November 9, 2015

By Gina Ross

Over the last several months, I have been obsessing about the current trend of downsizing to small, cozy, functional spaces. Not only have I been watching all the home decor shows on this topic but also watching the K. Renee styling team in action as they rise to the challenge of creating beautifully small spaces around town. I’ve noticed that too often, a bigger home just means bigger…and making the challenge to create cozy, comfortable, luxurious spaces even greater. In home design (and in life), bigger is not always better. 

Perhaps you are just starting out and have bought a smaller home, prefer the character of an older home with smaller spaces, or are downsizing to a condo or loft. Your advantage is the opportunity to create charming, cozy, livable and beautifully small spaces.

So what should you be considering as you look to turn a small space or home into your dream retreat that reflects your personal style?

First, change your mindset. Don’t think of your living room as ‘tiny’. Start thinking cozy!  And then consider a few simple guidelines:


Now that you are working with a smaller space think about pieces that can serve more than one function in your home.

For example, a sleeper sofa might be one of the most useful items that you could buy allowing you to transform a living room into a guest retreat. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams creates an impressive sleeper sofa that is as comfortable and stylish for daytime seating as nighttime slumber. Personally, I have one in my home, and no one has guessed it was a sleeper sofa until it was time to pull out the bed.

Nesting tables are another great way to expand your space needs when entertaining. 

Or a small kitchen or dining table can serve double duty as a desk!


Sometimes it's nice to have a few pieces that can be tucked away when not necessarily needed. I love the functionality of this dining table that easily converts into a console when the leaves are folded down.

Storage ottomans are the best for not only creating extra seating but giving you the opportunity to hide blankets and throws when not in use. 

Ottomans can also be easily tucked underneath a console until the occasion arises to use them for extra seating when entertaining.


I know most of us jump to the conclusion that a small space requires small furniture. This conclusion is not necessarily true and in many cases a few pieces of large-scale furniture can make a small room feel much bigger. Rather than filling a narrow space with a smaller scale sofa and chairs (think doll house), we might just suggest an oversized sectional, which is more functional and comfortable.

On that same note, consider your vertical space. If you have the benefit of higher ceilings, a tall cabinet will have the effect of drawing the eye upward again achieving the illusion of a much larger space.

A great solution for a small bedroom is a tall upholstered headboard. Headboards take up no room at all but have a huge visual impact. Again, the vertical height gives the impression of a bigger space.


Adding a large mirror to a small space is almost an absolute must. Not only do they give the illusion of doubling your space but makes a dark room bright and beautiful. It’s almost like adding another window to your room.


Any room larger than six by six can benefit from multiple light sources especially when there are no windows or natural light. It’s important to create light where there is none! An elegant chandelier brings immediate importance and character to a cozy space. And nothing says cozy like a beautiful table-top fixture.


It’s important to keep your paint colors consistent throughout a smaller home. We like to use neutral colors to not only open up a smaller space but to keep it bright and airy. Another option to consider is a uniform color palette between your paint color and the fabric of your major upholstery. A monochromatic approach furthers the illusion of a wide-open and airy space.


In a larger home, it can take a lot of things to make rooms feel cozy and comfortable but in a smaller home clutter can quickly overwhelm the space. With a smaller space, the rule is to fill it with only the things you need and love. You can benefit from a tall armoire that can hide many things from your bar to books and games. A media cabinet can help you hide cords and components giving your area a sleek and clean look.   Hide the things that you may need but aren’t beautiful!

So what’s the bottom line for small spaces? Invest in beautiful pieces. In a small space, you see everything all the time.   Look for statement furniture, lighting, and artwork to truly make your wonderful new (or old) space shine.

No matter if your home is big or small, it should be beautiful and inspiring to all that have the pleasure of residing within its walls. Our team knows that you don’t need more square footage to make your home both beautiful and livable. We’d love nothing more to be your partner in making your dreams and goals for your home a reality.

I’d love to personally show you all the wonderful solutions that are available every day at K. Renee.

I promise... you’ll be inspired.