Maybe it’s because I lived so long in a Manhattan shoebox or the fact that I love a good design challenge, but working within a small space is my jam. It forces you to get creative and pare down to the essentials.
And while I don’t have any plans to jump aboard the tiny house train, I think limited space is a design dilemma we can all relate to with one room or another.
Most often we encounter this challenge with a child’s bedroom or playroom, so I put together a few creative ways I like to make those tiny spaces shine.
1. Use a basic color palette.
Start with one wall color and sprinkle in a few accent colors with the accessories. This will make the room feel more open. I personally love white for children’s rooms because it provides a clean backdrop that allows for their artwork to really pop.
2. Add built-in storage.
No one knows how to fill a room with clutter better than our tiny humans. Sure, storage is key when creating any room, but the stakes are highest in a kids room. A life-size stuffed animal plus a few hundred LEGOs can feel claustrophobic, so opt for built-in storage solutions to keep the room tidy.
Modular storage pieces are available now, prices vary
3. Pick multifunctional décor.
Whether you’re using a storage unit that doubles as a desk or a rug that transforms into a game board, add pieces that serve more than one purpose.
Checkboard Square Rug Set is available now, $699
4. Create a gathering spot.
Even in a small space, it’s essential to include an area for conversation. My son and I always gravitate towards the reading nook in his room. For many, adding a trestle table can create a gathering spot that grounds the room without taking up too much space. Plus, it’s great for crafts, reading, homework, you name it!
Big Idea Craft Table is available now, $429
5. Choose stow-away seating.
More seating is always a plus, but clunky chairs can leave little space left for play. Cute stools like these can easily be tucked beneath a craft table or desk to create more play space when not used.
Hiya Mickey Stools are available now, $99
6. Maximize outlets.
Outlets are likely in short supply in a small space, and while a power strip is an option, it’s not the most attractive solution — not to mention, it can take up valuable real estate. Form definitely meets function on this lamp with a base that boasts two USB ports for convenient charging (even when turned off). It’s also large enough to give off a good amount of light without taking up too much desk space — another must for small rooms!
Modern Spindle Table Lamp is available now, $279
7. Utilize wall space.
In a smaller room, floating shelves, corkboards, or wall organizers can offer unexpected storage. Just remember the rule of threes — arranging them in odd-numbered groups — to keep everything visually interesting. These fun containers would work well above a desk. And as an added bonus, little ones can practice sorting art supplies and small toys into each one.
Wow Wall Organizers are available now, $49-$74