Category Archives: Living Large In A Small Space

Small Space Solutions #2: Multi-Task Mantra

Your bed can make a divine divan
Your bed can make a divine divan

Multi-tasking is your mantra for small space living.

Make your furniture work hard. Your sofa is also your bed. Your dining table is also your desk.  Your coffee table is also your dining table, if you add a few floor cushions.

To give substance to this idea, consider the following: Your bed could become a luxurious divan if you use a double size bed (54”wide) on a simple platform (don’t forget to use one with drawers underneath for extra storage) placed long ways against the wall.  Use three rows of big pillows along the back.  Start with three 28” squares  (for example) for the back layer, then a layer of 24” squares and finally a 22” layer.  I’m using these measures to give you a place to start.  Any combination of sizes will work as long as they are big.

You could also use an open bookcase to divide an area, as it offers little visual impediment.  Furniture, such as a sofa can be used as a divider also.  You might separate a TV area from a dining room, office or reading corner in this way.

Instead of backing the bed all the way to the wall, you can create a dressing room in a bedroom.  Use the headboard as the divider between the sleeping and dressing areas.

Drapery rods are available that attach to the ceiling so a “wall of fabric” can be hung behind the headboard to complete the illusion of a separate room. Fabric walls and screens too, can create an entry area out of thin air. They can hide a variety of “problems” such as boxed goods that must be saved,or equipment that has no where else to go.

Another visual aid in multi-tasking a room is to use rugs to help define areas within a room.  Rugs of different patterns are fine as long as the colors coordinate.  Using the same size rugs, side by side will delineate different areas such as a living area from a dining area.  This works well as long as the two areas are of equal proportions.  Otherwise, different size rugs will be more interesting.

I have a love/hate relationship with wall-to-wall carpeting because it isn’t all that interesting.  However, it’s wonderful for living on, i.e., playing with the kids and/or pets.  Your bare feet will be happy when you first rise from your bed every morning, etc.  It can also give the illusion of greater room proportions.  A good hedge position is to use an area rug large enough to leave a 6” perimeter of flooring around the room to help anchor and unify the space.

Related Posts

(Small Space Solutions Five Part Series)

Small Space Solutions #1: Fooling The Eye

Small Space Solutions #3: Change Your Mind

Small Space Solutions #4: Subversive Tactics

Small Space Solutions #5: Stuff It, Etc.

Large Article photo:…Some rights reserved

Article photo: Decoding Décor Archives


The original version of this post was published on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion.