Décor Aid’s Top 5 Design Rules for Small Space Living

At the American Australian Association’s recent event “Living Large in Your Small NY Space,” new interior design firm Décor Aid joined forces with Australian-American interior designer Barbara Gates from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to share their design tips on making the most out of living in a small New York apartment. It was a fabulous night of networking, socialising and excellent design tips and tricks to top it all off. 

In case you missed it, here are Lauren’s Top 5 Design Rules for Small Space Living – originally published on Decor Aid’s Blog.


Whether you’re just arriving or have been here all along, living in the big city is smaller than one might think. As we’ve written before, process and design need to work together for a harmonious space. To really live large in one of the boroughs, your space should be an intersection of vignettes and functionality. Below are five categories to consider when designing for an area with sizable constraints.

1. LAYOUT

Manipulate rugs to create conversation spaces and use objects to separate areas. Define conversations areas based on your traffic patterns.

Interior design by Jamie Meares.  Shot for High Gloss Magazine

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).


Use everyday items as dividers. This can mean a bookcase, a sofa or even a potted plant.

 

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

 

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Work up. Rather than across, arrange things vertically. Loft your bed, install shelving and use the space above kitchen cabinets

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Utilize Corners. The more awkward, the better! Shove all sorts of weird stuff in there.

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

2. STORAGE

Use the walls (knives, jewelry, hats, books), any recesses are an opportunity for shelving

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Display “collections” of shoes, toys, postcards or shells. Anything you hoard can be framed into a collection and voilà, your issue just became a (positive) point of conversation.

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Store above doors

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Hide ugly (behind curtains, under the bed, in a dresser, above the fridge) or remove it from your life

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Think midcentury modern: dual purpose furniture (day bed, storage ottoman)

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Use a cabinet rather than a table in the kitchen and add barstools for added storage.

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Utilize every corner by placing a basket under the sink, sliding drawers under the bed or using over-door hangers for cabinet doors

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

3. COLOR

Let deep/bright color designate/define spaces

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Accent walls can be great for creating a focal point

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Try an on-trend large repeat foliage print for a contained fashion-centric look

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

If you love neutrals, embrace them – Grey/Black/ Greige

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

4. LAYERS

Like an outfit: mix chrome with shag, jute with brass, oak with marble and silk

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Ditch sets (matching pieces are a snore and don’t make sense for small spaces)

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

5. PERSONALITY

Live in it like you wear it. Remember, subtleties are appreciated

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

Display collections

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

 

DÉCOR AID’S TOP 5 FIVE DESIGN RULES FOR SMALL SPACE LIVING / Get started on liberating your interior design at Decoraid (decoraid.com).

All suggestions are just that, but keeping these 5 points in mind will help achieve a large life in your small space.

For more inspiration, visit our Pinterest.

Get started on liberating your interiors with affordable interior design at Decor Aid

 

About Lauren: Lauren Cusack started her career in New York, she boasts six-years’ experience designing high-end residential interiors for a wide-range of notable designers. Her background in fine art and communication led her to many creative avenues before ultimately finding her passion in interior design. She is a graduate of The New York School of Interior Design’s prestigious Master’s program. She continuously creates timeless interiors with a distinctive warm and modern layered feel.

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