Big, sprawling homes are becoming rarer as people are opting for smaller spaces and more modest dwellings. Whether it’s to shorten the commute to work, enjoy a more vibrant social life, or simply to be more respectful of the environment, small space living is on the rise. And while small space living can be more rewarding and affordable, creating small spaces that meet the needs of your lifestyle can be challenging. When faced with designing a small space, many of us are left wondering, “Where do I put everything?!”


Recently, we asked HGTV designer and craftsman Chip Wade to share his top five tips for small space living. During his time as host of HGTV’s Elbow Room, Chip became an expert on getting the most out of a small space with his stylish approach to multipurpose living. While your space may be small, Chip recommends that you think big. It’s incredible what all you can fit into a small space with a little creativity.

Tip #1: Purge and declutter

To prepare to transition to a small space, it’s important to adopt a minimalist way of thinking. Less is more. Do you really need every t-shirt you’ve saved since the third grade? Probably not. Don’t let the decluttering process overwhelm you. Start with one room or even one area of a room at a time. According to Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, decluttering should be approached by category. She recommends beginning with clothing and then books. If you love it and use it, keep it. Otherwise, donate it and move on.

Approaching your small space with a clean and organized pallet allows you to start fresh—and really create a multifunctional space that works for your needs versus your overflow of stuff.



Tip #2: Be prepared

Before you move into a small space, sketch up a floor plan if you don’t have one available otherwise. This will allow you to strategically think about what existing furniture you can use, what you need to donate or sell, and what you need to purchase. Plan to donate or sell the furniture you can’t use before you move into the small space. Otherwise, you’ll feel stressed and overwhelmed on moving day.

Keep in mind that you’ll have limited storage in your new space, so think ahead.

Tip #3: Cohesive Color Pallet

The worst design mistake you can make in a small space is to create a clashing color pallet. In a small space, your color pallet needs to flow. Be mindful of the family of paint colors you select as well as fabric and other décor components.

While Chip loves bright colors in the right setting, he finds a monochromatic color pallet to look really great in small spaces. Check out cool grays, light blues, pale beiges, and modern white to create an atmosphere that is soothing and relaxing. Also, don’t underestimate the power in painting the entire space one paint color.  

Tip #4: Think multipurpose

When designing a small space, don’t think about labeling rooms in the traditional sense of the word. A bedroom can be so much more than a bedroom. With multifunctional furniture, a bedroom can also serve as an office and home gym. Brainstorm what you need to live a great life and design around the vision.

Be sure to purchase multipurpose furniture that serves multiple needs. You will need shelving, hidden storage and transformational pieces. For example. Chip Wade’s new line of space saving furniture for Xtraroom includes the Orion Console Bed with Desk and Hutch option. Go from work to rest in under 60 seconds with the desk, shelving and queen size fold out bed combination.

Tip #5: Invite your friends

Just because you now live in a small space, doesn’t mean you can’t live life to the fullest. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Because you’ve designed an amazing small space, invite your friends and family over for the big game, movie night, or for a dinner party. A well-designed small space can feel much larger than it really is, so embrace your small space and live it up.

Xtraroom by Chip Wade was designed knowing that the only constant about life is that it’s always changing. We are a company that creates furniture for the way you want – and deserve – to live. Our space-saving furniture designs are thoughtfully created by HGTV’s Chip Wade. Chip’s love for all things multipurpose, led to the creation of whole room multipurpose furniture solutions that are easy to assemble, simple to use, stylish and durable. We’d love for you to check us out.