6 Designer Secrets for Maximizing Your Small Space
February 22, 2018
Interior DesignHome
If I had seen this room completely empty and you were to tell me that it would eventually be a kitchen, dining and living room all in one, I wouldn't have believed you! But with Marie Flanigan behind the design helm, this guest home captured by Julie Soefer soars above it's small footprint and makes a statement, with a few designer secrets Marie is sharing with us today.

Keep it Light and Bright

Lightening up your walls instantly makes your space feel larger! I chose Benjamin Moore Cloud White for the spaces in this modestly-sized guest home and love the bright, welcoming canvas the hue provides. It offers the eye welcome moments of rest while allowing a sophisticated combination of raw and streamlined elements to shine!

Embrace the Multi-Purpose Space

When you’re designing within a smaller footprint, square footage is at a premium. Make the most of every inch by creating versatile living spaces that are defined by furniture groupings in lieu of walls. I combined the kitchen, dining room, and living space into one open concept area tied together through architectural detailing. The transom window further delineates each space while still allowing for fluidity and a steady stream of natural light.

Great Heights

If long drapery is appropriate for your space, use it to your advantage! Be sure that the panels are installed from the floor to just below your room’s ceiling to create a long line that draws the eye up, making the entire space feel more impressive.

Don’t Fear the Scale

Most clients fret over using large-scale art and accessories in a smaller space, but when combined properly, these items can actually help your space feel bigger! In particular, lighting has a tremendous impact on every home, especially within a smaller space, where fixtures that feel unexpected in size and grandeur can really dial in on the drama.

High Function Furnishings

No matter how you decide to furnish your smaller space, keep in mind that versatility is key! Maintain a minimalist vibe by incorporating less items that are capable of doing more, such as this dining table that also serves as the kitchen island or seating arrangements that also boast storage.

Clutter-Free Counters

Maximizing functionality in a kitchen with limited square footage is an exciting challenge because every nook presents possibility! Areas that are typically designated as “wasted space” are perfect for optimizing storage; install functioning drawers, corner cabinets, and upper cabinets when possible so that you can easily stash away all of those kitchen gadgets that quickly clutter up counters.
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About this home... A Houston couple in the midst of remodeling their 1940s River Oaks home decided that guest quarters for visiting family and friends should be added to the back of the property. They wanted the home constructed over a fully operational garage and were adamant that the structure share the same traditional River Oaks style they fell in love with. They enlisted the help of a local builder to make this new construction with classic style a reality and a design team to ensure that the interior details of the guest home were flawlessly aligned with the details they treasured in their main home.

Modestly-sized spaces were fitted with interesting architectural details, a color story that remains soft with brief bursts of bold color, and tailored décor featuring bold textures and industrial accents. The entry features handsome grid paneling, integrated stairway downlighting and a sleek custom handrail, creating an inviting space that sets a well-edited tone for the rest of the spaces to come. Once up the stairs, grid paneling gives way to shiplap paneling which is integrated throughout the majority of the living spaces. Superior functionality and lighting were essential to the success of the home’s design and these were achieved through the use of creatively hidden storage, multi-purpose furnishings and the addition of varying light forms. Paneled walls hide closets, cased openings and doorways were accented with shelves for storage and the kitchen table serves as both an island and the perfect spot for guests to dine. The home’s main windows were installed facing north and transom windows separate the living areas, allowing the home to embrace all the natural light Texas has to offer. A generous mixture of lighting sources combine beautifully with the home’s architectural elements and furnishings, creating the perfect getaway for guests.