Make your small large

(This picture, courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens, shows a small beautiful space that can be used for a spare bedroom or a cozy living room.) “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

Perhaps this is the quintessential quote to describe what small space decorating is all about. William Morris, a founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century, knew exactly how to approach small space design -- even for the 21st century. The furnishings you put into your small space must be useful and beautiful. Taking that idea further, small space decorating demands that rooms, and often the furniture pieces themselves, be multi-taskers. And why is beauty important too? Well that is what makes your room an inviting and enjoyable place to be and in a small space there literally isn't room to fill it with items that you don’t absolutely love. This small space office, courtesy of Elle Decor, used a custom wall unit of storage to keep a clutter free office space.

For a small dining area, this glass table top helps to keep the space open and light (picture courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens).

Here are some design principles that can help you use your space wisely and get the most use out of the space you have without things seeming crowded or cluttered. A bit of planning can make all the difference in working with smaller spaces.

Small Space Design Principles:

1. Rooms need to have more than one function.  Rethink how you use a room. Maybe it can serve two purposes.

2. Select versatile furniture that can be used to handle more than one job or helps to disguise its second role.

3. Storage. Storage. Storage.  A clutter free home automatically feels larger.

Larger homes have the luxury of each room serving a specific role. Just because you live in a small house or apartment doesn't mean that you aren't looking for the same functions.  Some of the most sought after spaces for owners of small houses or apartments are home offices and guest rooms.  “But really”, you say, "there isn't any way I can make that happen in the shoe box I call home.” Oh yes there is. Let’s tackle each of these rooms one at a time, keeping the three Small Space Design Principles in mind. Let’s also not forget the incredible resource of Belfort Furniture and their experienced, professional  in-house design team. They are ready to help make your small space live large!

Home Office If you don’t have a designated home office, carve out space in an underutilized room such as a formal living room or dining room.  If you rarely use these formal spaces, make the primary function home office and secondary function living or dining.  Since you will still want to use these rooms for entertaining, look for ways to store the office supplies and filing. This Hooker Furniture Abbott Place Hobby Station with hutch will fit into a dining room, living room, family room or even a bedroom.  It offers plenty of storage, closes up when not in use and completely hides the workday mess.

Select an end table that doubles as a file cabinet.  It’s functional storage that still looks perfect next to a sofa or chair.  This and would look great in any living room.

A desk that can double as a sofa table is another option, especially if you‘re just looking for a spot for a laptop. Try the Colony Floating Sawhorse Desk by Stanley Furniture. With 3 drawers, your laptop and papers can be easily stowed when you are done working for the day.  For a party, it can double as a serving spot for drinks and appetizers.

If you have a home office but need to make it function for more than one person, a dual desk is a clever way to create plenty of storage and work surface for two. The Dual T Desk and Hutch by Aspenhome doubles the work capacity of your home office without taking up the space of two desks.

Guest Rooms The holidays are just around the corner. You have family visiting and no guest room. Maybe you need space for several guests. A small house can still be a welcoming spot for overnight visitors if you rethink how your rooms can serve more than one purpose.  Everyone knows about the sleeper sofa, but another great option is the sleeper chair.  Perfect for almost any small space, the sleeper chair can slide into a corner of the living room, family room, bedroom or alcove.  It makes a cozy reading spot 363 days of the year, but for two nights over the holidays it becomes an instant guest room.  This Chair Sleeper from Belfort Basics is a great option. With its transitional styling, it will work in a variety of homes.

Trying to find a way to double up the kids so Grandma and Grandpa can take over one of the bedrooms? A trundle bed is a more comfortable option than a sleeping bag on the floor for the child who gets kicked out of their room. Belfort Furniture has plenty of great options for trundles, including this Legacy Classic Summer Breeze Twin-Size Daybed with trundle. Oh, and this versatile piece doesn't just need to hide in a bedroom. A daybed is a great seating option for a den or even a sunroom. (Another multi-tasker!)

Belfort Furniture is your destination for kids furniture and and we have great storage options to help kids stay organized and make sharing a room with siblings a breeze.  Here is a great option for a shared bedroom.  This Lea Industries Dillon Twin Captain's Bed with Corner Unit would be a perfect solution for storage and studying in a shared bedroom.

Think multi-purpose for your rooms and for your furniture pieces and make sure you have plenty of storage options in the pieces you purchase and you will get the most from your small spaces. These strategies will help your small space live large. Let the Belfort Furniture in-house design team help put together a design plan with double-duty furniture choices that help hide the clutter and make every square foot of your home a place “you know to be useful” and that you “believe to be beautiful”.

Belfort Furniture is conveniently located in the Dulles area of eastern Loudoun County, Virginia, and is easily accessible from Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Whether you live in Northern Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, or Washington D.C., we have the selection, styles and prices that make Belfort Furniture worth the trip! Belfort Furniture was voted “2012 Retailer of the Year” by the National Home Furnishings Association and has been voted “Best Furniture Store” in Loudoun County for 17 years in a row.