How to live large in a small home: Lighting techniques and creative storage for homes with limited space

Lighting and Designing within Small Living Areas

When you’re short on space, creative storage solutions are a must to make your home feel comfortable and inviting. What you may not know is that how you illuminate your home also has a great impact on the perception of size and space. Managing space is an art form – and lighting is an imperative medium. Truth be told, even in larger homes – poor storage solutions or careless lighting plans can make the home feel cluttered, tight and unwelcoming. Read on to see how to create a strategic lighting plan for your small home. Plus, our friends at share some creative storage solutions to pair with the right lighting.

Maximize small spaces with the right lighting
Arise wall light

Illuminate with strategy

With a few simple lighting techniques, you can make your small home feel spacious and attractive.

  • When it comes to lighting small areas there are two rules of thumb: 1) Simplicity is key, and 2) Accent lighting is your best friend.
  • Select bright, modern wall and ceiling light fixtures – and direct light to the walls.
  • Decorative wall lights are a great solution because you can select from many styles to match your decor and provide space-amplifying illumination – while not interfering with your (limited) vertical space.
  • Avoid large ornate fixtures such as a traditional chandelier. Rather, invest in several recessed lights. A simple track lighting system can also work well with narrow areas, making spaces feel longer and wider.
  • Pair your lighting plan with whites and off-white hues, and mirrors, to increase reflected light.

Once you have your lighting plan settled, consider these space-saving tips!

Go Up

Don’t forget about all that space towards the top of walls, especially above doors and windows. Instead of having a bookcase that takes up prime floor real estate, install bookshelves about a foot from the ceiling to store books, photos, and knick-knacks. This little bit of visual interest will draw the eye up, making the room feel much larger.

Use multi-functional furniture

A small living room with a sofa, coffee table, and ottoman might feel way too cluttered. Try just using an ottoman or bench as a coffee table by keeping a tray on top of it to hold the remote, drinks or snacks. When you need extra seating for guests, it’ll be right there ready to transform.

Another great idea: Small homes likely don’t have an extra room available for overnight guests, so get a sofa that can convert into a bed.

Use the back of your cabinet doors

Who says you can only store stuff inside of cabinets? Put the back of the doors to good use and turn them into storage as well.  Add hooks to hang measuring spoons on the back of a kitchen cabinets. And don’t forget your bathroom cabinet doors — simple hooks help save a ton of space in the cabinet by holding curling and straightening irons.

Have a drop zone

Clutter is the biggest space-ruining culprit. Everything should have a place. Prevent things like shoes, bags, mail, and jackets from being peppered all over your home by having a place for them to go right as you walk in the door.

For more design ideas and inspiration, head to

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