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Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

by | Feb 22, 2012 | Decorating Inspiration, small houses, Style Tips

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Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}BHG

Small Space Organization Ideas

This image from Better Homes & Gardens is one of my favorite small rooms. Not only do I love how this room looks, I love how it functions. It has so many solutions for small spaces.

  • The furniture has small or tight arms.
  • The round ottoman allows an easy flowing traffic pattern in and out of the conversation area.
  • The tray on top of the ottoman doubles the use as a functional coffee table.
  • The nesting tables are slender and of course can be separated to offer another table to a guest.
  • The tall vertical bookshelves offer a lot of storage in a small room.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

Do you live in what you would consider a small house or feel like you could utilize the space you have a little bit better?

Well, I was browsing through Pottery Barn online yesterday and kept running into some pretty great ideas for living in a small space. So, I thought we’d take a look at these Pottery Barn ideas together and maybe one of these ideas would work for you!

While my house is 2500 square feet and not really considered small by tiny or small house standards, it is about half the size of our old house. But, I’ve lived in a couple of smaller houses that this one in my day and I know the trials and troubles of trying to make everything “fit” in to the space you have.

First off, I love that metal organizer for the back of a door. I always used those white wirey ones on the backs of kitchen, bathroom and basement doors in my small old houses, but I never had a cute one like this metal version! Especially if you are using it in a bathroom or other place it will be seen when people close a door, why not make it charming too?

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

One of the many challenges of remodeling a small bathroom is how to fit in storage! Often it is recommended to go with a pedestal sink in a small bathroom. While they do work well visually, they don’t offer any place to put your toothbrushes or hand towels. So if you are remodeling a small bathroom, I think a little sink cabinet like this would be just great!

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

This is another way to gain visual space and storage in a small space! An “open vanity” with suitcases or baskets below to store bathroom essentials. Small suitcases or baskets work well for storing cosmetics or extra supplies if you are lacking enough cabinet space.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

Nesting tables always give a lot more function in less space. These are airy and open enough to not take up too much visual weight in a room, and the nesting feature means you get two end tables in the space of one. Easy peasy to pull the extra table out for entertaining or as needed.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

I’m kind of smitten with this slender little wire rolling cart. I like that you could roll this around wherever you needed it, and even tuck it into random corners without it taking over a lot of space. While it wouldn’t store a lot, obviously, I can see using this for a designated useful purpose such as shaving supplies, nail polishes and creams, items for the shower or bath, or cosmetics for your morning or evening beauty routines. In the right house, it could also function as a unique little side table or end table for remote controls or paperbacks for nighttime reading.

They key to actually using little carts like this effectively is to assign them a specific purpose and function. If they are filled with random junk, they take up more space than they are worth. Use them wisely.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

Hooks are the best. I have had this exact iron hook system for years. I probably got mine at a garage sale or something, but this one pictured is from Pottery Barn. Even though old house was huge, my husband didn’t have his own designated closet. So, he used these hooks as a little mini-closet on the wall for jeans and belts and everyday wear. It takes up next to no space but fits a lot of stuff on it.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

I’m always a fan of multi-functional pieces. So of course, a small ottoman with storage is perfect for more than one use. While open airy items take up less visual weight in a room, closed storage is beneficial as well because it keeps clutter hidden. Always try to aim for for a balance of open and closed storage!

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

Most bookcases and shelving units are big and bulky. Not these! They are open, airy and take up very little floor space! Perfect for just about any room in your house.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

This chair, above, will make an impact on how spacious your home feels. It has two features that make it a good choice for a small room. One, the arms are slender and tighter to the chair. Big rolled arms just don’t work as well in a small space. The second feature are the legs, which take up a less visual weight.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

And last but not least, this vertical tiered wire storage would be great for showing off attractive things you need near the sink (hand soaps, lotions, scrubbers) or for decor items on a buffet or dresser. It doesn’t take up much room visually or space wise, but holds more than a single bowl or basket would.

So, there you go. A round up of random small house ideas found while browsing Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn did not sponsor this post, these are just my random musings after browsing their always inspiring store and products.

Small House? Solutions for More Space {and a small space linky!}

Here some related small house posts:

Small House Organization

Making the Most of Your Small House

My Small House Story 

Small House, 10 Big Ideas


  1. Jamie

    I’ve always found that the best thing about living in a small space is that it encourages me to be efficient and not keep things I can’t/don’t use! I try to be careful about what I let into the house, and only buy or accept things I love. Anything I can’t or am not using, I try to give away or share.

    I lean strongly towards multi-purpose pieces like the storage ottoman you featured. My favorite storage tips are to store things vertically (shelves built near the ceiling of a room or over doorways are easy to overlook but can store a lot) and using pseudo-furniture. Storage buckets/boxes topped with a flat piece of wood/glass and pretty tablecloth thrown over it make flexible, almost-free side and end tables and store plenty of stuff as well. :)

  2. Susan

    Wow! I love that hook idea that you have suggested (the one your husband uses for jeans etc)!!!! We have a large walk-in closet, but my husband likes to “hang” his jeans on the edge of a shelving unit within the closet, rather than putting them back on a hanger if he is planning to wear them again – this hook idea would solve that problem!

