Hi, friends! We’re halfway through the week and I’ve got a new 10 Pins post for you! This curated roundup is filled with small spaces (thank you for the request, Anne). It’s an eclectic mix, as I’ve included all different aesthetics… each highlighting interesting ways to maximize a small room or tight space. Some are neutral, some are packed with color & pattern, but they all have one thing in common: they use every square inch in smart & creative ways. Emmett & I lived in two small (really small!) homes before moving into our current house. Sometimes it’s crazy to think we have rooms we can go weeks without even stepping foot inside. While having a larger house is amazing for hosting friends & family (and fun to renovate), we both agree someday when it comes time to move- we’ll opt for something more modest. I honestly enjoy being forced to get creative with floor planning and storage. It’s something I feel I did really well at our previous home. No space was wasted because every square inch mattered! Anyway… food for thought. Click through to admire and get some small space design inspiration!
#1 // Hidden Laundry Units
Jean Stoffer is one of my favorite practical designers to follow. I love the way she uses and fills space in such a timeless way. This just goes to show, you can put your laundry units in any room in the home- they can easily be hidden behind closed doors, if you don’t have space for an actual laundry room. A hallway, bedroom, or mudroom would work just as well… and you’ll can some counter space as well with this configuration.
#2 // Tiny Attic Bathroom
I love an attic! We’ve never had a home that has allowed us to make use of an attic space, but it has always been my dream (someday!). I love sharp angled eaves and the character attic architecture brings to a space… but those angles can be challenging in regards to space and floor planning. This tiny bath makes use of it anyway, without wasting an inch, despite the lower ceiling. Even if it’s not conventional, give it a go!
#3 // Multi Functional Closet & Workspace
Another favorite configuration I’m always attracted to is the walk-in closet / workspace. Gil Schafer shares an excellent example of how a small writing desk can squeeze into the closet for multi functionality. A walk-in closet feels like a personal space anyway, so adding a desk or vanity station makes complete sense. I’ve always wanted my own closet hideaway. Anyone else?
#4 // Small Bed with Storage
Another takeaway I’ve learned from designing small spaces is to find storage anywhere you can… under a bed, in the cavity of a wall (between the studs), with medicine cabinets, built-ins, etc. Every square inch counts! This small bed (or daybed) vignette could be built into many rooms, and styled in a variety of ways… a home office, a kids room, a den, a guest room, the attic, the corner of a living space, etc. If you need extra sleeping spots, this is a good one to save- and the storage is not to be missed!
#5 // Galley Kitchen
Galley kitchens are another type of space that often cause pain points, but one configuration I secretly love. They feel romantic and cozy to me! The key is to bring brightness and functionality into a galley kitchen. Windows, skylights, and adequate lighting go a low way. Even small kitchens can be high functioning.
#6 // Bunk Room
Bunk rooms are amazing for beach cottages, a lake house, mountain cabin, and especially a child’s room. You can really maximize the number of sleeping areas for guests or children by integrating bunks. These are my favorite bunks on the internet, by S.R. Gambrel.
#7 // Small Breakfast Nook
No room for a dining space? Install a small breakfast nook! The key is to opt for a pedestal style table, so sliding in and out of the banquette is easy and comfortable. Oval and round tables also take up less space. Any corner can easily be transformed into a charming nook!
#8 // Tiny Kitchen
Another small kitchen… this one integrates some smart ideas: stone fabricated with drip rails for easy dish drying, a hanging rack for cookware, and a glossy backsplash tile to help reflect light into a darker space.
#9 // Wallpapered Powder Bath
We’ll be renovating our own powder bath at some point, but I love that Julia used a console sink with polished nickel legs. The open storage below the sink allows for a trash bin or storage basket, while making the space look larger. Powder baths are another space to experiment with color and pattern. I fully intend to use wallpaper in ours!
#10 // Small Living Room
Last, I wanted to touch on a topic that was tricky in our previous home… a small or odd shaped living room. Sometimes an L-shaped sectional just fits best. Place a console table behind it for an added surface. Drapery also helps to dress up casual sectionals, so be sure to consider use of textiles.
I hope this post helped to get your wheels turning! This was a fun one to compile and brainstorm. Once we’re back from Indonesia, I fully intend to hit the ground running with our home projects. I’ve been feeling pretty motivated as of lately. Do you have any projects on your list to tackle before the holidays officially arrive? This year is truly flying by! Have a good one, friends.
