Compact Living: 8 Tips For Living Large In A Small Home

Compact Living: 8 Tips For Living Large In A Small Home

Interior Design

With space at a premium, many of us are embracing life in smaller footprint homes.


But compact living should never mean cramped living. With a smidge of design flair and a good sprinkling of creativity, you can devise a little space that’s brimming with personality and style.


To help show you the way, we’ve put together eight tips that’ll transform your mini-abode into a Pinterest-worthy showstopper.


Hack 1: Banish clutter

Clutter can wreak total havoc on any space, making it feel disorganised, claustrophobic and downright stressful.


But when it comes to a smaller space, clutter is genuinely unbearable.


To make your home feel airy, spacious and clean, it’s essential to banish clutter for good.


You don’t need to go out and buy expensive storage solutions. There’s plenty of really affordable alternatives; try picking up some hand-woven baskets, under-bed storage boxes or swapping out your coffee table for a rustic hold-all chest.


Choose options that allow you to stash clutter quickly (for when the doorbell rings and you’ve forgotten you invited your mother for dinner), but still keep things within easy access for when you need them.


If you’re like me and hopeless at keeping things organised, check out tidying guru Marie Kondo’s Kon Mari method to learn how to get a better handle on your space.


A good declutter won’t only make your home feel bigger, but it’ll do wonders to calm your mind too.


Hack 2: Reflect on the mirror situation

Mirrors are the compact home designer’s best friend and add breathability by magnifying your current light and space situation.


Use mirrors strategically to deflect sightlines from crowded areas or place them opposite a window to boost light in a naturally dim corner.


Don’t be afraid to use more than one in a room, or even consider mirroring a whole wall.


You’ll be surprised at how they bounce light around and convince your eyes that you’re in a large space, even if in reality you can make your dinner from your bed.


Hack 3: Think vertically

As shorties like me know, wearing vertical stripes can make people think you’re a little taller than you are. That’s why you’ll only see me wearing a pinstripe bowling shirt on tinder dates.


The good news is that same illusion works when you focus on adding vertical lines to your home.

Tall lamps, lengthy mirrors and linear wallpaper can draw eyes upward to the emptier realms of your ceiling.


Keep your eyes peeled for tall multi-functional furniture that stretches vertically. Then add floating shelves, hooks for hanging and wall lights into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a clear floor and a sensation of height that’ll add illusory square meters to your home.


Hack 4: Pull it together with long curtains


Getting gigantic curtains might seem like counterintuitive to what we’re trying to do here.

But nothing makes a room feel dinkier than short, abbreviated curtains.


Floor-to-ceiling curtains fill up the space on either side of your window and create the illusion of much larger window. They’ll help accentuate the floor to ceiling height too.


So, opt for a simply designed curtain that pairs with current colour scheme. You’ll maximise the feeling of space without distracting your eye.


Hack 5: Keep your flooring consistent

Chopping and changing your flooring finishes emphasizes the thresholds between spaces.


This can be a nice look in larger homes, but in compact spaces, keeping one flooring through the living areas eliminates such visual breaks and allows rooms to flow better into one another.


The result is a much roomier feeling in any part of the home.


Timber flooring is ideal choice. It works well in almost any setting and can be softened with gorgeous rugs where you need a little touch of cosy.


For you bargain hunters out there, plank laminates are an excellent budget-friendly alternative and many of them look just like the real thing.


Hack 6: Choose visually light furniture

Furniture that is heavy-set and upholstered all the way to the ground can swallow up space fast.


Remember that the more floor you can see, the bigger your room will feel.


So consider acrylic pieces, hair-pin or tapered legs for tables and any other airy style that leaves plenty of empty space.


Such pieces will introduce more space and allow light to percolate freely, giving the sense of a more expansive room.


Hack 7: Bring the garden inside

Compact living is particularly common in urban areas that can be a little heavy on concrete and a little low on nature.


That’s where plants are your ally. Their foliage adds a softness to small spaces that’s hard to beat and against a plain backdrop, plants an excellent way to make a space feel less crowded.


Organise smaller plants together into odd groups and arrange them on shelves and countertops throughout your home and mix in a larger plant if it takes your fancy.


You’ll add great visual interest and depth and as an added benefit, you’ll be filtering any nasty toxins from your air, keeping your place feeling fresh as a daisy.


Hack 8: Remember to laugh

Living small space undoubtedly has its challenges, especially when sharing the space with somebody else.

Remember that your sense of humour will get you through the more trying moments.


Take heart in the fact that you’re using less, helping the environment and almost certainly getting out more.

Every living situation has its gripes, and at least cleaning 8 palatial bedrooms and 5 gigantic bathrooms isn’t one of yours.


Take pride in your cosy, efficient and charming little space and make of it the best that you can!



There’s no denying that small space living requires a good dose of flexibility, creativity and an ability to keep your elbows tight.


But by focusing on:

  • Decluttering like crazy
  • Adding a nice selection of mirrors
  • Using vertical lines to create space
  • Opting for full floor-to ceiling curtains
  • Choosing one flooring finish throughout
  • Selecting visually light furniture
  • Adding a splash of nature with plants
  • And laughing your way through trials and tribulations

There’s absolutely no reason why even the tiniest of spaces can’t ooze with style and charm, and be a place that you’re truly proud to call home.