7 Creative Hacks for Designing Small Homes

Smart interior design for tiny living space

With the World population and availability of space gradually becoming inversely proportionate to each other, there is a subtle yet huge demand for more and more space to live, work and play.

Given that most of the population prefers to inhabit urban areas – our space-starved cities and rooms are eventually shrinking too much smaller proportions. Looking at the present scenario and the future statistics, it is obligatory to accept the situation and click open our creative thinking.

It is time to reinvent micro-living by utilizing the vertical space and playing with colour theory or tricking our eyes with stark illusion and specifying clever use of furniture – through utter smart and creative solutions that can prove that ‘small’ can still be liveable! Blogger Molly Madfi’s Californian home below is a Perfect Inspiration for one small-yet-liveable home!

Smart interior for small home

Blogger Molly Madfi’s Californian home

For these smaller spaces, it is important to utilize every inch of a scale – whether horizontal or vertical. All the mega-metropolitans across the world have been suffering one major issue of ‘space’ and turning this disadvantage into an opportunity is the magic we designers love to play!

Healthy Living is another major concern when it comes to inhabiting small apartments – and that’s why we have enlisted some creative yet liveable solutions to designing smaller spaces and transforming your studio apartments into a spacious haven!


1. Go Vertical


Not as typical as it sounds! But, going vertical is absolutely a smart and creative way to utilize all the vertical space you have – and especially the studio apartments that have over 10 feet high ceilings – your answer is right here! Take your cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Talking in architectural terms, when designing a city apartment, there could be issues with planning over 300 square feet of space and this is when you need to start adding that vertical space to that apartment building. After all, that’s what high-rise buildings have to offer to us.

You could either add a mezzanine floor but if the conditions don’t favour, simply add floating storage cabinets, or sleep pods to add a dramatic touch to your space. With this technique, it is time to give up the limited-heightened wardrobes, media units, and wall panelling. Because floor-to-ceiling finishing will create an illusion of a spacious apartment and meanwhile, you also get ample space for storage or display of belongings.

Smart interior design for tiny living space

A Little Design Studio

This tiny apartment space is designed in Taipei showcases how vertical spaces play effectively. A well-functioning space is always defined through proper circulation and well-planned zones – whether it’s a small or a large area. In this case, remove or avoid the use of non-structural walls with creative partitions to define a zone! Not a bold and solid partition but a hollow vertical exposed shelving void that can hold your memorable souvenirs, antiques, and collectives from past travels. This way you get the best of both worlds – partition and display!

2. Play with Hues


Unknowingly, colours have a magical charm that can make your space feel – small, large, crammed-up, warm, cool, bright, and energetic! They play an ultimate solution to some of the major space issues and that is why designers across the world have used them in the most strategic and creative ways to define sophistication and elegance in their space. Wondering how can colours make your 250-square-feet apartment look just double? Well, yes! We have got solutions for you.

Colour hues in small interior spaces

First and foremost – avoid bright and warmer hues like reds, yellows, and their families. Don’t be disheartened if one of them is your favourite – you could still use it, but cleverly! Don’t opt for bold and dark shades, instead, go light and subtle!

Designer Jess Bunge balances the use of colour in her 363-square-feet Apartment with clever use of terracotta, Midnight Blue, and other similar bold colours have been a trend and just in case if you are planning to use these, remember to only paint any one wall with it – like an accent! Meanwhile, always adore the cool and lighter neutrals like the stark white, off-white, and pale beiges to work as neutral and bases! Whites do make your room feel open, airy, and spacious – also it is timeless, so don’t hesitate to go Scandinavian about painting!

3. Incorporate Biophilia


Humans have an affinity for nature. Hence, even a tinge of it can enhance your space and make it look natural and bright. Provision for larger windows to let through ample natural lighting in the daytime can trigger positivity in your space while making it look larger and spacious. So, if the conditions allow – always specify larger windows for these small apartment spaces so that light can play its true magic.

biophilia in a small interior spaces

Carmel Place in New York is a classic example of incorporating biophilia in a small space. These plants have proved to improve the indoor air quality while enhancing the appearance of the interiors. Maybe a tall fig tree in the corner by your couch or a few hanging planters from the ceiling would readily solve the solutions. It is surprising how nature even manages to play its best indoors, believe it or not – plants will add a charismatic touch to your apartment and eventually make it look bigger.

