10 Small Space Trends We Have Our Eyes On
These trends are just as stylish as they're functional. Try one or all to make your space feel bigger.
Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo
Photo By: Mark Woods
Photo By: Wanda Ely Architect, Inc.; Scott Norsworthy
Photo By: Bruce Damonte
Photo By: Amy Bartlam
Photo By: Sarah Dorio
Low seating is a fun trend we’re seeing pop up more, and we can’t get enough of it. Depending on your ceiling height, low seating can create the illusion of more visual space in your tiny house. It’s also a trend that can make a space feel immediately fresh and modern.
LA interior designer Katie Hodges of Katie Hodges Design agrees. "When I'm furnishing a small space I always pay close attention to furniture scale. Sofas tend to be the heaviest piece in a living room, so a low profile option like this one keeps the visual weight down while still maintaining function."
Bold Laundry Rooms
Laundry rooms have often been overlooked in home design, and we get it — not many people see it, so is it worth the effort? However, there seems to be a shift going on right now. Next-level laundry rooms are now a thing, and that's important in a small space when every square inch deserves design love. Blogger Shavonda Gardner recently renovated the laundry room in her small space home into a luxe, purple wonderland. She used Justina Blakeney's Hygge and West wallpaper to set the scene (and even put it on the ceiling!) and added a swanky light fixture and other lovely details like natural bamboo blinds.
Small Space, XL Art
I’m on the record as a gallery wall hater, so this big art trend makes me truly happy. The idea that small spaces can’t handle big art or furniture has been proven wrong time and time again, and it’s time to kill it for good. The right piece of gigantic art can completely change the look and vibe of a space. While big art can be expensive, you can also get creative and do things like hang a large rug or paint and hang a large canvas.
Forget Your Kitchen Island
A lack of functional space is the biggest challenge us tiny home dwellers deal with, and oftentimes, there is simply no room for a dining table anywhere. If you can ditch your island in place of a great set of table and chairs, you’ve instantly solved your lack of a dining room with a practical solution.
Small homes tend to have small bathrooms, so most of us who live in them often have to give things up (like double vanities in master baths). The trend of trough sinks — essentially very wide sinks inspired by troughs for farm animals — is perfect for those of us who live in tiny homes. It solves the problem of not having enough room for a double vanity, while still providing space for two people to use the sink at the same time.
Designer Ginny MacDonald of Ginny MacDonald Design says, "Trough sinks can be great for kids' baths too. There's enough room to add two faucets so each kiddo feels like they have a spot."
Mismatched Dining Chairs
An easy way to instantly create visual interest in a smaller space is to mix up your dining chairs. If you’re lucky enough to have a dining room, this trick can really make a statement. Even if you just have a small dining table in a corner of your house, you can still use this technique. There really are no rules to mixing and matching chairs — use a 50/50 approach and feature two different types of chairs, or use a different chair for each seat. The key to pairing mismatched chairs is to find one unifying element. For example, your chairs are the same type of wood, but different styles.
Over-the-Top Light Fixtures
In a larger house, you might not notice every light fixture the way you do in a smaller space. As far as we’re concerned, this means you need to go all in on choosing fixtures with big impact. Kirsten Blazek from LA staging and design firm A 1000x Better won’t take on a staging project if the owners of the home are unwilling to switch out light fixtures.
"Light fixtures can completely change the vibe of almost any space instantly, and nowadays you can find super stylish ones that are very inexpensive. Even in a rental, you can switch out the fixtures and then put back the original ones before you move out," she said.
You may want to keep your walls neutral, but your ceiling is a great spot to go a little crazy. Paint the ceiling a contrasting color, or pair a painted ceiling with patterned wallpaper. Using a bold wallpaper on your ceiling can also turn a room into a true showstopper (and it’s much less expensive than springing for wallpaper for your whole room).
Don't be afraid to break the rules, and make decisions that specifically work for your space. Are two bedside tables usually the norm? Sure, but in this tiny guest bedroom, there wasn’t room for two. Instead, replace one bedside table with other furnishings like a bench. Bonus: Extra seating!
"Breaking design rules has turned into a fun game for me," said designer Jen Harrison from Flea Market Fab. "In small spaces, especially, all bets are off. I say try all those unexpected design moves in a tiny bedroom. A stool as a bedside table? A plant stand? A side table? Why not!?"
Functional Unused Corners
You most likely have space in your tiny house or apartment that isn’t being utilized. This homeowner created a small workstation in the empty space below her staircase. Making a change like this is surprisingly easy and inexpensive. Cut a piece of cork to fit the wall for important notes. Attach a floating desk, and add your favorite small-space chair.