When you live in a small house or apartment, every inch counts. We understand that you want to make the most of your space, and the great news is that small areas don’t have to be limiting. Sure, they can be challenging, but you can still have everything a large home has in a smaller area – without the massive environmental footprint (and mortgage to match!).

Go vertical

You wouldn’t think twice about a bunk bed for your kids’ room – but how about for your own? A loft bed offers space underneath for a desk, a wardrobe or even a lounge. And if you don’t want to do the full loft, even placing the bed on a raised platform works by visually separating the space and offering more storage space underneath.

Put some wheels on it

When you’re not blessed with space, sometimes you find yourself hosting dinner with your desk as the buffet table. Nix this by adding wheels to pieces of furniture that don’t always need to be in the one spot – a desk, a set of drawers, even a cot.

Go neutral

In a small space, too many competing colours, patterns and textures can be overwhelming. Stick with neutral furniture and choose accent colours for personality.

Don’t be a “leaver”

Clutter stands out in a small space, so make sure you’re a “putter,” not a “leaver.” A “putter” puts stuff away after use, a leaver, well… leaves it. Be a putter!

Use every inch

Think of clever ways to max the space you have. Add racks behind doors to store coats, shoes, hats and umbrellas. Place a desk under your staircase (or add storage under there). Mount a shelf that runs the length of the room near the ceiling, for added storage you’ll barely notice. Use the sides of kitchen cupboards to hang pots and pans, and the sides of your wardrobe to hang scarves and bags. Wall mount a desk to save floor space, and in your entryway, wall mount a narrow table as a place to stash keys and mail.

Slide the doors

Replace doors with sliding walls to reclaim space. Sliding doors allow you to close off rooms when needed, but also open them up easily. They also save on space.

Add glass

When you want to separate a small space – into say, a dining room and a living area, add a glass wall instead of a traditional one. Room dividers also work here, as do sheer curtains.

Go floor to ceiling

Add the illusion of space – as well as actual storage – with floor to ceiling bookshelves.

Lower the furniture

If your walls aren’t particularly high, make your furniture lower to add the illusion of space.

Skip the kitchen table

Do you eat out a lot? Consider using a breakfast nook or bar instead of a traditional kitchen table – you’ll save on space. You can apply this to other areas, too – a few armchairs, for example, take up less space than a large sofa. A daybed instead of a regular bed offers storage underneath, and can be used as a lounge.

Choose pieces that multitask

Tables that stack on top of one another. Stools that double as storage. Trunks that double as seating. If you’ve got a small space, always look for furniture that serves a dual purpose.