Photo Gallery: Small Space Solutions

Smart multitasking furniture, built-in cabinets, mirrors and glass walls are just a few of the design tricks you'll find in this small spaces decorating gallery. Get style tips and ideas for making living easier in pint-sized kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms.

  • Smart Living Room Furniture

    Use thin or see-through furniture.

    In a small room, a lucite or glass coffee table can create the illusion of space. Chairs or side tables with thin legs, such as the ones shown here, take up less real estate than thick, bulky furniture.

    Source: House & Home, August 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Suzanne Dimma

  • Wall-to-Wall Bedroom Closet

    Make a whole wall of storage.

    If you're tight on space, use tall, narrow cabinets for your closet. With shoes and clothing neatly packed inside, all you'll see is a clean wall of doors, making the space feel a lot less cluttered.

    Source: House & Home, February 2014 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Living Room Bookcase

    Use vertical space to draw the eye up.

    In a small room with a high ceiling, don't be afraid to use the space you have! A thin, tall bookcase adds colour and guides the eye upwards, emphasizing the height of the room.

    Source: House & Home, August 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Built-In Bench

    Use a bench that can be a storage area, too.

    In small spaces, double-duty furniture, such as this bench-shelf, is a must. The hollow bottom can be used for storing baskets or books, while the top is a colourful, cushioned space used for extra seating.

    Source: House & Home, September 2013 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
  • Loft-Like Rowhouse Living Room

    Built-ins define this space and add vertical interest.

    Artwork, shelves and full-length drapes draw the eye upward, making this space appear larger. Interior designer Mazen El-Abdallah, of Mazen Studio, designed his 900-square foot rowhouse to feel like a chic New York townhouse.

    Watch a tour of Mazen's home.

    Source: House & Home September 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Mazen El-Abdallah

  • Built-In Trundle Bed

    Create extra sleeping quarters in a bachelor apartment.

    Intelligent space savers, like this hideaway trundle bed, are key when square footage is sparse. This roll-out is a charming original feature built into an armoire unit in the main room. When closed, the bed tucks under counters in the kitchen and walk-in closet.

    Source: House & Home September 2009 issue
    Photographer: Heather Ross
    Designer: Carpenter, Christopher Denney Carpentry, Toronto (416) 577-8825.

  • Savvy Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

    Maximize height to corral clutter.

    Numbered baskets across the top of the upper cabinets provides much-needed storage, warmth and texture to the basic white kitchen, while a hanging pot rack acts as a functional 'chandelier.' A butcher-block topped island doubles counterspace, and when two stools are added, creates a casual breakfast spot. A vintage chest, acquired from a university science lab, holds linens, flatware and baking utensils, freeing kitchen cabinets for larger items.

    See more of this space in our Online TV home tour.

    Source: House & Home Condos 2009 issue
    Stylist: Heidi Lewis
    Photographer: Harry Gils
  • Airy Bedroom Design

    Double your bedroom storage with style.

    A pale wall colour and pretty floral wallpaper in springtime hues makes this space look larger. Bedside tables with drawers offer extra storage, while woven baskets with fabric liners and lids stored under the bed keep out-of-season clothing dust-free, but still accessible.

    Source: House & Home March 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Small & Stylish Apartment
    Kaili Zevenbergen’s tiny Vancouver studio features dramatic colours against a mostly white backdrop.

    This 500-square-foot studio is punctuated by bold hues evoking a subtle Morroccan vibe. Kaili chose this large roll-arm sofa as the key furniture piece for the main living space. The weighty look of the sofa is balanced by smaller scale furniture like the leggy coffee table. A gold tray provides a hit of glam and offers a display surface for a pretty vignette.

    Photographer: Heather Ross
  • Cosy Dormer Bedroom

    A skylight and feature wall visually expands a bedroom nook in a tiny downtown Toronto coach house.

    Designer and stylist Arielle Eby skipped a bulky headboard in favour of bold citrus-green lacquered screens set against a muted paper wall. Although the dormer is just big enough for a queen-size bed, the wallpaper, glass lamp and country-style lace-edged bedding make a big impression.

    See the rest of Arielle's chic coach house with our Online TV home tour.

    Source: House & Home June 2009 issue
    Stylist: Arielle Glober
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Beachy Glam Living Room

    Crisp windows without mouldings, clean lines and a light palette keep this 828-square-foot condo open.

    With a bleached-hardwood floor and an architectural mantel and fireplace, this living room has a mix of modern furniture and vintage finds, like the candleholder above the fireplace. Leggy furniture emphasizes the airy feel.

