Designing for Small Spaces

In September 2016, we welcomed Gerry Ewald to a new role created in response to the high volume of design projects in constant motion at StuartCo. As our Lead Designer, Gerry keeps a consistent watch over our apartment upgrades, amenity space renovations, and general design projects.


Recently, we tapped into Gerry’s expertise around great design for smaller spaces. With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to de-clutter and redesign for a fresh start!

The noted architect Mies van der Rohe is famous for saying “Less is more.”   There is a movement today to live smaller: having less “stuff” in less space. How do you make the most of a compact living environment—especially if you have been used to living large? Here are some simple tips for maximizing the space in your home.


Organization is key. Piles, stacks and clutter can quickly overwhelm. Have a dedicated mail stop to organize mail as soon as it arrives; arrange bills and statements separately from magazines, catalogs and coupons. Drop the junk mail immediately into a recycle bin so it’s no longer in plain view. Sign up for online banking services and catalogs to reduce the amount of paper arriving in your mailbox.


Get creative with storage in cabinets and drawers, especially under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. A utensil tray or wine rack doesn’t have to be destined only for the kitchen. Consider them to organize a vanity drawer or store large bottles of hairspray and other styling products in the bathroom. On over-door pocket shoe organizer can tame the chaos of hairbrushes, blow dryers and other hard to manage paraphernalia. Identify what you need to store and then customize an affordable solution at dollar and container stores, big box retailers and home improvement stores.


When shopping for furniture, look for items that can do double-duty: a storage ottoman, a bookshelf with a desk surface, a coffee table with a shelf or, better yet, drawers. Some coffee tables offer tops that lift to dining height for meals, paperwork or crafting. A couple of trunks or vintage suitcases could be stacked as a whimsical end table or nightstand while storing out of season clothing or holiday decorations. And don’t forget the large expanse of space under your bed for storage bins and drawers of all sizes. Another simple trick is to place low bookshelves or stacked cubes against the wall behind your sofa. Besides the additional storage, you also get a console table for lamps, remote controls and accessories.

Always remember that with some imaginative and resourceful thinking and planning, you can definitely get “more” from having “less” space.

Need some more inspiration? Check out StuartCo’s Pinterest board full of design ideas!

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