How To Make the Most of Small Space Living

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Design: Stefani Stein · Wallpaper: August Abode · Photography: Amy Bartlam

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Design: Stefani Stein · Wallpaper: August Abode · Photography: Amy Bartlam


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Small space living can be a challenge, but there are several ways to make the most of a small footprint and create a beautiful home that you love spending time in. How exactly? We went straight to the source and tapped designer, Stefani Stein, for her tips on the topic. She was challenged with tackling the design of this intimate Los Angeles apartment, and the results are stunning. Featuring wallpaper from Stefani’s collection, August Abode, this space proves that a small space can absolutely make a big impact!

Scale your Furniture Properly

To maximize every inch of your small living space, it’s important to select furniture that fits the scale of your home. Large, voluminous sofas that seem great for lounging in an open-plan great room can overpower a smaller space. Be mindful of the sofa depth and consider a piece that is low-profile to lend an open and airy feeling to the room. I also recommend pairing the sofa with a coffee table that has legs, rather than a bulky or dense piece that is solid down to the floor—this is another trick to help keep the space feeling more open. And, whenever possible, situate the furnishings to take advantage of the natural light.

Consider the Layout (Especially in Open-Concept Spaces)

While open-concept spaces are still quite popular, they can be decidedly tricky to work within small spaces. In this particular space, the kitchen, dining room, and living room were all within the same general area, so it was imperative that we found a way to delineate each. We wanted to arrange the furnishings to ensure there was a distinct dining area and an unobstructed path to the patio, while still allowing for a conversational seating arrangement and comfy spot to curl up and watch television. Finding the perfect rug to anchor all of the living room furnishings and define the space was crucial. One that was finalized, the other elements fell into place.

Stick to a Neutral Color Palette

It’s no new news that neutral colors can really open up a space. A light and bright room naturally feels more open, but lots of windows can sometimes pose difficulty from a privacy standpoint. Here, floor-to-ceiling linen drapery provides a lovely filtered light, while offering privacy without detracting from the neutral palette. We paired this with soft white walls with the slightest hint of grey. The trick with a modern space is to avoid using a white paint that is too sterile and instead opt for a nice, comforting white to offset how new and crisp everything can feel. Rich leathers and earth-hued accents warm the space without feeling bold or overpowering.

Carefully Select Your Decor

Although your home may be small, there’s always room to make a big impact. For this space, we feel like the bedroom walls speak for themselves. The tonal geometrical trompe l’oeil wallcovering from August Abode brings in-depth and personality without overpowering the bedroom’s petite footprint. We love how the design, although neutral and timeless, still feels fun and fresh. We sourced a few beautiful vintage pieces for this space as well. But, as always with such a small footprint, we kept the accessories styling clean and uncluttered, being mindful of the negative space. Putting thought into each and every detail included in the pieces ties the space together and adds layers without feeling cluttered.

To see more from Stefani’s wallpaper collection, August Abode, click here!

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Design: Stefani Stein · Wallpaper: August Abode · Photography: Amy Bartlam

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