    Photographer: Kim Christie
  • Urban Retro Kitchen Design

    Rustic baskets above the shelves and a mod '60s light fixture emphasize the height of this kitchen.

    Michael removed the upper kitchen cabinet doors and stapled grasscloth wallpaper to the back, creating chic and expansive-looking open shelves. A wallpaper feature wall also draws the eye up and out to the window view.

    Watch a video tour of Michael's living room.

    Source: House & Home June 2009 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • DIY Glamour Closet

    Designer and stylist Sabrina Linn installed prefab shelving to maximize the height of her compact condo closet.

    DIY shelves look like custom built-ins. Removing the door and running carpet throughout the bedroom and the en suite closet visually connects and enlarges both areas. A chinoiserie-print curtain hides the stacking washer and dryer.

    See Sabrina's patio makeover and DIY headboard.

    Source: House & Home August 2009 issue
    Stylist: Sabrina Linn
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Sophisticated Dining Nook
    Double-duty furnishings create an instantly elegant eating area.

    In a small space, every piece counts. Upholstered dining chairs can work extra hours in a living area or at a desk. A pair of Barbara Barry side tables can unite to form a dining table. A low-slung bench becomes a built-in banquette when pushed against the wall in front of the tables. A freestanding screen allows the homeowner to fake a separate dining room.

    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Stacey Smithers

  • Multitasking Kitchen Island
    A multipurpose island helps makes the most of an open-concept, 878-square-foot loft.

    This island houses a 43-inch plasma TV, electronics, drawers and a wine fridge. The sleek mixture of cedar, tile, stainless steel and leather ties the kitchen into the equally urban and masculine living area.

    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Reflective Dining Room
    Mirror-covered closet doors give a bright, open feel to the living and dining room in this 525-square-foot studio.

    Clever mirrored cabinetry visually expands the space, reflects light and provides a spot to hide clothing and books. "I wanted to simplify my life, and though this space is small, I don't feel restricted at all," says Roy Caro, co-owner of Celadon Collection, an upscale Montreal home furnishing store.

    Photographer: Robert Pelletier
  • Interior Glass Wall
    In this 520-square-foot condo, glass walls delineate the living area and bedroom while allowing light to infiltrate the entire space.

    A streamlined sofa, sheer drapes, white washed brick walls and glossy flooring combine to create a sleek and modern loft space.

    Source: House & Home Condos, Lofts & Apartments 2008 special issue
    Photographer: Robert Pelletier
    Designer: Nathalie Bouchard and Annie Horth

  • Relaxed And Vibrant Living Room
    A backless daybed maintains this condo's view to the terrace.

    The coffee table can be used as bench seating for extra guests, while a wall of lower built-in cabinets keep this 850-square-foot condo neat. A sisal rug, vibrant orange cushions, a wicker chair and abundant greenery give this bright living room a relaxing vacation-home vibe.

    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Powell & Bonnell

  • Open Plan Condo Kitchen
    Glossy cabinetry, a huge mirror and a glass-topped dining table enhance the sense of space in this 625-square-foot condo.

    Designer Peter Wilds and his partner, Noam Gagnon, tore down the wall between the kitchen and living room. It meant giving up what little closed-off space they had, but being able to take in the Vancouver skyline while they cook makes it a valuable trade-off. They carried the glossy kitchen cabinetry into the dining room for a seamless look and much-need storage.

    Photographer: Kim Christie
  • Small-Space Dining Room
    Create a small dining space with big impact.

    Groups of two to 12 can be comfortably entertained in this apartment, thanks to a dining area tucked neatly away in one corner and anchored by an oversized lampshade. The round table creates better flow in the compact space than a square one. A single drapery panel softens the space and creates the illusion of a bigger window.

    Source: House & Home September 2009 issue.
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Tailored Living Room
    Mix DIY pieces with investment furniture for a crisply edited space.

    A durable, budget-friendly alternative to hardwood, slate-look ceramic tiles create visual flow throughout this small house. A glass coffee table and leggy furniture make the room appear more spacious. The living room's modern aesthetic is offset by a classic 40-year-old Heriz wool rug. The homeowner had the rug's border trimmed for a contemporary look.

    See the rest of this 525-square-foot space in our Online TV home tour

    Source: House & Home September 2009 issue.
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Small Cabin Kitchen Design
    An all-white paint palette — even on the sloping ceilings — maximizes the feeling of space in April Tidey's 490-square-foot Savary Island cabin in British Columbia.

    Green Eames chairs — a junk shop score — surround a Saarinen table, grounding the whitewashed kitchen. Simple louvered blinds are in keeping with the beachy feel.

    Photographer: Heather Ross