Making the Most of a Tiny Space: 5 Homes Under 700 sq ft

Have you ever lived in a city? If so, then you probably have had an apartment that is smaller than your ideal setting. You decorated and squeezed in your stuff to make the most of every square inch, and in the end, hopefully have your own happy home, sweet home. Here are five stories of Austin, Texas residents who have made the most of a cramped space and ended up with stylish and functional results.

1. Home of Christi Finley, her pup Lilly, and a roommate – 675 square feet

Christi is a crafty and artistic individual, so she has jam-packed her apartment with colorful and unique accents. She has a nice kitchen bar with two stools and a living room arranged for hanging out, but its Christi’s colorful flea market art collection and homemade crafts she’s made herself that are the true focuses of the home. Her home is filled with this DIY type pieces, i.e. paint-dipped rubber cooking utensils and framed postcard collages that surround an anatomical illustration poster (Christi’s favorite piece in the home). “You do you,” is her advice for decorating, as a home should feel and be inspired by the person living in it.

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(Photo Credit: Adrienne Breaux)

2. Home of Emily Ardoin and Basha the cat –  400 square feet

400 square feet is a tiny space and this one belongs to Emily only while she attends graduate school. This studio is her home, for now, but as an interior design graduate student, she was determined to make her temporary home stylish and lovely thanks to smart spacial planning and item choices. Emily has a loveseat as a couch that fits in the space well and she uses a concertina room divider to create two “different room” type spaces within the same room.

Emily’s two glass shelving units are among the most useful pieces in the home, as she can store her appliances, wine, and spices. This is especially helpful because the apartment has no counter space. Emily’s two pieces of advice for people who live in tiny spaces such as hers. The first? “Combine circulation paths so you can easily and freely move from one space to another.” She has a continuous open space from one end of the room to the other “that combines the circulation for the kitchen, desk, and bathroom entrance.” Also, “try to keep things off the floor as much as possible.” For example, she has a small garbage can that fits under the sink.


(Photo Credit: Adrienne Breaux)

3) Home of Chris Apollo Lynn – 650 square feet

Chris’s home comes complete with something awesome – an urban garden for entertaining friends. Any outdoor living space is an amazing perk when living in a smaller home. For the inside, Chris has learned to take a minimalistic approach to furnishings to ensure there is room for a spontaneous dance party (he’s a DJ). He also keeps versatile furniture that is easily moveable or expandable to a larger size. For example, his room is decorated sparingly as it’s sole purpose is sleeping, and his office/yoga studio is sparse as well since he is in there to either work or work out.

Chris focused on textures when choosing his mixture of vintage and IKEA pieces, local art, and live plants. His key advice? “Create a space that reflects your personality, not what you see in a magazine. Don’t be afraid of color or textures.” Near by his home, he has carved out an urban garden in a shared green area between buildings, as he enjoys gardening and cooking with the things he grows.

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Chris 2

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(Photo Credit: Adrienne Breaux)

4) Home of Knoxy Knox – 650 square feet

The apartment of Knoxy, a photographer, is a mix of vintage, Hollywood Regency (overtones of glitz and glamour), and both classic and modern looks. Knoxy’s home is next to Christi’s (the first small home we looked at), and they’re places surely have a familiar feel to one another. Knoxy looks to entertain and calls her decorating style “inviting modern,” and strives to “create a comfortable, yet intentional environment,” as she wants everyone to feel welcome in her home. Her favorite aspect of her home is how she lives next door to many people she now considers her good friends, and they are always coming in and out of her home.

Knoxy’ favor piece is a DIY  “head of garlic” photo that she took and printed on canvas herself. Knoxy is also proud of her extensive record and book collections. Her best advice for people living in small spaces? “If you have champagne tastes on a modest income, find a way to get what you want either by making the object yourself, or bartering for it. When I first moved into my house, I wasn’t necessarily able to afford some of the pieces of furniture that I desired, so I bartered my photography services to earn them.”

(Photo Credit: Adrienne Breaux)

5) Home of Mary Lee – 300 square feet

This is a tiny space, no which way about it. But the way Mary Lee has decorated her home makes it feel more open and spacious then one would think possible. Mary, an artist and UI designer, likes a good challenge, so when she found this cramped studio, she actually jumped at the chance to renovate it and make it her home. She calls her decorating style “Eclectic Tailored Glam” and is inspired by efficiency and multi functioning design. A key element to the apartment? Everything is on wheels, giving Mary the ability to move things as needed or switch up the feel of the space. She also picked some cool tricks to make the space seem less cluttered, including the mirrored finish of her dresser and closet cabinets, which make them seem to disappear or be invisible. So cool! In the same vein, Mary chose a white finish for her shelves and desks along the long edge of the space, so they seem to blend right into the white walls.

She has great advice for people living in less-than-large places. “Buy things that have a purpose in your life. If it is not functional or doesn’t evoke a valuable emotion, like inspiration or nostalgia, then it’s not necessary. Don’t clutter your space with stuff, supply it with purpose. Don’t think of it so much as decorating but more of curating a collection over time that best tells the story of you.”

(Photo Credit: Chris Perez)

Photos via Apartment Therapy


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