Short on Space, Tall on Function
10 tips to make your tiny space feel biggerFeel squeezed by your space? A lot of us do. But there are ways to feel as if you're living larger than you actually are with a few tips that won't make the walls seem as if they're closing in on you.According to the American Furniture Manufacturers Association, 87 percent of Americans who describe their home as small to medium in size try to use every square inch to maximum efficiency. Rather than making their space look bigger, people want a cozy, intimate feel and prefer to use their space wisely and get the most out of it."One of the great things about small rooms is that they help us think creatively about the way we live," said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the High Point, N.C.-based trade association. "Furniture is a true complement to a small abode—it helps you maximize your space by providing function, comfort and style."AFMA suggests the following tips for ways to increase square footage without building on an addition:Go Vertical: Consider tall furniture rather than wide to preserve precious floor space.Use Your Walls: Add a shelf or rack to display a favorite collection or for hanging hats, ties and scarves.Stash it in style: Today's occasional tables offer plenty of storage with drawers, shelves and cubbies plus glass-topped display space for collectibles.Stack 'em: Stackable and folding chairs are excellent ways to keep a supply of seating for a dinner party, holiday gatherings or drop-in guests.Sweet dreams: Sleep better knowing that you've taken advantage of the valuable space under the bed—in style. Use decorative boxes and storage bins to stow out-of-season clothing, wrapping paper, sporting goods or anything else.Retractable doors: When shopping for an armoire or entertainment center, look for ones with retractable doors to provide more space when the doors are open.Try the kids' department: Youth furniture is designed to fit into smaller rooms but also accommodates adults just fine. Have a small guest bedroom or a little alcove office? A child's dresser or desk might be the perfect fit.Rollin', rollin', rollin': Many pieces of furniture have wheels—whether it is a sofa, a coffee table, a storage shelf, kitchen table or an ottoman. Enjoy extra mobility and function with a wheeled piece of furniture that is fashionable and practical.Don't leaf it out: If a full-size dining room table is just too big for the dining area, ask your retailer about one with removable leaves.Accent it: A mirror is always a nice accent to any room, but especially a small one. Mirrors add light and depth when space is limited. And the right accessories will highlight one's personal style and enhance the intimacy of a small space.