Book Edit: Small Homes Grand Living

Designing and decorating a small home can have challenges with restrictions on floor space, storage, and style. In the book ‘Small Space Grand Living: Interior Design for Compact Spaces’ Robert Klanten and Caroline Kurze show that sometimes the teeniest spaces can have the greatest vision and depending on how you style your small space, it has the potential to boost your standard of living. 

They are retreats within which our weekly routines occur, and hence they contain the potential to contribute fundamentally to the quality of our everyday lives


Brad Scwartz Architects exhibit how ‘built-ins’ can provide plenty of adaptable storage resulting in an ingenious solution to spatial restrictions. Storage units such as this compact kitchen fulfil a rational need, whilst the custom-built sliding door and room divider stylishly provides privacy and hides the kitchen when the overall space needs to be used for other purposes. This considers the notion of ‘modular minimalism’ where we can maximise a minimal space. 

The expectation of privacy and the subdivision of interior spaces comes in different cultures and has a significant impact on how we organise our homes


Studiomama showcases how a 13 square metre home can be transformed into a sophisticated, warm, and appealing environment. This single-story house in north London utilises plywood materials and techniques such as alcove and concealed seating, modular furniture, hidden nooks, stacking shelves, a fold down bed and extendable tables to highlight how a small living space can still leave you feeling elevated. 

Finding a place for a double bed can sometimes be a problem, as well as Studiomama, Harry Thaler Studioshows how a mobile, fold down, hidden bed can still tick all the comfort and cosy boxes without dominating a room and taking up that all important floor space. 

Compact living is about small spaces held within larger spaces, and how they overlap or interact with each other


Our bathrooms are often the smallest space in the home regardless of the sq. ft of our properties, so in tiny homes this is even more of a challenge and shrewd design solutions must be applied to accomplish functionality. Tenhachi Architects and Interior Design display how sometimes the smallest spaces can still feel exciting with innovative design such as these boxes that store a bedroom as well as a bathroom hidden behind a wall. 

One of the most important aspects of successfully transforming a small space is the provision of sufficient storage


Small spaces can sometimes mean the ‘other areas’ of the house are forgotten, such as entrances, playrooms, home offices, staircases, and outdoors. However, these multi-functional areas can still be distinctive, have a purpose and feel elegant and carefully considered. Staircases can double up as storage, entrances can utilise wall space, play areas with concealed custom furniture, home offices can be created by pulling down a wall mounted desk, and outdoors you can apply your imagination with original and quirky designs. All these spatial solutions are sustainable as well as an important aspect of compact living feeling enriched.

The smaller the space, the more important it is for it to have good qualities, such as space, light, openness and warmth