Adapting to small spaces can be fun. Ernie and I have moved to a 475 square foot apartment while we wait for the Cinnamon Suite Condo's to be built. It is a great space with a large living room complete with stone fireplace, hardwood floors, new Ikea kitchen and lots of windows.
The challenge was the bedroom which is only 9' x 9'. We decided to keep the queen sized bed and find a solution for the lack of space for dressers and a linen closet. We found 2 pantries at Home Depot that provide the linen closet with lots of storage for my sewing machine, books and "stuff". We found a bed at Sears that has 12 drawers which solved the need for a dresser (they are hiding under the duvet). The overhead shelf from IKEA replaced the night tables and the puck lights tucked underneath are perfect reading lights. We frosted the window for privacy and topped with a valence to keep the space open.
- Choose vertical shelves rather than horizontal. These will fill up empty wall space and give you more floor space.
- If you are really serious about shelves, consider shelving out an entire wall. On this wall you could attractively house a TV, electronic equipment, books, and knick-knacks. Use the upper shelves for showcasing pretty accessories, while keeping the lower shelves for items you use more often, such as books, DVDs, etc.
- Select furniture that doubles as storage space. For example, an ottoman that has storage underneath or a short bookcase as a night stand.
- Use an armoire for any room of the house. They are great for storing TVs and electrical equipment in the family room, a microwave or extra serving ware in the breakfast nook, TV or clothes in the bedroom, and linens and toiletries in the bathroom.