6 Design Ideas That Will Expand Your Small Space

Living large in a tiny home can be easy

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Pat Martires and Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

These days, having a sprawling space is a luxury. With apartments and condo units getting more compact, homeowners are learning to innovate and downsize to a tiny home without living a cramped lifestyle. If you want to do the same, you can make every inch count with these tips: 

1. Match the shelves to the walls. Paint your shelves the same color as your walls to help them quickly fade into the background, tricking your eye into thinking that there isn’t a lot of extra storage up there. 

2. Light it up. Light up your bookshelves, hide little halogens behind coves, add uplights and downlights—there are a million ways to make your space a little brighter and more open.

3. Don’t cover your windows with heavy drapes. Sheer fabrics allow light to filter in while still maintaining the privacy of your home.

4. Declutter. If you think that buying a lot of pint-sized furniture will do the trick, think again. Buying proper and functional pieces that fit will be more effective because it will not fill up your space to the brim. It's always about quality and not quantity.

5. Hack off the moldings. Certain types of moldings can look good, but for small spaces, they’re just additional lines to add to the visual clutter of your space.

6. Think tall. You may not have the ceiling height of a posh hotel room, but you can give that impression by investing in furniture pieces that lean toward long lines—tall bookcases, vertically oriented photographs, and curtains that go as high up as possible.

Read the original article ("Space Odyssey") in the November 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

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