Decorating a small space can be tricky. In her upcoming book, (Weldon Owen), to be released on November 13, author and interior design maven Whitney Leigh Morris reveals the beauty in living in less than 400 square feet of space with her husband, son, and two beagles.
Below is an excerpt from the book, highlighting a few practical pointers on how to make the most of a small living room:
The living room is a main focal point—if not the focal point—of any home. But for tiny apartments and houses, it’s frequently one of only two or three rooms, so it has to perform multiple functions within modest square footage. The chameleon-like nature of the small-space living room is one of my favorite parts of living with less. It’s incredible what we can all do in limited space when we realize that we don’t need more stuff or more room. We just need a touch of creativity.
A deliberate selection of furniture and accessories is key to making a small-scale home livable. In the Cottage, there’s simply no room for any piece that has only one purpose! Try these double-duty furnishings and concealed storage ideas, and you’ll maximize floor space and eliminate clutter.
There’s no need to choose between extra seating for guests and storage for your records (or books or catchall baskets). Find a unit that does both. Make sure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of a few friends, and top it off with a cozy cushion.
Large furniture pieces are under particular pressure to make the most of their space on the floor plan. Couches with a hidden compartment beneath the seat really earn their keep—just lift up a subtle handle to access additional throw pillows, blankets, or whatever needs hiding.
Retailers have caught on to the tiny-living craze and now offer several handsome coffee table models that have built-in storage— whether it’s a shelf below the tabletop, a surface that folds out to reveal a drawer underneath, or both.
I chose a wicker trunk as our coffee table in the Cottage; it holds our guest bedding, but you could store sports equipment or travel gear inside. I love the natural texture it adds to our space—it shows that storage can be curated to suit your style.