10 Fave Decorating Tricks for Your Tiny Apartment

If you're out of space and out of design ideas for your apartment, dorm room or small house, don't worry, we're here to help! We've rounded up clever space-saving design tricks to help fill your small space with big ideas.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
April 10, 2019

Photo By: Caitlin McCarthy Design

Photo By: Jessica Klewicki Glynn

Photo By: Donna Dotan

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Courtesy of IKEA

Photo By: John Dolan Photography

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Ditch Lamps for Wall Sconces

An easy design fix for saving some space on your nightstand is to use sconces instead of lamps next to your bed. If you don't want to hard-wire your lights, you can skip hiring an electrician and just choose plug-in sconces that you can install yourself. BOOM: Now you have extra space on your bedside table for fresh flowers and a stack of your favorite reads.

Double-Duty Spaces

If you live in a tiny home, you might need to think about setting up some double-duty spaces. By this we mean areas that can be used for more than one purpose. Here, the owner has set up a work area on the side of their sofa. Instead of a smaller side table, a slightly larger console becomes both a desk and spot to put down a cold drink or, ok fine, a glass a wine.

No Side Table? No Problem

Here's a super clever idea that highlights the "use what you have" mantra. Instead of a standard side table in the living room, these homeowners simply use an artfully stacked pile of books. This hack could work in a living room, bedroom or even in a bathroom, and is also a great way to add a bit of color to your space by choosing titles with colorful spines.

Convert a Closet

True, closet space is usually a precious commodity for most of us tiny home dwellers. However, if you happen to have an extra closet to spare, converting it into usable space could really be a game changer. In this example, a tiny closet was easily converted into a kids' workspace by removing the door, adding some shelves and a streamlined desk.

Try a Shelf as a Bedside Table

Tiny bedside tables are the unicorns of the design world — they're almost impossible to find. So if you have a tiny bedroom or dorm room, you've got to get creative. REAL creative. That's what this homeowner did when they decided to use a simple shelf as a bedside table in their bedroom. Some other ideas for tiny nightstands include: plant stands, drink tables or even a coat rack!

Divide Your Rooms

Another space-saving trick for tiny apartments and houses is to divide your existing rooms. Depending on your needs, you can create some additional, usable space in your home using room dividers like shelves, screens or curtains. Perhaps you can add a small dining area to your living room, or an office space off to the side of your kitchen. You could even create a faux walk-in closet in your bedroom using a room divider. In this example, a large shelf is used to separate the kitchen from the living area, which creates extra lounging and dining space in this tiny home.

Floating Shelves Are Magic

Using floating shelves is a go-to design trick for tiny home dwellers, and can work in almost any room in your house. You can use floating shelves in your entry if you don't have room for a console, in your bathroom for extra storage, or even in your kitchen if your cabinet space is lackluster. Floating shelves also work great in kids' rooms for book or toy storage, or in bedrooms for jewelry and accessory storage.

You Need a Giant Mirror

Want make your tiny apartment or dorm look way larger? Then it's time to get a big ole mirror. This design trick has been around for ages, but that's because it actualy works. Adding a large mirror to a smaller space instantly makes your space feel larger, lighter and brighter. Large mirrors *can* be expensive but you can get creative here too: try using an inexpensive full-length mirror, but hang it horizontally in your living room, hallway or bedroom to really open up the space.

Add Storage Where You Can

Floating shelves and bookcases are great, but sometimes in a smaller space you need to call in the big guns. This means taking a look around your tiny house and figuring out where you can add some serious extra storage. In this example, the homeowners added bult-in shelving above the bed, creating a ton of additional storage and display space. This might also include customizing a standard closet to better meet your needs, or tackling built-in shelving in your living room. If you can afford to spend some cash, start thinking about some upgrades for your house or condo, and invite your favorite carpenter or handyman over to get some estimates.

Take It Outside

While this isn't an option for every tiny home dweller, if you happen to have a little yard, patio or balcony, don't forget your outdoor space. Making a few upgrades outdoors can sometimes double your home's usable space. And if you're lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, you can create space outdoors that is lacking indoors: no room for all of your friends to hang out in your living room? Take it outside! No dining room? Create a small dining area outside! Think about how you might be able to maximize your outdoor space, and invest in turning it into a another functional space for your home.

Shop This Look