How to maximize a small space for a chic look and comfortable feel

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How to Maximize Your Apartment Space

By: Lauren Nelson


When it comes to living in New York City, it's crucial you learn how to maximize a small space!

This past weekend I had the chance to speak at the Lovely Happenings conference. When Jaclyn and Rachel (the founders of the conference) asked me to speak on interiors, I instantly thought I should speak on small spaces since the majority of the girls attending the conference were New York based.

Since I live in a one bedroom convertible with a roommate, of course I've picked up a thing or two on how to maximize a small space. The square footage here is really quite a pain in the ass! So let's get to it, shall we? My top 6 tips on how to maximize a small space!

1. Find Furniture That Can Double As Something Else:

Whenever shopping for furniture in a small space, keep an eye out for pieces that can double as something else. Bar carts are a great example. They can double as an end table in a living room or as a statement piece in an entry way. You want to invest in pieces that can be re-arranged to transform the use of a room. Make every piece count, ladies!!

A few other key examples:

- Tables that can double as a desk.
- Look for two little round coffee tables instead of one large one as this is better for traffic flow in a room and can also be easily moved around.
- Ikea's Rast dresser ($34.99) is one of my favorite pieces of furniture as it can double as storage within any room.
- I love sofa's that can double as a guest bed.

The Everygirl

2. Create Zones

Imagine all of the things we do in one space. We eat, sleep, work and relax all within a certain square footage. I love establishing separate zones for each of those activities within my apartment. Plus, this will also make the room appear larger – bingo!!!



House Beautiful

Apartment Therapy

3. Trick Your Eye:

When it comes to designing a space, it's all about tricking your eye. Think vertical! This is crucial when moving into a small space. Invest in floor to ceiling curtains. Take book cases and cabinets all the way up. Create a gallery wall around your flat screen TV. Strategically place mirrors within a room. Invest in "see through" furnishings. Lucite pieces are a must for small spaces (i.e. lucite coffee table or ghost chairs). They don't feel bulky and help the room appear larger.


Homey Oh My



Making Home Base

Domaine Home

4. Make The Container Store Your New Best Friend:

Real talk: I spent so much money at the Container Store when I first moved to New York! Creating smart storage spaces is one of the best things you can do when moving into a small space. Favorite storage units include their underbid storage containers and storage boxes that I'm able to stack on one another in my closet.

Last but not least, if you do not have the black velvet hangers – please do yourself a favor and buy them! You can thank me later.

5. Everything Should Have A Dedicated Space:

Clutter can easily build up in a small space. Make sure that all of your belongings have a dedicated space. Use hooks for coats and bath towels, decorative trays for jewelry, perfume or books, ginger jars for hiding random knick knacks.


Domaine Home

Centstational Girl

6. Use the Number 3 As A General Rule of Thumb:

I once read in a design book to use the number three as a general rule of thumb. For the most part, I have stuck to this rule. Whenever you are using decorative objects to style a coffee table or book shelf, group objects in three. You don't need to fill every inch and this will allow the items to "breathe".

I also use this rule when it comes to lighting in a room. In my bedroom, I make sure to have three sources of lighting besides the overhead light as it helps create a better ambiance.


Lemon Stripes


For more home decor, click through for coffee table decorating tips:
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More from Lauren Nelson:
The ultimate Ikea shopping list: My 10 favorite finds
6 preppy bedrooms I can totally get on board with
10 stylish finds for mom under $100 dollars
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