Real Estate Blog for Communities across the U.S.

Design for Small Homes

Home buyers generally don’t set out to purchase small homes-most of the time, they’re looking for space to grow. However, bungalows are one of the (expensive) exceptions. The lure and appeal of a bungalow is irresistible to most home buyers; they’re small and cozy with an authentically vintage look. And they’re growing in popularity.

While the curb appeal is charming, space is usually limited. These darling homes can be as small as 600 square feet.

Bungalows are well-known for using every square foot effectively, and home owners should be able to do the same when designing one. This means that you should utilize the architecture of the home and design accordingly.

Although space is tight, there are ways to create space in the rooms of a small home. Below are some tricks to help you organize, brighten, and make the best use of your small home.

Create a Focal Wall

Accent walls are hit or miss; they’re easy to mess up. When choosing a wall to make your focal point, follow the architecture of your home. Use a wall that has a bookshelf, fireplace, or an attention-grabbing nook. If you don’t have any interesting architectural features, use the longest wall in the room.

You aren’t limited to a bold paint color when it comes to focal walls. You can use different textures like burlap or natural wood panels and achieve the same effect.

Add Stripes

Stripes, whether horizontal or vertical, go well with almost any style of decorating. Try using it for only one wall, or include accessories and accents with stripes. Throw pillows, rugs, and lampshades are all great ways to incorporate stripes into a room.

Try bold contrasting stripes, like black and white, or a more muted approach like white and beige. For a more contemporary feel, use bold colors in a non-repetitive pattern.

Use Light Colors and Contrast

If you are painting a small personal space like a library or “mancave”, dark colors can work very well and make it feel like a sanctuary. However, when you’re choosing a paint color for a living space, opt for lighter colors. Airy blues, creamy whites, and light browns all help reflect natural light.

Contrast the light colors with furniture and accent pieces. Choose a coffee table with a glass overlay. Use bright colors carefully. A vase, chair, or lamp can be enough to add a small burst of color.

Utilize Natural Light

Natural light, even from one or two windows, has a way of transforming a room. It makes spaces brighter and tricks the eye into thinking the space is large and open. Using light colors on walls will also help to reflect the natural light. If you only have 1 window, use a mirror to bounce light to different parts of the room.

Use Room Dividers

Room dividers are great ways to break up space and create living areas. In many small living spaces, kitchen and dining spaces aren’t well-defined. Since your eye follows from the floor to the ceiling, the height of a room divider can also help elongate the room.

Many room dividers can be folded up like an accordion when you want to open up your space. If you want an airy look, try using a sheer curtain to divide two spaces.


Removing clutter is one of the most effective ways to make a room appear bigger. In order to do this, you must invest in some organizational items. Frame your bed with cubbies, attached to the wall. Try to integrate as much storage on the walls as you can.

Organize your clutter drawer by grouping things together with drawer inserts. Multi-purpose furniture is also a great way to get extra storage. Ottomans, desks, even beds can offer secret storage.

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