5 Ways to Maximize Small Spaces

Martha Dayton of Martha Dayton Design weighs in on taking risks and getting the most out of your smaller living spaces

Photos by Kory Kevin Reckinger

Are you living, working, playing, and relaxing in small home, condo, or apartment? And wondering how to fit it all into small spaces during a time when staying at home is the safest way to avoid the pandemic? Then Martha Dayton, founder of Martha Dayton Design, has lots of good ideas for you. But first, she says, “Go out on a limb. Take a risk.”

“It’s a time where your home matters more than ever. To be comfortable and delighted with your home on a daily basis means taking a risk you wouldn’t normally take,” she says. To help you take those risks, here are five tips for maximizing small spaces, so you can “love your home right now and do what it takes to get there.”’

1. Stay away from small-scale furniture. “If you put a bunch of small pieces in a small space, it will feel smaller,” says Dayton. Instead, she continues, “Carefully select larger pieces and less of them to make the space feel larger. It’s sort of a paradox, I know. But a normal-size sofa, a large rug, and one great chair are perfect to help a small living room feel larger.”

Choose furnishings that are multifunctional. For instance, “Find a small table that can be enjoyed during coffee and breakfast, that also has leaves for expanding into a table for dinner for four,” Dayton suggests. It would also serve as your workspace. Similarly, a daybed could be used as a sofa and also a guest bed.

2. Mirrors are fantastic. “They always reflect back space and light to make a room feel larger.”

3.Good lighting is essential to make a small space feel larger. Whether you’re selecting a great floor lamp, center fixture, or several lights for ambient mood lighting, “Make each piece count.”

4. Don’t be afraid of color. Include pops of color in wall texture, paint, or furnishings. “Introducing color into small rooms can help you feel like you have a grander living space.”

5. Be cohesive in your choices for furnishings, décor, lighting, art, and accessories. “If you travel a lot and your decorating is eclectic, that’s cohesive as the décor is built around your interests,” she advises. “So, pick a direction and stick with that direction.” But, also, she notes, “Don’t be afraid to throw in a surprise. Be playful. Now that we’re spending so much time at home, it’s all right to indulge in something you really love.”

No posts to display