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4 Tips for Using Your Small House’s Space Well

For people living in small spaces, it’s always a fight to store everything effectively. Here’s how to use your small home’s space intelligently.

There are so many “things” we use on a daily or weekly basis. From cleaning supplies and food to books and shoes, we need a solid supply of them all lest we visit stores every day as we run out. While some people have the advantage of living in a home with adequate storage for these items and others, those in smaller spaces feel the storage pinch. If this is you, and you look around without a clue where to store some things, don’t worry but rather get creative. There are several important tips for using your small house’s space well, many of which can alleviate storage concerns in several different rooms.

Implement a Wall Niche

Modern couch in a vintage living room
Brown sofa in a vintage living room – rendering

For the uninitiated, a wall niche is a recessed feature that maximizes your wall space. There are several different types of wall niches, ranging from the built-in niche to the wall-mounted and recess-mounted varieties. Whether you’re building a home now or want to make a change, there’s a wall niche option for you.

Practically, wall niches open up wall space that previously had limited storage utility. Rather than extending into a foyer, hallway, or kitchen area, a wall niche creates display-ready shelving space that’s set into the wall instead. These features are ideal for housing your wine glasses, fine china, or even books.

Use All Your Vertical Space

3d rendering minimal living room with tv and cabinet
3d rendering interior and exterior design

Also, some homes don’t take advantage of all their vertical space, effectively chopping off potential storage space near the ceiling. This is especially true in the kitchen, where cabinets often stop a foot or so short of the ceiling. Consider replacing your cabinets or introducing additional drawers or shelves to fully utilize vertical space. There are even below-cabinet drawers that come in handy—using your vertical storage well could involve installing these as well.

Elsewhere, find spots to install wall shelves that extend higher than normal. This could draw people’s eyes upward and make your space feel bigger even as you’re using upper shelves to store your things tastefully.

Incorporate Sliding Shelves and Pocket Doors

Consider all the thin spaces you can’t quite put to use. Further, think about how much space a traditional pivoting door needs. In both cases, using a sliding feature, whether it be a shelf for spices between the fridge and a cabinet or a pocket door, helps immensely.

Sliding shelves can fit in your laundry room, bathroom, or a closet and afford you an accessible yet mostly invisible storage option. Their low profile and ability to utilize thin spaces are the two big keys to their function. Meanwhile, pocket doors that slide rather than swing expand the wall space around the door for storage.

Consider Under-Stairs Shoe Storage

TheDesignTourist SmallHouseSpaceAnother tip for using your small house’s space effectively is to declutter your front room by creatively adapting your staircase space. If your home allows, the underside of your stairway can serve as a shoe receptacle.

After installing a shoe drawer or mini-closet, you’ll notice your front room is much cleaner and offers more room to walk around because dirty, smelly shoes don’t litter your floors. If you don’t need shoe storage, outfit your under-stairs with a bookcase to display the beloved books that sit in boxes right now.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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