23+ of the Best Design Ideas for Small Houses

Here are some ideas to make the most of your small, but wonderful, home.
Christopher McFadden

If your home is on the small side, here are some ideas you might want to mull over to make the most of the space you've got. Of course, these are but a few suggestions of an apparently limitless amount you can find online. 

Since every home is different in size and shape, ultimately you will need to think of the best solutions that are appropriate for your budget and space. Good luck!


How do I get the most out of my small house?

When your home is on the smaller side, you will need to be more thoughtful with how you use space for obvious reasons. Here are some suggestions from great sites like justagirlandherblog.com

You might also want to consider looking at our college life organization hacks for more food for thought. 

1. Declutter as much as possible - Chuck the junk! If you don't need something, don't keep it.

2. Consider separating rooms into zones - For small spaes like bedsits, etc., you might want to zone your living spaces. Make it multipurpose as much as possible. 

3. Max out your closet space - Make use of clever storage "hacks" to make the most of any closets you have. 

4. Be creative with space - Use walls and other flat surfaces as much as possible for your stuff. Don't waste anywhere if you can help it. 

5. Clear floor policy - Try to get as many items off the floor as much as possible. 

How can I decorate my small apartment?

When space is at a premium decorating your home can be a challenge. For some, it is an impossible task while others relish the challenge.

Whichever camp you fall in to, here are some ideas to help decorate your apartment as effectively as possible. Here are seven suggestions for your consideration (courtesy of countryliving.com).

1. Forget the sofa, consider a setee

Large sofas are one of the main culprits for hogging space in any home. Why not consider downsizing to a setee to maximize your use of space in your lounge?

With the right design, it will complement the space rather than stand out too.

2. Shop around for furniture with storage

Since space is limited, you might want to consider investing in furniture that can double as storage space. This way, you get a two-for-one and save on valuable space for other things you might want in your home.

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3. Foldable everything

Another smart choice is to buy foldable furniture whenever possible. Desks, chairs and other furniture can usually be found that folds up for ease of storage. 

You could also consider wall-mounted foldable desks/tables in your kitchen.

4. Make your walls do the heavy lifting

Maximize space by installing as many shelves, or other storage units, on your walls as much as possible. Don't take up valuable floor space with bulky bookshelves when you can place books on shelves.

small house ideas
Source: ErikaWittlieb/Needpix.com

5. If you can't tuck it away, put in on display!

If you lack the space for a dedicated pantry or another storage area, why not display them? Make use breathable baskets, wire baskets, and other aesthetically pleasing storage solutions.

6. Don't waste the stairs

The space underneath your stairs can be a valuable untapped resource when it comes to storage. You could even build, or buy, purpose-built furniture for it!

7. Don't be afraid to go vintage

Oftentimes some older furniture and appliances are actually smaller footprint-wise than more modern equivalents. You might want to shop around for some cool ones. 

Obviously, this will be a trade-off when it comes to energy consumption.

How do you design a small space?

Further to the ideas raised above, there are some more things you might want to consider when designed a small space.

1. Shrink your dining table

Much like other big furniture like sofas, you might also want to consider a smaller dining table for your dining room (if you have one). Small, round tables can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and with the right design, they can really polish off the look of a small room.

2. Use chairs as side tables

Instead of buying a bulking piece of furniture for a side table to your bed, why not consider repurposing an old chair? You might want to also consider a well designed, perhaps vintage, wooden chair for this purpose.

3. Consider installing pocket/sliding doors

Pocket doors, especially glazed ones, are wonderful things for saving some space while also providing a means of closing off areas. They allow light to flow through spaces and slide into the wall when open to save valuable space.

small house design
Source: TijsB/Flickr

4. Mount your TV!

This is one of the best strategies for saving space in a small lounge or kitchen. If you simply must have a large TV, consider mounting it on a wall rather than using its stand. 

5. Mirrors, mirrors everywhere

Within reason, you should make good use of mirrors throughout your small home. Mirrors make space feel larger, lighter, and airier. 

You might even want to consider installing a few convex ones to add some fun to your home.

6. Color is key

Many interior designers will recommend keeping color schemes neutral when it comes to small spaces. This tricks the eye into thinking the room is more spacious than it might actually be in reality. 

7. Use all available space

Window sills and other spaces can provide valuable extra storage options for someone with a small home. Don't waste them!

How do you maximize space in a small living room?

Your lounge or living room is one of the rooms, apart from your bedroom, where you'll be spending most of your time at home. If it's a small room, you might be looking for ideas to maximize the space there.

There are many suggestions you can find on the net, and we've collected a few of the best options below (credit to habitat.co.uk for these ideas). 

1. Don't crowd the room with furniture

Again further to other suggestions above, try to think about the size of furniture you actually need in the room. Also, try to resist the urge to push them up against the walls. 

This can actually make the room look smaller and cramped. It might be worth pulling them away from walls and keep them more central to give the illusion of more space. 

2. Multitasking furniture is key

For small living rooms, you want furniture that can provide multiple uses as much as reasonably possible. Choose tables with storage space underneath, and consider things like nice-looking storage trunks to keep things out of sight. 

3. High ceilings? Draw the eye upwards

If you have high ceilings, make use of longer furniture to maximize floor space. You can also use other visual tricks like floor-to-ceiling curtains to draw the eye upwards, giving the illusion of more space.

4. Use wall lamps and swing-arm lamps for lighting

Consider mounting your lights on walls and the ceiling. This will free up valuable floor space.

small house kitchen ideas
Source: Charles & Hudson/Flickr

5. Mirrors again!

The living room is a great place to put your mirror strategy into practice. Place them on the walls and make the room grow before your very eyes.

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