5 Clever Ways to Make the Most of a Small Space

The queen of home projects strikes again! No, but seriously… I have a bit of a problem when it comes to home projects. I only feel fulfilled when I have something going on!

The plans, the ideas, the Pinteresting… It’s an obsession!

I recently decided to renovate our tiny guest bedroom downstairs because the room was basically just two twin beds and a nightstand. The beds took up an enormous amount of room, there was no walking room, and the space was basically impossible to clean. You can imagine how much dust had gathered under there in three years!

I had the idea to ditch the bed frames (thank God they were from Walmart!) and ordered a minimalist daybed with a trundle to store underneath it. This saved so much room and allowed me to also include a little desk area and even some shelving without compromising actual sleeping capacity! Two guests can still sleep over comfortably.

Due to how incredible the room’s transformation was (really… it’s unrecognizable!), I decided this was probably a good opportunity for a post on how to renovate small spaces. Every single detail counts when you’re dealing with a small room, and I think these five tips are crucial if you want to make the most of what you have.


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This one comes first because it changed the space big time. Going from two bulky, side-by-side bed frames to a daybed/trundle was the best decision ever! It gave the room a much more spacious feel. When we’re not hosting, the bed acts as a couch and the room becomes my mini “office” which I love.

Here’s the link for the daybed/trundle I got from Amazon.


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I opted for some very simple pieces (like the steel frame daybed I got and my Apollo Hardware shelving & clothing rack), because in such a small space I didn’t want the furniture to look cumbersome and bulky. I really dislike feeling oppressed in a room because the furniture is too big for it, or there is too much stuff all over the place. Sleek storage is key, so you only keep the essentials out, the few things that make you happy to look at.



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It’s easy to go a little crazy when you design a room. You get so many ideas and want to execute them all. However, for small spaces, it’s so important to stick to a very simple (preferably white or neutral) color palette and only a few statement pieces. I opted for some ethnic-inspired throw pillow covers by MZ Fair Trade and A Piece of Bella and a pretty boho wall piece by Forever Flora Boutique for all the zen feels! I really think it made the room come together!



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This is the oldest trick in the book, but it’s a good one. Mirrors always make small rooms look a lot bigger! Restaurants always do this for small dining areas. We had the idea to install mirrored closet doors from Home Depot instead of regular closet doors. It makes a world of a difference! If closet doors isn’t an option for your space, think of ways you can incorporate mirrors regardless: you can hang a rectangular mirror on the wall or prop one vertically against a bare wall.


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Finally, do you best to eliminate clutter. Not always easy, I know. But clutter is awful for your mood and productivity and just makes a room look small and messy! If getting rid of stuff isn’t your thing, think of some minimalistic storage piece you can incorporate into the space. The less clutter visible, the better!


If you have any additional tips for small spaces, I’d love to hear them in the comments!


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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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