Worried About a Small Space? Max It Out With Great Design

People who move to Chicago for the first time often find themselves taken aback by the sheer variety of housing available. From spacious single family homes to cozy condos, from gleaming skyscrapers to humble two-flats, there’s a home for every taste and budget in the city.

But, for many, that dream home isn’t always easy to find – particularly when it comes to finding the ideal size. Plenty of Chicago homes offer gorgeous finishes, a convenient location, or top-of-the-line amenities – if you’re willing to settle for a little less space in some rooms.

But a home with a few particularly snug spaces doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker! In fact, there are countless tricks that you can use to make a small or awkward room feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting, without shelling out big bucks for renovations.

Instead of opening up your pocketbook, just get a little creative! Here are three big ways to salvage your smallest space with nothing but clever design:

1.) Put Paint to Work

We’ve written before about how much of a difference paint color and design can make when it comes to successfully selling your home. Well, even after you’ve moved in, a little bit of paint can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your living space – particularly when it’s smaller than you’d like.

Should you feel trapped by a smaller room, you can use color to strategically open it up. To make a room feel more open, emphasize lighter neutrals – think white, cream, or faint gray. Similarly, repainting your ceiling to be a clean white color can make the top of the room feel brighter and airier, creating a sense of openness throughout the whole space.

If you want to play up a small space, though, don’t be afraid to go dramatic: Dark colors (blacks, browns, and purples) can make a tight space feel even cozier or more intimate, creating a den-like atmosphere perfect for a bedroom or office.

2.) Get Creative With Your Storage

One of the biggest drawbacks of a small room is that you may not have the space to fit in everything that you’d like – particularly if that cozy room comes without a closet, pantry, or cabinets.

With this in mind, getting savvy about storage becomes even more important when you’re trying to max out your smallest spaces. Fortunately, there are all sorts of options available, depending on the room in question.

For kitchens, for example, you may want to consider flexible storage solutions, such as a roll-away island or pantry, which you can easily move around to create more space if necessary, or put to work for additional counter or eating space should you need some extra surface area.

You have all sorts of options in the bathroom, as well, from over-the-toilet racks to magnetic toiletry holders. Our friends over at J. Blanton Plumbing have published a number of guides to maximizing the space in your small bathrooms. Here are a few of our favorites:

And, of course, truly getting creative about storage means not just adding new storage solutions, but maximizing the ones that you already have in place! You may want to consider “hacking” your closets and cabinets with a lazy susan, a tension rod, or another space-saving solution.

You may also want to look up and put your ceiling to work. You can add shelving high up on the wall for items that you don’t need, and even use your ceiling space to hang your bike or other sports equipment.  

3.) Focus on Functional Furniture

When your floor space is tighter than you’d like, it becomes essential to evaluate every piece of furniture you bring into a room. And while comfort is, of course, important, there’s one watchword to remember when designing for a small space – function.

In other words? If that furniture is going to be taking up valuable space in your room, it better be adding plenty of value by being there. With that in mind, you may want to consider investing in multi-tasking furniture, which you can either find multiple uses for, or easily hide when not in use.

Ottomans, benches, and coffee tables with hidden storage, for instance, can be comfortable, attractive, and adaptive, while also adding a ton of extra space, perfect for keeping spare linens, spare clothes, cleaning supplies, or children’s toys out of sight.

You may also want to look into hanging or modular furniture, including beds and dining room tables; with this kind of furniture, you can easily fold up and hide what you’re not using when you’re not using it, freeing up space exactly when you need it.

With the right mentality, your small Chicago space doesn’t need to feel cramped! Instead, your smallest room can become your biggest opportunity, perfect for showcasing your ability to organize, design, and make an area come to life.

Have any other questions about what it takes to buy or sell a Chicago home? Looking for more advice and tricks of the trade? You’ve come to the right place! Drop us a line today to see what the Real Group team can do for you!

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Chicago, IL 60614

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