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Designer Helena Da Costa shares expert tips to make the most of small spaces in any room.


Limited space might make it feel like your home’s storage capabilities are lacking, but perhaps those areas aren’t being used to their fullest potential. Designer Helena Da Costa of Toronto design firm Twelveo5 shares her three-pronged approach to make the most of small spaces and live an intentional lifestyle with confidence.

1. Create Function-Oriented Spaces

The mudroom is a dedicated drop zone to hang coats and store shoes. The unit’s lower portion is designed with open cubbies to house seasonal items in neutral-coloured bins.

Are there parts of your home that feel underutilized? Not anymore. Before designing a small space, decide what the area will be used for. Install a mudroom at the front entrance as a catch-all for items or convert a spare room into a three-in-one space to work from home, workout and wind down. “Form follows function” is the guiding principle of interior design, and is vital to customizing spaces to meet your needs.

2. Maximize Small Areas


In the kitchen’s cabinets, tiered organizers and clear storage containers keep items visible. A plate rack is used to make everyday items easily accessible.

The smallest spaces of our homes may be the most difficult to organize, but they’re actually much larger than they appear. Make the most of square footage with simple storage solutions, like closet organizers, which can double the amount of shelving and hanging space. Matching bins and clear containers can help organize pantries and kitchen cabinets, all while creating visual harmony. And for Helena’s most-used tool? “I like to use hand-written or printable labels to add that extra layer of organization,” says Da Costa.

3. Use Multi-Functional Furniture


Folding techniques keep towels and bed sheets organized in the home’s linen closet. An assortment of baskets is used to house bath and laundry items.

Multi-functional furniture and small spaces are the dynamic duo of interior decorating, reducing clutter by limiting the number of pieces needed in a room. Since most come with additional storage space, these key pieces keep surfaces tidy and streamlined. Ottomans that store kids’ toys, seasonal blankets or board games turn ordinary furniture pieces into valuable additions to our home’s living spaces, and bed frames with built-in drawers are ideal for housing the items we want near but out of sight.


What’s next? Learn more about the 10 decorating tips every design enthusiast should know and check out these 20 designer-approved ideas to refresh your home’s decor.


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