4. Strategic Lighting


Another important element in designing is the lighting. If the conditions don’t allow for you to have natural lighting and your apartment is a dull and dingy looking window-less space – don’t worry! There are a few other alternatives to brighten them up!

lamps and lighting in small interior spaces


Firstly, maximize the use of light colours and secondly, use strategic artificial lighting to fulfil your needs. Warm-white or cool-white, you could strategically place wall sconces and wall-mounted lights over the couch and bed! Try avoiding the use of floor lamps and table lamps, instead, make the use of vertical space (or walls) again to mount some light! Using ceiling-mounted sober pendant lights could be another way to solve the lighting and space solutions.

5. Make Room for Furniture


A DIY method to make the most space in your apartment – clever furniture! Some of the reputable furniture companies like IKEA produce tons and tons of creative furniture that can be used for small apartments. Some of the noteworthy examples are nested tables. They are a great solution to save space and meanwhile still have multiple tables to keep your trays and books! They are some stylish ones available online with various base materials and finishes!

multifunctional coffee table for small living spaces

Here is a great example of using a multifunctional table.

Another great way to save space is a folding bed or a sofa!

Have guests over at your place and need space for them to sleep? It’s time to turn around the couch and make it a bed!

With an extremely small space, where would you keep that dining table? Well, there is one way to either go for a breakfast bar if space allows. The other way around gets more exciting – pop it out of the wall! This floating shelf can later get back to normal and can automatically get stuck against the wall. Ensure the other furniture pieces are light-coloured with a thin skeleton (glass or metal body).

Extended seating, furniture that also allows storage and a bed that is also a pair of bookshelf are rather intriguing in these small spaces! After all, who doesn’t like surprises?

6. Introduce Niches and Window Beds


Classic and an ultimate must-incorporate hack – niches and window beds have also been an aesthetical element to the interiors. They add a perfect frame to your space and a sense of comfort and cosiness while you are snuggled in the blanket staring at the amazing view outside. Space underneath and above can be used for storage as showcased above meanwhile, in the centre, you could place some throw blankets and pillows to add a homely vibe!

window beds in small interior spaces


Have a look at the sleeping pod feature in this tiny apartment in Madrid that strategically uses the small space to convert them into niches. Niches could also be used as a home office – oh yes! You can fit in the table and ergonometric work chair to save some space outdoors! Wider niches can also incorporate one-walled kitchens, TV media units (choose wall mounting), and even sleeping pods!

cool homeoffice in small living space


7. Optimize Smart Decor


You absolutely have nothing to worry about if you’re a minimalist, but if not – note these few tips and tricks to go about your decor! Artwork should be the immediate focal point and remember to keep in mind the scale of it when placing it on the wall. The secret here is to use larger Artwork pieces because that will make your space look bigger!

interior decoration small living spaces

Whitney Leigh Morris

Whitney utilizes spare time during lockdown to decorate her small apartment with mirrors, hanging plants, window treatments and rugs. Window treatments are the most overlooked matter of concern in the interiors; however, smart use of them is the key! Place white sheer curtains touching the ceiling and the floor. Also, introduce tons of mirrors indoors as they will reflect ample light and make your space feel airier and brighter.

Shop smart with rugs – yes! Buy larger rugs for space enhancement and keep all your furniture low-heightened. Also, remember to avoid cluttering and use as minimum appliances as possible – or simply hide them away! Your space should be cohesive and seamlessly sparkling and why not? It deserves that!


Final Thoughts: 7 Creative Hacks for Designing Small Homes


Don’t underestimate the power of a small space as it can still do creative wonders. You can absolutely have the best of both worlds living in a creative and liveable apartment in the centre of the city. Don’t hesitate to buy that studio apartment you have been dreaming of – as we have got the perfect tactics to solve your small space solutions and yet provide you with a marvellous and comfortable realm.

Share this post

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Artitects is a full-service interior design and architecture firm based in Sydney specialising in a minimalist design that promotes meaningful human interactions and supports who we desire to be. Whether designing residential or commercial spaces, Artitects has built a reputation for achieving highly individual results for a busy and successful clientele.