Small space design tips – how to make the most of your apartment or dorm room!

small space design tips

Designing for a large house can be draining, but small space design takes organization, planning and a great layout to maximize a small living area. PBDorm has many products specifically for dorm rooms, but many of their items and design style can inspire your own small space design. During my exchange in Holland, I lived in a 17 metre square shipping container dorm room, and it taught me how to pair down, and maximize my space. Here are some small space design tips to open up your apartment or dorm room and get the most out of your square footage!

Small space design tip #1: Multi-functional bedroom furniture

pb teen hampton storage bed pb teen ultimate bookcase bed

When you’re living in a bachelor apartment, it’s really important to consider storage and display options in each piece of furniture. While I couldn’t exactly upgrade my dorm room bed, in my next small space, I hope to invest in a bed with shelves built in. I always end up stowing things away underneath my bed, and this would force me to be organized and stop my dust bunny problem. I love PBDorm’s Hampton storage bed, which offers a few compartments to stow away extra sheet sets or off-season clothing. When I move into my condo (only a few construction years away!), I plan on investing in a bookcase bed, and the one above from PBDorm foots the bill exactly with its minimalistic design.

Small space design tip #2: Go light

pbteen acrylic swivel chair

This tip might seem obvious, but a small space design calls for light-coloured furniture and walls. An accent wall can happen, but you don’t want to be surrounded in 400 square feet of aubergine! Go with a light beige or grey, and if you can’t paint, I hope your walls are white to begin with! As for your furniture, I love the idea of clear acrylic. While you might not be able to have a dining room full of Kartell ghost chairs, PBDorm’s Acrylic Swivel desk chair is half the price, and so beautiful, elegant and looks light as air. Their acrylic nesting tables are also a perfect match!

Small space design tip #3: Mirror, mirror

pbteen romantic mirror to make small space larger

Why not fake it? Get a large mirror to hang along the length of your wall, to widen a tiny den or cramped hallway. The romantic mirror from PBDorm has an elegant, curved shape and works both vertically and horizontally.

Small space design tip #4: Hidden organization

emily and meritt travelers trunk

It’s very easy for a small space to end up filled with bookshelves wall-to-wall. I get it, we all have a lot of stuff, but leaving negative space will open up the room and allow for your furniture and accents to be the focal point. Instead, look for trunks, bedside tables and chests that can be used as both furniture (coffee tables, ottomans and tables), but have ample storage space inside. For a rustic room, I love PBDorm’s Emily + Meritt’s Traveler’s Trunk. I would love to get two of these to flank my bed as nightstands where I could store away my filing, old photographs or backup hard drives and other items I need to keep, but don’t access often.

Small space design tip #5: Get vertical!

small space wall shelving

Instead of purchasing a bookcase that takes up precious floor space, install floating shelves up high on the walls so that the floor can be free for your desk, dining table or bed. It’s easier to take down a few shelves if you end up moving soon too!

Small space design tip #6: Curtains

indigo dye shower curtain

If your small space is lacking in height as well as floorspace, a great tip is to get floor-to-ceiling window coverings in a light, sheer fabric. On the flip side, if you like to entertain, but don’t want people turning your bed into party central, a thick curtain (shower curtains are long, and the perfect thickness) can divide up your space. Pick up a couple panels, a white rod to match your ceiling and some hooks that can hold onto the rod. Screw the hooks into your ceiling and hang up your rod and curtain! Simple as that! Indigo dye is a huge home decor trend, and I love the opacity and weight of these fun curtains!

Another thing to consider when moving into a small space, or if you’re looking to redecorate your small apartment, is to make a floor plan and place the furniture where you want it. This will let you plan everything out, and you can look for smaller-scale furniture to fit the room. Keeping clutter tucked away and investing in great lighting will also help open up your small space.

This post was sponsored by PBDorm, but my design tips are all my own!



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    • June 29, 2014 / 11:37 am

      Thank you so much Christina! My mom is an interior designer and I’m going back to school to transition into design, so it’s a growing passion! I’m hoping to feature a lot more on here soon 😀

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