How to Live in Small Spaces: Design, Furnishing, Decoration and Detail for the Smaller Home



Living in a small space has both advantages and challenges. In How to Live in Small Spaces, Terence Conran makes a good argument for choosing to go small, and shows you how to do it with style.

Benefits to a Smaller Living Space

One advantage to living in a small home is a broader range of location choices. Another benefit to a smaller space is the necessity of making more considered purchases. Small storage space means less room to accumulate possessions.

Whether you’ve moved into an apartment or small house, consulting an expert will make decorating, furnishing and living an organized life much simpler.

Design & Planning

Furnishing a small home is easier and more affordable, but can be a bit tricky to organize. The smaller the home, the tinier the closets, making storage a challenge. Conran addresses these difficulties by suggesting the obvious: get rid of stuff, and make use of available space with built-in storage. Stairs, halls and landings are also looked at with an eye towards economy of design.


Forget about painting rooms white in an attempt to make them look bigger. Using color is one of the cheapest ways to get a big dose of style, and stylish rooms draw attention away from size. Careful lighting selection is also an important element of designing a small space, and there’s ample lighting advice offered in this book.


Conran suggests making use of dual-purpose furniture, particularly for beds. Also, consider the visual impact of furniture. Just because it fits doesn’t make it the best choice. A streamlined sofa can give the illusion of space in a room better than an overstuffed one, even if their measurements are the same. Careful furniture selection is also an important consideration when incorporating a small office space.

Home Renovations

If you’re ready to tackle a home-remodeling project, this book will serve as a guide during the intimidating task of hiring professionals, obtaining permits and overseeing the work sequence. The temporary discomfort of living through a renovation project is well worth the added space gained from converting an attic or basement. Creating an addition, or converting an outbuilding are also space-gaining options covered in this book.

Practical Applications

Conran shows practical applications of his suggestions for specific areas of a home, including living areas, kitchens, bedrooms, children’s rooms, bathrooms, home offices, and even yards and second homes. How to Live in Small Spaces is a good beginning step for planning a move, remodeling project or simply tackling an organizational job in your home. With plenty of pictures and colorful suggestions, it will serve as great inspiration for your small space.