The Challenge of Small Spaces Tips From Design Experts on Maximizing Your Space

Unless you call a sprawling Wyoming cattle ranch home, chances are that in your life, space comes at a premium. And while living in close quarters in places like New York City is often fodder for jokes, the problem of not enough space (or too much stuff) plagues residents of both apartments and homes all over the country. 

But while the struggle is real, there are ways to improve your situation. You don’t have to feel like your apartment is caving in on you! We asked some interior experts for tips and tricks of the trade to help make your space more, well, spacious. From using both natural and artificial light to brighten your rooms to making use of multi-purpose furniture, there are things we can all do – and it need not cost an arm and a leg. 

First, Have a Plan

You move into a new home. You’re excited! You want to get started on decorating right away.

But consider a pause. Victoria Benatar, principal architect at Victoria Benatar, Architect PLLC in Manhattan, says residents in any type of home -- but especially those in small apartments -- need to have a design plan in place before they can begin making the best use of their space.

“When you have a small apartment, you need to understand your program,” says Benatar. “What do you need it for? Do you entertain? Do you work at home? Do you have a dog? You need to understand what your needs are, and based on your needs you can create a program, which is the activities you need to perform in your apartment,” she says. “For example, eating and working, entertaining and working, sitting and sleeping … If you’re a writer, you need a lot of books.” 


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