Top 10 Small Space Organizing Tips From Julia Black
With the number of families living in smaller spaces increasing, one of the biggest challenges they face is often a lack of storage and organization. Reducing clutter build-up can be difficult, which is why we’ve enlisted Toronto stylist and decorator Julia Black to share her 10 best tips on how to organize and save room in a small space. “Especially living in the city, it’s important to edit your home as it helps create a balance not only with objects and materials, but also the mind,” says Julia. Click through to see inside her neat and tidy home, and get her small space organizing tips.
A colorful book spine climbs the living room wall of Julia’s former home. “The best thing about a book spine is that you’re not using a lot floor space, you’re using vertical space,” she says. “The stack is decorative and practical without being overwhelming.”
A monochromatic color scheme allows the eye to move easily around the room and helps to pinpoint visual clutter. In Julia’s former home, glass railings make the narrow hallway feel wider, while a round table breaks up the rectangular shape of the home.
“One of the most important things when decorating is to take your time,” Julia says. “One-off elements are more special, and greater impact is created with smaller elements. Up against a white wall, a vintage meter stick adds interest, texture, charm and warmth.”
“It’s always a good idea to blend colors into the wall to create the illusion of greater floor space,” says Julia. “Cabinets painted the same color as the walls makes them less noticeable.”
It’s also important to choose furniture that serves a dual purpose. “The ottoman can be a foot cushion, but it can also hold drinks and food just by placing a tray on top. It’s both comfortable and practical, which is something you have to think about in a smaller space. Even the sofa is a pullout.”
“It’s important to regularly edit your space and decide what you don’t need,” says Julia. “Less cluttered spaces are more appealing to the eye.” To save space in the master bedroom, Julia floated the headboard so that the bed could be pushed against the wall for a few extra inches of space. The bedroom is kept serene with simple white bedsheets and a jewelry box that conserves premium counter space.
For her daughter’s nursery, Julia didn’t want a plain wall, but she didn’t want to break her monochromatic color scheme, either – so she used texture instead. Elegant chandelier medallions and an exposed brick wall add dimension without overpowering the space. A hand-labelled toy box is a must-have for keeping the room tidy and adding an extra touch of charm.
In a small space – especially one that’s open concept – Julia notes it’s important to layer lighting to make the space feel cozier. “Wall sconces are such great mood lighting and they add an element of art to the wall,” she says.
Julia siliconed this bar-height table to the wall. “It alleviated a lot of the floor space with its height,” she says. “Because we had a galley kitchen, we sometimes used the table for additional prep space.” Open shelves house some of Julia’s favorite pots and pans and give the kitchen extra storage.
Julia mounted a floating white console table in her former dining area for greater floor space and closed storage. A wooden chair passed down from her grandmother has been repainted and adds visual warmth to the space. A large painting of a horse by Canadian artist Christine Flynn is one of Julia’s favorites: “It’s important to add hints of your personality into your home,” she says. “I adore horses.”
“Bins help clear clutter,” says Julia, referring to 215’s large white Toorganize bins. “They’re easy to clean up when people come over, and they solve immediate organizing challenges. I kept mine in various rooms of the house and use them to store just about everything. They’re great because they offer an immediate storage solution and they help keep small spaces functional.”