How to Maximize Space Through Strategic Design

Whether you’re downsizing or moving from an apartment to your first home, it’s important to know how to best fill your living area.

Whether you’re moving into a smaller space because of a life-changing circumstance, you’re looking for a larger space because you’re growing your family or are simply ready for a change, it’s important to make strategic use of space when decorating and moving.

ESTATENVY had the opportunity to speak with residential interior designer and remodeler Erica Lubgill of Lugbill Designs – which prides itself on being an a la carte design service where no client is too large or too small – on her advice when it comes to maximizing space through strategic design.

When it comes to smaller places like apartments, lofts or condos, the number one rule of thumb to follow is to be aware of the scale of furniture being put in the space, which will ultimately make the space feel even smaller.

“I feel the biggest mistake that people make is that they try to bring their old furniture from their bigger place and make it work in their smaller space,” said Lugbill. “Their old furniture is just too deep, too wide and as a result, the scale of everything is thrown off.”

It’s advised not to try to cram all of your old furniture into your new, small space and make it work, but rather be certain the scale of your pieces work before bringing them into the space. For example, if you have an open concept small apartment that already has an island in the kitchen area, it’s not necessary to add a table. Instead, consider paring back as much as possible.

Another useful tip Erica suggests for maximizing space when going from a larger living area to a smaller living area is to use furniture as multi-purpose pieces as much as possible.

“Put stools around your kitchen island and use that as your dining table and use your kitchen for prep space,” Lugbill suggests.

If moving from a smaller space like an apartment to a larger space like a home, it’s not necessary to fill the entire space.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make when moving into a larger space is feeling they need to use every inch of space,” said Lugbill. “I would really think about your seating arrangements and how conversation works in a room – don’t try to make one large seating arrangement depending on how you live or host people.”

With that, it’s imperative to be conscious of the space and not leave too much open space in a living room by pushing everything against a wall. It can instead be helpful to have two smaller cozy seating areas that will work well.

When it comes to wall space in a larger area, be cautious of feeling the need to fill every inch of wall space – less is more.

“Instead of trying to fill every single inch, use colors that you love as the focal point,” says Lugbill.

Another mistake Lugbill sees is putting too small of an area rug in a room. A general rule of thumb is to make sure the area rug goes at least six inches under furniture arrangements to ground the space.

Aside from the general living and common areas in a home, one room that may be overlooked, especially in an older home, is the bathroom. One of the biggest things smaller bathrooms lack is storage. To solve that potential problem, Lugbill suggests installing shelving or a closed wall cabinet in the bathroom to eliminate clutter. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to create more horizontal space by mounting a shelf above a vanity which can double countertop space.

Another space not maximized to its full potential is closet space.

“If you actually were to take the dimensions of your closet to a designer and invest in your storage space, you would be amazed at the amount of space you have,” said Lugbill. “When you’re in a small space, it’s worth it to invest in your closet space and using it to its fullest potential.”

So, whether you’re moving from a smaller space to a larger space or vice versa, it’s important to always consult with an expert to get the most use out of your space so you can enjoy entertaining and living comfortably.