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Style Magazine

Less Is More: 5 Small-Space Essentials

Think your space isn’t big enough to add delightfully designed furnishings and accessories? Think again! With the growing popularity of the “less is more” concept, and small-space living in urban areas, less square footage is the new norm. Although your space may be petite, the style doesn’t have to be. Below are a few of our favorite ways to hack a small space, from two-in-one furnishings to décor that visually expands any space.

Sana Brass Mirror, $169.99 at Cost Plus World Market,


If your home or apartment offers less square footage than you’d like, there’s an easy shortcut you can take without knocking down any walls. Mirrors, like artwork, are visually interesting and add instant appeal to any room. But did you know they also make spaces feel more expansive? By placing a large framed mirror on a wall directly across from a big window or bright white wall, you can open up your space without making any physical changes to the structure.


Small living rooms, bedrooms, and entryways rarely offer the balance homeowners want in a compact space. To help create a sense of symmetry, add pairs—two side tables on the side of a small sofa, two lamps on an entryway console, two nightstands on the side of a bed. Pro tip: Add tall lamps to create height and slim nightstands that double as bookshelves to make more use of the space you have; and then complement the pretty pairs of product with clean lines and neutral colors to make a subtle yet stylish statement.


Not only is acrylic and Lucite décor glamorous but it doubles as a secret weapon to combat cramped spaces, too. Perfect for a small office nook or a dining room scene, acrylic chairs match any type of décor, from tailored and traditional to modern and upscale. Tuck them into a corner in the living room atop a hide rug or next to your entryway as a drop zone for purses, coats, and keys. Other popular and stylish see-through furnishings include coffee tables that seemingly float in the middle of the living room; trays to hold your favorite trinkets in the entryway or bathroom; and lamps, frames, and décor that add glitz and glam without taking up valuable real estate.

High ceilings make rooms more spacious


One of the chief concerns from homeowners living in small spaces is a total lack of storage. While editing is A-OK, some things you just can’t throw away, like family heirlooms and old books. The perfect solution? Tall bookshelves. Not only does stacked shelving add storage, but it also adds height. Cubbies, built-ins, or floating shelves all add styled stowing options while drawing the eye upward and away from your lack of square footage.


Apartment dwellers and small space inhabitants, rejoice! As design continues to align with new technology and innovative product design, so, too, can your compact corridors. Need extra seating but also a place to set your drink down for a cocktail party? Consider poufs or movable benches that double as tabletops. Love throwing dinner parties but don’t have the dining space to do so? Consider adding a table that extends and resizes to fit a party of five or a party of one. Two-in-one coffee tables and nesting tables are also great hacks for small spaces; push them inside of each other for more floor space when entertaining or add function by pulling them apart for family game night.

While all of these furnishing and décor ideas are sneaky ways to add more livability to your smaller space, nothing beats editing and minimizing clutter. To instantly make your home feel less crowded, go through bookshelves, tabletops, drawers, and nightstands and discard garbage or broken items while rearranging décor to show off your newly cleaned spaces.  

By Kerrie L. Kelly

Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer, author, product developer, and multimedia consultant helping brands reach the interior design community. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023.