Small Space Solutions


Living in 502 square feet of space is no easy feet, but I was definitely up to the challenge when I purchased my loft 3 years ago! My parents still like to say that I live in a shoebox, but my place is home to me. Earlier this week, I shared my home tour with you all, and today I'm sharing some of my favourite small space solutions that have helped make my place feel like home.

1. Don't leave any dead space unused: As much as I prefer to have a clean kitchen space, with minimal things left out on the counter, there was this thin strip of counter space that was fairly useless along the side wall. Don't get my wrong, I'm thrilled to have this awesome kitchen layout with tons of counter space (because when I cook...I tend to spread out), but there's not much you can really do on a 6-inch wide strip. So I lined that space with jars of sugar, flour, coffee, etc. No, it's not all hidden, but that freed up lots of space in my pantry, and overall looks cohesive blending right into my little coffee nook and mug display! (I used this tutorial for making my mug display)

Take home message: In a small space, every inch counts, so use dead space wisely!

2. Open concept/airy pieces make your space seem bigger and brighter: Originally I had a set of bookcases by the windows, which was great because I have a TON of books, but they were dark wood and kind of sucked some of the natural light away. I eventually moved them to my little dressing area, which gets no natural light at all, and so is dark anyways. In their place, I DIY-ed some pipe shelving to house some colorful books on that wall space.I love these pipe shelves for 2 reasons: 1) They go with the rustic, warehouse vibe of my place (which has exposed piping on the ceiling), and 2) I can DIY any shape and design I want, and so can add more up that wall later if I want! I paired them with my origami crane artwork (which I made myself!) and a couple of photos, to keep the space light and airy.

Take home message: Dark pieces of furniture suck light away, and open concept pieces will make your space feel bigger. Also, white walls!

3. Go up!: My unit didn't come with a front entryway closet of any kind, and with our Canadian winters, I have no shortage of winter coats and scarves. So I created my own "closet"! I installed a bunch of hooks on this otherwise unused wall (again, making use of dead space), and I can hang several coats, scarves and hats.

Another space I went up in was with the bed. The original floorplan calls for the bed going in what I've now created into a dressing room. With a queen-sized bed, that leaves about 2 feet of clearance around it in that small space. So instead, I lofted my bed onto the ceiling of the bathroom! Sure I have climb a ladder to get to bed, and I can't stand up up there, but I think it's cool! Really all I'm going to do is either sit in bed and read, or sleep.

Take home message: Use wall space wisely, and go up!

4. Use furniture that fits with the scale of your apartment: The one thing I hate most about my space is that there is no guest bedroom, and I don't have a pullout couch. I really wish I had a space for friends to stay over. But by having only a loveseat style sofa (which was my parents couch in their first home, 30+ years old, and soooooooooo comfy for napping on. I can never ever get rid of this thing!) and other smaller pieces of furniture, it gives the sense of a bigger space. Cramming a giant sofa into a tiny living room is the worst idea ever. I also use my ottoman (which has hidden storage inside) as a coffee table, to avoid extra furniture. My kitchen table only has 2 chairs, but a long bench on the other, which makes it feel more open. And the table also folds down, so I can easily move it out of the way if ever I needed to create additional space if I'm having people over, etc.

Take home message: Think about your furniture choices wisely. Large pieces may overwhelm a small space, and even though something may have more storage, it could look clunky. Also, multi-purpose furniture rocks!

5. Living with your life on display: Living in a small space inevitably means that your life is constantly on display. So make sure you fill your space with things you love! I have little stacks of colorful books everywhere, but they don't seem like clutter because they meld with my decor. I also built a clothing rack on the half wall above, which makes laundry 100 times easier, doesn't look out of place with the rest of my decor either.
Take home message: In a small space, your life is constantly on display. So make sure it's filled with things you love, and if you don't like the look of something, change it!

What are your best small space tips?

Don't forget to check out my House Call on Apartment Therapy! And if you like my place, vote for it in this year's Small Cool Spaces!



  1. Small spaces are starting to make such a comeback. I always look to Pinterest for inspiration!

  2. GREAT POST! I will be saving this one because it will be handy later when I move out! :) Thanks for sharing all your tips! xoxo
    Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

    ~ Nicole

  3. I seriously can't get over how cute your space is. Yes to the tips about dark furniture and white walls! My last apartment had no windows in the main room and all my furniture was black. It was so depressing. I still have a dark couch in my new unit (I spill a lot), but the white walls/ glass and white furniture everywhere else is SO helpful. These are great tips.
    Randi with an i

  4. Saving this for when I move out! I don't think I've ever actually been in a loft before, but I certainly like the idea of a small, fairly affordable space that still has all the necessities! I'm finishing undergrad soon, so I'd love to see more of your adorable apartment in the future!



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