Small spaces, big ideas

Five great books to help you make the most of your small space

Creating a beautiful, well-organized space is the key to enjoying life in a less-than-palatial home. From investing in multi-purpose furniture and built-in storage units, to knocking out walls to make your space look bigger, these five books provide surefire strategies to bring order and beauty to even the smallest, busiest home.

Peaceful Spaces: Transform Your Home Into a Haven of Calm and Tranquility
By Alice Whatley
Ryland Peters and Small

Alice Whatley, former decor editor of Elle magazine, teaches readers how to create their own oases of calm. She offers tips on using natural materials, streamlined storage units and soft colours to create a serene environment that’s soothing, which is especially important in a small space that can become cluttered easily. Her philosophy is based on Zen principles and the belief that clutter crushes the spirit by impeding our ability to clear our minds. This book offers tips for all the rooms of your house – from kitchens to bedrooms to bathrooms – in a range of styles from urban loft to country home. An inspiring reminder of how important it is to have a safe haven from our hectic lives.

Making the Most of Small Spaces and Making More of Small Spaces
By Stephen Crafti
Images Publishing

In response to the dramatic increase of apartment dwellers in the booming cities of Australia, architectural writer Stephen Crafti wrote Making the Most of Small Spaces to offer tips on compact living. Both his books on the subject showcase apartments, cottages, warehouses and small houses that offer inventive storage solutions and innovative design techniques for living with less. Accompanying text offers tips for creating multi-purpose rooms, designing an open-concept home to maximize space and adding small additions.

Christopher Lowell’s Seven Layers of Organization: Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Life
By Christopher Lowell
Clarkson Potter

Discovery Channel personality Christopher Lowell’s book offers fresh insight into why we hoard stuff and teaches us how to let go. His theory: North American culture encourages an insatiable need to accumulate stuff based on an irrational fear of not having enough. To tackle that fear, he offers an organizational process of seven steps to encourage clarity and inspire determination to change our habits. His steps include making decisions on what to purge and what to reclaim, how to sort, arrange and contain your belongings, and tips on how to keep it all maintained. The book includes 12 home makeovers, showing his plan in action.

Small Spaces for Modern Living: Making the Most of Your Indoor Space
By Caroline Atkins

Created for design novices, Caroline Atkins’s book covers the basics of assessing your space and planning a renovation to create a roomy, airy home. This book is filled with inspiring pictures for homeowners looking to invest in custom, built-in furniture to save space – from streamlined hideaway cupboards to loft areas for storage, working or sleeping. Sidebars offer practical hints for choosing the right building materials and reducing clutter throughout the house.

Small Spaces: Good Ideas
By Cristina Paredes
Collins Design

With an emphasis on choosing the right decor elements, such as lighting and furniture, Paredes’s book provides tips on living in less than 1,000 square feet. She offers helpful suggestions for creating multi-functional rooms that work double duty in a tight space, featuring projects such as a 603-square-foot New York loft designed like a jigsaw puzzle with interlocking storage and furniture units to avoid wasting even an inch of space. It also includes information about featured products and manufacturers to make it simple for readers to buy what they see.