When you’re searching for a new place to call home, there are a few important factors you should keep in mind.

Is the price within your budget? Is the location reasonable and safe? One of the more important things you should consider is if the place is livable for your lifestyle. That means, size is a big factor when it comes to choosing your next home.

Unfortunately, sometimes budget and size do not align. Sometimes, you have to settle for a space smaller than you’re used to in order to check the mark on all your other wants and needs.

Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to make a small place functional for your living style.

Follow these tips to fully unleash the potential of your home.

Choose Multi-Purpose Furniture

The limitations that come with a small home call for a little creativity. One way to get creative when furnishing your space is to look for pieces that serve a dual purpose. Find a pull-out couch that serves as both a sofa and guest bedroom. Look for a kitchen table that doubles as a desk. You should even consider using a trunk or ottoman as your coffee table for both storage and personality.

Look for Quality over Quantity

When living in a small space, you have no choice but to be selective about the furnishings you bring into your home. Here is some guidance on where to splurge and where to pass:

The couch. You want to be comfy. Don’t go rinky-dink on your living room. Keep in mind that if you decide to purchase a full size couch and coffee table you might have to say no to smaller pieces like side tables. Not to worry though, because your couch should be the focal point of the room. If you are intentional about your sofa selection, it can double as a daybed.

Your mattress. You mattress is arguably the most important piece of furniture you will ever own. That’s because it has a direct impact on your health. So if it’s old and causing you aches and pains, do yourself a favor and get a new one. Don’t focus so much on size when shopping for a mattress, but rather factors that help you get your best night’s sleep
consistently. That means you should consider your sleeping style, body type, and if it’s comfy enough for you to fall asleep every night. If you are worried you won’t be able fit anything else in your room besides your bed, look for a piece that holds storage underneath. This could eliminate the need for a dresser.

Dining table. There is nothing more frustrating than having nowhere to eat. Not to mention, many dining room tables serve as the congregation area. It’s where you play board games and have coffee with your friends. You won’t want to skip this one. If you play your cards right, this table can also serve as your desk during the daytime.

Think Vertical

In small spaces, walls are your friends. Look up to find extra storage space in the form of open shelving that can easily climb walls. Get creative when brainstorming what you can hang (hint: there is much more you can hang than pictures and mirrors). Hang hooks for jackets, keys, hats, and indoor plants to keep your space decluttered.

Maximize light

One easy way to make your small space feel bigger is to maximize natural light. Go for something light and airy or—if your home is private enough—consider foregoing window dressings everywhere but in the bedrooms. If windows are in short supply, hang a large, decorative mirror opposite a window to multiply its effect. There are some serious perks to living in a small place other than cheaper rent. For one, the less floor space the less mess you have to clean. Not to mention, small spaces force you to be
intentional in your furnishing selections. Because of this, the space will feel more like you. Plus, small spaces have a natural coziness to them larger rooms don’t. With a little time, thought, and creativity you can optimize your small living space to suit your needs and vision in no time.

posted by Eric Rothman

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