PeggiOctober 5, 2022 at 5:58 am
Good morning! Yay for 10 Pins! And extra yay for modest-sized rooms (and homes)! Although I don’t think I have the wherewithal for a tiny home or van living, I feel most comfortable in small-ish spaces. You found some amazing examples! I think I saw that Jean Stoffer laundry space on IG. I’m not neat enough to have mine in a “living space,” but I thought this was genius. I also love an attic! Something about those sloped ceilings and weird angles is so darn charming! I dream of an attic primary suite-tucked away and private plus a bird’s eye view! The Gil Schafer apartment is the dreamiest, and that closet-cum-office represents the pinnacle of genteel sophistication. I’ve also been so drawn to nooks recently! I adore that enclosed, comfy feeling; the storage underneath and in the ends is a no-brainer. (Also, that color!) Oh galley kitchens. I have certainly wished for more cupboard space in my galley kitchen, and I’d love a 36″ range…but I’ve catered events for 40 people from that hard-working “hallway.” Ha. Lakehouse with a bunk room! Yes! Also yes to a breakfast nook. Don’t we always want a booth at a restaurant? Seriously, give me all the nooks. DeVol kitchens rule. That is all. A teeny, but extravagant, powder room would be SO fun to create! Wallpaper, bold stone, special lighting, show stopping tile? Eek. And finally, sometimes a sectional really just makes sense. Truth be told, some of the smaller, vintage profiles are really classy! These images prove that a space needn’t be enormous to be beautiful, functional and welcoming. Thanks for a stupendous post! Here’s to another glorious fall day!💜
SarahOctober 6, 2022 at 11:05 pm
Yay for 10 pins and small spaces- I loved compiling this one! I don’t think I could do tiny home living or van life, but I’m with you on cozy cottages and small homes. I feel most comfortable in smaller rooms with a cozy feel. I LOVE an attic. My grandma had one and I lived for hanging upstairs and playing in the unfinished section of the attic. She also had a super long walk in closet under an eave and it was like a playhouse dream. I still think of that space and can remember the exact floral wallpaper and cedar smell. The hardworking hallway, ha! That’s a new-to-me one. I do love the look of a galley kitchen and if you can cater to 40 with it, then I’m totally sold. I hope you had a fabulous day! xo
ColleenOctober 5, 2022 at 12:06 pm
Yay! A small space post ☺️ As I live in a small house I’m super excited about this one. OMG I absolutely love 😍 Pin #1 Jean Stoffer is so clever! Concealing a washer and dryer in that space is gorgeous. Our laundry room is in the basement in a dark and unfinished utility/storage room but I do plan on correcting that someday. Luckily for me Andrew likes doing laundry. Lol
Pin#2 The tiny attic bathroom is so incredibly sweet and charming. My grandparents had an attic bathroom but it definitely didn’t look this beautiful. Good design goes a long way in a small space.
Pin#3 I’ve never really craved a space like this but I get the appeal. I’d spend way too much money on clothes/shoes if I had my own closet room. Haha!
Pin#4 How incredibly darling is that twin bed built in. I imagine that room for a little girl transitioning from her nursery and a pull out trundle for future sleepovers. What a sweet space!
Pin#5 Thanks so much for including a galley kitchen ❤️ Though I’m currently painting the cabinets in our galley kitchen a dark color ( I’m lovin it) I know so many designers recommend white and light cabinets for this kitchen style. My white cabinets are 25 years old and they looked yellowed and dirty no matter how much I cleaned them. Ugh! And the previous owners painted the lower doors brown. Wasn’t lovin it, I got to say. I do love the galley kitchen though! Yep, best floor plan and most efficient kitchen I have ever had. So many people are surprised when I tell them that. I can’t wait to complete this project of painting and wallpapering. Exciting! As this coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and then we are headed to Florida for 6 weeks, my hope is to have it completed before Christmas.
Pin#6 Bunk style beds are awesome for kids and yes incredibly useful for cottages indeed.
Pin#7 I love a banquette for a breakfast nook, and loved what you did in your last house. Wish my kitchen was a bit longer to do this but can’t make it work.
Pin#8 That incredibly cute devol kitchen makes my heart sing. And I like they didn’t bring the cabinets to the ceiling, maybe too many cabinets in a small space is overwhelming?
Pin#9 I was disappointed when Julia revealed this powder room. Full disclosure I hated it 😳 and I have loved all their reveals and homes of the past so this one took me by surprise. The sconces look too low to me and look weirdly placed. The mirror, wallpaper, flooring and black baseboards did not appeal to me at all. I like the sink but it feels out of place to me aesthetically. I was seriously so upset with myself I didn’t like it. However, their Jean Stoffer kitchen though has my heart.
Pin#10 I love a great sectional and we have had 2 L shaped ones in the past and currently. They are so practical and wonderful space savers if the rooms allows, especially for TV watching. Dressing them up with comfy cushions and throws is fantastic and beautiful drapery really makes a difference too like you mentioned.
Love this small space series Sarah! Thanks Anne for suggesting it 👍
Have a safe and amazing vacation Sarah! It sounds wonderful 😎🥂Enjoy!
SarahOctober 6, 2022 at 11:01 pm
Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one, Colleen! I loved reading your thoughts and takeaways on each. The top panels in the laundry area that Jean Stoffer designed also open for storage- so clever! Good design definitely goes a long way in a small space. As for Julia’s bathroom, I liked that she used a striped wallpaper, and they seem to really love the space- so that’s wonderful. It’s probably one of those instances where it’s not for everyone though. In our house, I’d choose different finishes, but I think it’s great for their home… and I struggled to photograph our powder room. It’s SO hard to shoot tiny spaces. I wonder if photos just make it seem strange? I’m not sure! I think I’m just itching to use some wallpaper, ha! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, and enjoy your time in Florida!! I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating, and enjoy some sunshine. I can’t wait to report back from Bali :) xo
Anne HOctober 6, 2022 at 4:18 pm
Oh, my gosh, Sarah…thank you SO much for this post!! 💗 It’s absolutely brilliant and while I feel like I’m pretty inventive and organized when it comes to small space living, I definitely learned a few things. I love the way Colleen broke down her thoughts on each pin, so I’m shamelessly going to copy her! 😁
Pin #1 – Ingeniousus way to hide the laundry, but I do love having some storage (closed and open) space in a laundry room. In our current home (condo) our stacked units are right next to the huge water heater. Not sinspiringng, eh? My current storage space is the very limited floor space and a hanging shoe organizer on the inside of the door that I repurposed for all the extra cleaning items. We had a laundry room in the the townhouse, albeit without a much desired window, and I definitely miss it!
Pin #2 – Love, love, love an attic room. I dream of an attic office someday as we’ve never had that space to transform either!
Pin #3 – A beautiful desk in a gorgeous closet? Yes, please! In this vignette, I love the antiqued mirror (seeing so much of that these days), but I’m on the fence on those purple glass door knobs. And I totally love a closet hideaway, but it would *have* to have a window. Can’t tell if this one does or not…?
Pin #4 – Such a sweet room and so smart to build it with drawers!
Pin #5 – Before we bought our townhouse, we almost pulled the trigger on a 50’s bungalow and one of the main reasons why, for me anyway, was the adorable galley kitchen with exposed brick. I love the cabinets, counter top and backsplash in this one, but I hate having a sink facing a wall. I would have to have a window. Are you noticing a trend here? LOL! Every house/condo we looked at, I took a picture from the sink of the view. Slightly obsessed with a great view in that utilitarian spot. Right now ours faces the Denver skyline, as well as the big beautiful tree we have in front…on the fourth floor, no less! Tells you old that tree is and we’re so thankful they were able to save it during construction.
Pin #6 – Lovely bunk room and you’re right, so perfect for a vacation home. Love the brass accents and the brillant ladders, but aren’t mosts bunkrooms for kids? Not sure they’d love the “library” decor in this one. LOL..again. 🤣
Pin #7 – That gorgeous breakfast nook would be the MOST popular seat in a coffee shop, so why not have one in your house? I would never have thought that a seating spot could be made in such a small corner! I also love your point about oval and round tables being key and how beautiful is that tulip one??
Pin #8 – As much as I would not love facing a wall when using the sink (see pin #5), I like most everything else about it. Especially the handmade rough, glossy gray tile to reflect the light–we added the same backsplash in our townhouse kitchen when we renovated and it really did make a difference!
Pin #9 – Gotta say I’m with Colleen on this one and she summed up everything I felt about it–I was disappointed, as well and I, too, love most of their designs. The only thing in it that I liked is the b/w floor, but as long as it appeals to them, of course, that’s all that matters. I’m with you though, powder rooms have got to be one of the most fun rooms to design!
Pin #10 – Another vote for L-shaped sectionals! We have one here and had one in the town house. It feels so much more useful, for comfort and sitting, in our small space that a straight sofa would. Not that we get to use the chaise part of it much as the cats have pretty much claimed it as their own! Side note/question — I’d always heard that if the entire sofa couldn’t be ON the rug, than the end should terminate somewhere under the middle of the sofa….or does it really just come down to personal preference?
Have an amazing, fabulous time in Bali, S&E!! Cannot WAIT to see the photos you come back with so we can live vicariously.
