Small apartments, tiny homes, mother-in-law apartments, and prefab outbuildings are examples of modern design ideas for the small space movement. Spatial constraints yield ingenious tactics for living in a smaller space. Here you'll find furniture and design for small homes, ideas for living with less space, and smart solutions for tight footprints. Flexible furniture like Murphy beds, tables that transform, sleeper sofas, and modular systems for storage create the best small spaces.

Davor (with his wife, Abbe, and son, August) designed the main living and dining pavilion as a double-height space to increase its perceived volume, and added high cubbies for extra storage.
The former dining room is now home to Russell and Fontanez’s custom kitchen, designed by LOT-EK and fabricated by Chef Restaurant Supplies. “We love to entertain,” Russell says. “Before, the galley kitchen was in the hallway; now we can cook and still be a part of the party.” The space-saving setup, which adjoins the living room, features stainless steel–paneled cabinets, DuPont Corian countertops, Onda stools by Jesus Gasca for Stua, and fixtures and appliances by Grohe, Liebherr, and Miele.

To maximize space, the designers specified that the cabinets be built around a former fireplace in the kitchen. “Because there’s a bump out where the chimney is, we turned the sink lengthwise,” Lignano says. “The cabinet directly overhead is only four inches deep, so it’s just a huge spice rack.” The island provides ample additional storage.
More fragment pillows adorn the bed, which is covered in a reversible bedspread by artist Jane Kifer. To the left of the window is a painting by Shumate.
Of the seven steps in Michael Pozner’s not-quite-500-square-foot aerie in Greenwich Village, five contain drawers. His small set of table and chairs is from CB2.
The kitchen cabinetry echoes the new blue ceiling. The brick tile is from Heath Ceramics, as is the dinnerware. Behind the Viking stove is powder-coated corrugated metal (“Very trailer,” says the designer). The refrigerator is from Big Chill. On the table is a bowl by Victoria Morris.
Open enclosures and connections to adjacent living spaces keep the home inviting and airy rather than densely packed—a key feature for an owner of two dogs: Ben, a whippet, and Flynn, an Irish gypsy dog.
Like a Murphy bed, the dining table tucks into the wall when not in use.
Each student room has a dedicated workspace that's clean, bright, and functional. Objects and furniture had to be carefully selected or designed to make the apartment work: for instance, the steel desk was custom designed by Wierciński’s firm to double as a radiator cover.
The Kaschkasch Floor Mirror is a decidedly modern home accent that is designed with small spaces and apartment living in mind. The full-body mirror has a triangular shaped frame, making it easy to fit into the corner of a room.
Bovee and Kirkpatrick eat at the table he designed. The cooktop, oven, and dishwasher are by Bosch; Bren Reis of Earthbound industries made the cabinets.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows and doors provide abundant natural light and ventilation.
“Being your own client is very difficult, and different from the standard process—you get to be more experimental.”—Andrew Simpson, architect and resident
Pozner credits Borowski with the idea to use a roller shade, purchased at the Shade Store, to close off the sleeping loft. The simple intervention, neither sound- nor lightproof, is sufficient to demarcate one “room” from another.
Key to the space-efficient floor plan is a strategically placed set of recessed areas, includingthe sleeping nook and writing desk.
Deeds hung a single Louis Poulsen PH5 lamp from the ceiling; its blue and red interior paint “is very friendly to human skin tones,” she says.

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez
Tips for Living in a Small Space: Blogger Erin Boyle breaks down her 240-square-foot studio where she and her husband live to share her best small-space secrets. From A Cup of Jo.
A Coral pendant lamp by David Trubridge hangs in the dining area.
The Box Kitchen contains two burners, a ventilation hood, a sink, a dishwasher, and a microwave. A fold-down laminated countertop creates a prep surface.
The Entertainment Shelf includes a panel that slides to reveal easy-to-reach shelves on either side.
A small space for laundry.