Your Design Dilemmas: Tiny Spaces!!!

I often get people asking me for decor and design advice. Over the years I have answered thousands of questions for the readers of Style At Home, Homemakers, Canadian Living, House Beautiful, Metro News and at home & gardens shows across North America. I love getting/reading decor questions as it keeps me abreast of the decorating dilemmas people deal with. This most recent question has been asked many, many times:


Q: I live in a tiny 2-bedroom townhouse that has many little rooms on two floors. I want to invest in new furnishings and need some tips on what I should purchase.

A: You can really live large (and have style) in a small space. I always say that any piece of furniture brought into a small space should have double or triple duty. Here are my list of the best pieces that can go many places and will be useful in your home.

dryden-leather-apartment-sofa.jpgDryden Apartment SofaBed, Crate & Barrel.

SOFA: Choose a sofa that is the right size. Two-thirds of the width of your living room is the perfect length for your sofa. For instance, if your living room is only 9 feet wide, then a 6 foot sofa length will be perfectly proportioned to the room. If that sofa can also act as a daybed or pull-out then you also have room for an overnight guest!

CupaLeatherChairSHF16_16x9.jpegCuppa Leather Chair, CB2.

GUEST CHAIRS: Chairs with slim arms (or no arms at all) work best in small spaces. Think about it; the less arm, the more seat you get! Smaller arms also allow the scale of the furniture to appear visually smaller too. Always get two…

lorraine-tufted-storage-bench-o.jpglorraine-tufted-storage-bench-o-1.jpgLorraine Tufted Storage Bench, Pottery Barn.

OTTOMANS: A long, slim ottoman with storage is the perfect piece of furniture! You can place it in front of a sofa and use to put your feet up on, you can add a tray on top and use it as a cocktail table and you can swing it against a wall and use it for an additional perch when there is an overflow of guests.



Avalon 45″ Round Tea Brown Round Extension Table, Crate & Barrel

DINING TABLE: The 42 or 54 inch round pedestal table is perfect; the round pedestal means no corners or legs to deal with which allows for more people to sit. IF you can find this table style with the ability to expand, then you’ve got a table that will also suit extra guests (think holiday gatherings).


Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 3.55.37 PM.pngValentin Side Chair, EQ3.

DINING CHAIR: Always upholstered; whether it be leather, suede or fabric. That way they are comfortable to sit for long dinners and can be pulled into the living room as additional seating and still be comfy. Place one in the corner of the bedroom, one in the foyer or home office and you can visually reduce the bulk around the dining table when not in use.


219255-1.jpgTHE 8’X10′ RUG, (#219255), eCarpetGallery

Rugs: The classic 8’x10’ will usually always be perfect in a seating situation like a living or family room. Make sure the front legs of the sofa and chairs are sitting on the rug. In the dining room, the rug should be 18” larger on each side of the table (3 feet longer and 3 feet wider that the table’s size).


Other winning furniture pieces:


Villette Shagreen Console, Restoration Hardware


CONSOLE: Used in the front foyer, in a bedroom as a slim vanity table or laptop desk or, behind the sofa to hold large lamps and plants. These slim babies are invalauble and space-savers!


Winston Bar Cart, The Bay

BAR CART: Fill it with your favourite liquor and make it a statement piece in the living or dining room, use it as a bedside table to hold a lamp and books, use it in the master bath to keep towels, baskets and beauty products on display. Triple duty at its best!


Portland Storage Bed, Urban Mode

STORAGE BED: This hydraulic lift bed will give you the equivalent of 6 additional dresser drawers of storage. Although pricey (usually around $1200 to $2200), you will save on buying a dresser and you only need to purchase a mattress, not the foundation.


GOT A DECORATING DILEMMA? BE SURE TO CONTACT ME THROUGH Facebook at:  Karl Lohnes Designer on Facebook! Happy Decorating… KL

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