    I love that wired hanger over a door, too, and as you said, it’s much nicer than those white ones :)

    We live in a house that’s a little under 2,400 sf. – it’s much larger than the condo we were living in prior to this (750sf), but it’s still considerably smaller than the last house we owned. Once my son goes off to college, I think I would like to downsize to around 1,200 sf.

  3. Mimi

    Even though I live in a relatively small space, I never really considered looking for pieces that function well, but take up minimal space. You’ve given me a lot of great ideas here. Love the rolling wire rack, That space in the first image works really well without being cramped. When I used to watch Candice Olsen’s old shows I was always so amazed how she could get so many cozy yet functional areas in one room. Now I get it. Thanks Melissa.

  4. Karena

    Adore the living room! It is perfect. So many great ideas, most loved the storage ottoman and that unique over door wire rack!

    Art by Karena

  5. Barbara

    Great post, and great photos. Thanks for hosting this linky!

  6. brandi

    My biggest issue living in a smaller home is avoiding things from looking too cluttered. Looking forward to getting some fresh ideas from the spaces that are linked up.

  7. Kim

    What a great idea for a linky party! My issue is not so much overall small space, but small, very small bathrooms (and one even has the washing machine and dryer in it – talk about no space to do laundry!)and a few rooms with quirky layouts. Our house is old and was once three apartments. We love it, but it does pose it problems.

  8. Kim

    Our small house (1400 sf) features pedestal sinks in both bathrooms, and while it’s visually uncluttered, they would be SO much more functional if there was a little cabinet like in some of your pictures.

    Thanks for sharing some of these ideas!

  9. Jo

    Ooh, I love those wire storage solutions! And that little cart too! Thanks for the inspiration! We have a lot of small spaces in this house.

  10. lisa

    HI Melissa! Thank you for hosting…what great ideas! I LOVE the decorative wire hanger basket! Happy Wednesday to YOU.

  11. Sarah

    Awesome party! I am always searching for ways to maximize space in my small house. Thanks for hosting, Melissa!


  12. Chie

    Absolutely smart ideas. I am living in a petité house, I say “petité”. It’s a 165 sqm (I don’t know in U.S. measure) It’s 2 storey with a basement.

    I been tweaking upside down in every inch of the house to make it nice and cozy.

    I have the lil ottoman, I have 2 small chairs and even hang wire cabinets at the doors, too… and most of the people who seen the house said that it is cute, cute and “Deceiving” §;-)

    TY a mill for sharing…

    Greetings from a freezing and icy Stockholm,

    • Marilyn

      My husband said that would be about 1500 square feet in the U.S,

  13. Barbara (WA)

    Going to head to the linky party after writing this comment – thanks! I have a very small house and THE smallest kitchen ever. Whenever I see an article about small kitchens, none are as small as mine. One idea we are going to use it pull out drawers within the cabinets. I am the only one who knows what lurks way in the back of those shelves.

  14. Samantha

    We are a family of five, and although our house is not THAT small, the room sizes are pretty small in comparison to a lot of houses. I love that we use every single inch of our house!

  15. Priscilla

    We’ll soon (I HOPE) be moving from about 3000 sf back to 1200 sf. My health and Wall Street have made it advisable — and desirable — to downsize. But the Tiny House is in the woods and ALL PAID FOR, and my husband is working on completely remodeling it. Our master “suite” (half the house) is already ready.

    We had to fill this big house when we moved in; now we’ll have to cast aside again. Big adjustments to face, of course, but I’m looking forward to it.

    And your small-house-tips help a lot!

  16. Abby

    Wonderful post! I live in a tiny house, less than a 1000 sq feet, with hubby and two kids. I never never stop looking for ways to keep things tidy and clutter free. I use just about all those things you mentioned. If it can’t double for use, it can’t be used in my book. My go to items are crates and baskets to hide things while doubling for decoration.
    Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  17. Tiffany

    I have a large house with a couple of small spaces. One in particular is a powder room which is teeny tiny. I wish I could link up but it’s not done yet. Maybe in the future?

  18. Little Bit

    Thank you for this fun impromtu party! I’m so glad you got your site back up, I was in the middle of posting and couldn’t get back on. So many people have had computer problems this week!

    BTW: I ‘liked’ you on FB to follow along…hope you’ll follow me too! Little Bit from

  19. Liz

    Our home is not small, but I’m also looking for organizing ideas.
    Thanks for hosting!

  20. Bettsi

    The two bedroom apartment I share with my two teen boys is under 900 square feet, but I’m like you- I love the challenge of making it work. I pinned that first photo of the living room arrangement! That is going to serve as the inspiration for what is turning out to be the most challenging room. It’s long and narrow and my boys seem to think that video games need to be played 8″ away from the tv! Thanks, as ever, Melissa for the inspiration!

  21. Ilia Mura

    I absolutely love this post. I am documenting and keeping track of me moving on my blog and was looking for ideas on how to efficiently decorate and furnish my small-ish apartment. This has really helped! Another small tip I can add is to systematically hang up mirrors, this will really open up the whole living area and reflect a lot more light (great in smaller hall ways). Keep your awesome work up!

  22. Alli

    I was wondering if you know where you can find that brown wooden sink cabinet? It would be perfect for my friend’s bathroom!


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