Big Solutions for Small Spaces

Last weekend we finally made the move to our smaller than the suburbs apartment in San Francisco city! I’m sure any city folks out there would agree that this exciting move comes with the challenge of keeping the space functional with minimum clutter! While I research high and low for clever solutions to make the most of our new apartment, I couldn’t resist sharing some of these ideas with all of you. Hope they come in handy the next time you decide to move and set up your new home :).

  • First and foremost, PURGE old or extra stuff BEFORE you move into a new space. Trust me, a cluttered space clogs up your thinking too. If you haven’t used some items for the last year or two, donate or sell them so you don’t have to feel guilty about tossing them out. We donated several bags of clothes and sold some appliances and furniture (on and Ebay) before moving.
  • Every corner matters, literally:
corner shelf

Give a purpose to those under utilized corners with custom made shelving!

  • Where possible, combine two functions together to save space:
double duty storage and seat

A cozy nook also houses storage below


double duty storage below bed

This platform multi tasks as a bed, storage and display surface!

  • Walls can be used for more than just hanging art or pictures, Umbra’s floating bookshelves add some dimension and fun to these walls:

Floating book shelves

  • Mirrors give a feeling of expansiveness to small spaces. Make a statement with one large one or mix it up with different shapes and sizes!




  • Staircases are a treasure trove of storage if customized:

Storage below stairs

  • Although we can’t live without technology, I find wires add unsightly visual clutter  to desks and tv consoles. Tuck them away neatly using a clever wire management gadget like this one from

wire management

  • Painting or applying wallpaper to the ceiling is a great way to enhance painfully small rental bathrooms. I would also avoid using caddies which eat into your already bare minimum shower area. Instead, use clever solutions like this Umbra bath caddy which hangs on the shower head and holds your daily essentials.



shower caddy

  • Buy furniture that does double duty! Manufacturers like Resource Furniture carry some fantastic space saving solutions like this ordinary looking sofa which transforms into a bunk bed complete with a ladder! 
Transforming furniture anyone?

Transforming furniture anyone?

At the end of the day, don’t let small spaces cramp up your style. Make it work with the above tricks!

Feel free to check out my video post on compact flexible apartments if you’re looking for ideas on specific custom made solutions for your apartment.

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11. July 2013 by Charu
Categories: Fun, Interior Design | Tags: , , , , , | 13 comments

Comments (13)

  1. Corner shelf totally bookmarked!!

  2. Goooooood stuff! Thanks Charu! 🙂

  3. Hi. You’ve put together a great post here. When it comes interior design, furniture is quite often the last thing that gets considered – but choosing the right pieces to complement the space can really help with tying everything in the room together.

    Best wishes, Alex.

  4. Pingback: Insanely Clever DIY & Craft ProjectsModern Home Interior Design

  5. I love the idea of floating books. Great post!

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