Thank you again for creating this post! Hopefully research and pinning was as fun for you as it was for us to read it! 😍
SarahOctober 6, 2022 at 10:46 pm
Thank you, Anne!! I loved reading about what you took away from each image… so fun! Your view sounds INCREDIBLE. I’m glad they were able to save that tree. I’m itching to renovate our powder room & laundry in the year ahead. I want to install some fun wallpaper! I think the rug / sofa dilemma is really personal preference. Lengthwise, I always make sure the rug is large than the sofa, and I usually only put the two front legs of the sofa on the rug, and the back two on the flooring beneath it. I like furniture to anchor a rug. Thanks again for the awesome post idea (keep them coming!), this was such a fun one to compile. I’m burning the midnight oil over here trying to pack and finish up work, ha! We’re excited though. Thank you!! Hope you have a great weekend ahead, Anne! xo
LaurenOctober 7, 2022 at 8:40 am
I’m catching up this morning, ha! 10 pins is my favorite, but I have loved perusing the photos in this one. Smaller sized spaces will always have my heart. Truth be told, I have found it far more difficult to floor plan and decorate the larger rooms in this house, compared to the modest size of our previous one. Jean Stoffer is my favorite designer for one reason- her uncanny ability to hide the absolute coolest functional items, both seamlessly and beautifully. I gasped when I saw her post this one. I adore the hidden artwork storage! I too have a secret pining for an attic space. As a kid, attics were my favorite. I’ve never lived in a home that had any useable attic space, but have always dreamed of a third floor library view. Maybe one day I’ll have an attic cubby to call my own. Heck yes to a walk-in closet that doubles as an office! Maybe it’s just because I love sweet furniture pieces in a closet space, or maybe it’s because it’s different…but I’m not sure I’d be as productive working from my closet. Beds with storage are such a no-brainer with kids. I *almost* regret my bed choices for the kids when I see beds like this one, but thankfully their rooms have adequate storage. I love the charm of the color on this one, and it has that bunk-room, built-in feel. So functional! Galley kitchens aren’t something you find a lot here in California- I’ve never seen one in person. Light and airy galleys like the one pictured here, would probably make me feel more comfortable, but I can definitely see how functionality would reign in a kitchen like this. I adore the bunk-room. The color, the finishes, the storage drawers underneath the row of beds. I’ve often thought Brooke’s room would make a lovely dual purpose bedroom/cousins guest room. She constantly begs for a bunk bed anyway, haha! The tiny kitchen is most similar to what you would see in a small California home. I love that there is so much packed into this little space. I’m spying open storage, a banquette, and the placement of the lights and glass cabinetry perfectly situated to capitalize on the natural light from the window. So in love with this space! Aaah…the mint chip powder room. It wasn’t my favorite CLJ reveal, simply because I can’t unsee a bowl of mint chip ice cream- not my favorite color combo. What I do love is the use of a large scale stripe wallpaper that makes the room feel less cramped, and more grand. I also adore the utilitarian sink and it’s functionality. The bars below for a towel, the space underneath for a waste basket. I love the mirror selection, and the polished nickel really brightens the space. Can’t say I’m a fan of the sconces. When I see the full frontal of this space I see boobs…no way around it. Other times I see the smiley face made by the sconces and the rounded edge of the sink bowl. 😂🤣 I still adore the sink and the sconce shape though! The floor is the show stopper in the space for me. I love how creative they are with their tile choices- I find it refreshing to see a new take on a classic style. The sectional living room is perfect! I’m a huge fan of sectionals and really can’t see myself doing a double sofa or sofa-love seat combo. We had two different sets in our last house, and though they fit the space, I love the casual vibe a sectional brings with it. I’ll likely never go back…unless of course the space were to dictate that layout. This was a fun one to peruse! Have the best time on your trip Sarah and Emmett! I look forward to hearing of all the deep sea adventures. Happy Pizza Friday everyone!
Kristin RichardsonOctober 7, 2022 at 5:28 pm
The vision (in my head at least) is those recessed bunks in my future river home. I’ve always seen white in my head but love the bold color.
Another note is the back cushions hanging from brass rails. Small detail with big impact!
I agree with smaller can be better too. We went from 900sf to 1800 to 3200 as our family grew. Now we’re back in 2100sf and ready to go down again in the future. Bigger is not always better…more to clean, more to heat and cool, more to accumulate stuff that’s not really needed!
SarahOctober 25, 2022 at 6:34 pm
I love that vision, Kristin! My mom’s home is on the Ohio River and I wish I could convince her to do something like that. They do have some fun porthole windows though. I’m with you on downsizing! I like the cozy, less is more feel.