of furniture, which should correspond to the space. If you have a large space with high ceilings, you should use larger scale furniture and accessories. Many times my clients will move to a home that is a different scale and try to use their existing scaled furnishings. When moving to a larger environment, the existing pieces will resemble doll furniture if not balanced properly by larger pieces in the new room. Likewise, when moving to a smaller space, the existing overstuffed furniture will completely overpower the room.

collage of small scale chairs

Remember these simple rules when decorating a small space. Get organized and keep clutter and accessories to a minimum. Use more neutral colors to make the space seem larger. Use sleek window treatments and one dynamic accent piece such as a wonderful statement piece chandelier. The use of overhead, task and ambient lighting is essential in any space but especially a small one. Utilizing space effectively also means looking at your space in a whole new way and I am here to help!

Storage cabinet in breakfast area
Home office space in living room

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