May 22, 2024

In order to pull off small space design, you have to dare to think big. By now, everyone should know that a room doesn’t need expansive square footage and soaring ceilings to look good. In fact, some of the most impressively designed spaces aren’t large at all—instead, they use their small size to their advantage by playing up overlooked features. Ceiling murals, custom millwork, and other uncommon touches can create valuable visual interest.

While living in a tiny home may have its challenges, there are myriad ways to up the wow factor. Ahead, find 16 small space design hacks that will improve your life at home.

Install crown molding—boldly

A centuries-old decorative element, crown molding can create the “cherry on top” effect in a room. Jersey City–based designer Shamika Lynch, owner of Maximizing Tiny Interiors, recommends adding crown molding to the ceiling’s perimeter in a contrasting color. She’s employed sage green molding with warm white walls, and bright green with light blue. “By drawing the eye up, you allow the eye to see the full height of the space and it doesn’t feel as small,” she says.

Hang up mirrors across from your windows

One surefire way to brighten up a room is with mirrors. Pro tip: Their placement is key for maximizing light. “Position mirrors opposite windows or bright, clutter-free areas to make a space look and feel larger,” says Kiva Brent, a Pittsburgh-based interior stylist. Not only will the mirror reflect sunlight streaming in from the outside, but it can frame a view of a favorite wall or corner.

Swap in new switch plates and outlet covers

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Opting for new light switch plates and outlet covers is an easy way to add contrast. “Something with flat panels and no exposed hardware reduces the visual clutter, which is always helpful in small spaces,” says Mary Flo Ouellette, cofounder of Squarehouse Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts. “Changing outlets to models that include USB plugs are a great way to create useful zones in a space.”

Build shelves into blank spaces

Since 2022, Marco Zamora has been sharing all the projects that add personality to his Los Angeles home on his TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube channels. Among his favorite ways to punch up a small space? Building bookshelves around his doorway. Zamora says it creates visual impact, maximizes storage, gives the illusion of height, and frees up the floor space that a typical bookshelf would occupy.


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