Kiera Kushlan’s tips for designing small spaces

Here are Kiera Kushlan’s recommendations, in her own words, for making the most of small space living.

1. Live with what you love.

This is absolutely my number-one tip and the one thing I try to stress the most to clients. If you’re working with limited square footage, every inch counts. So surround yourself with things that have meaning to you and clear everything else out.

2. Dressers are your best friend.

I have a dresser in every room of my house: bedroom, dining room, and living room. They each store different items, not just clothing. Instead of picking out a typical end table, try using a tall dresser next to your sofa. You can store extra blankets, electronics, whatever you need around but don’t want on display.

3. Define your spaces.

Defining spaces with visual cues using items such as area rugs and overhead lighting helps to make your space feel larger.

4. Identify every item’s purpose.

Is that leftover Ikea bookcase really serving a need or is it just collecting dust? Walk through your home and take a long hard look at every piece of furniture. If it’s not serving a purpose, it needs to go.

5. Use vertical space.

Walls can be filled with shelves to hold books or can display framed artwork. Removing these objects from valuable surface areas in your home will visually clean up your space.

Kiera Kushlan favorite design blogs

●Design Love Fest, by Bri Emery ( )

“From graphics to interiors and everything in between, Bri’s blog is visually inspirational.”

Meg Biram (

“Meg is one of my favorite D.C. bloggers. Her advice posts on being a young business owner are in­cred­ibly insightful for entrepreneurs.”

●Oh Joy, by Joy Cho (

“Joy’s blog covers fashion, art, interiors and everything else beautiful.”

SF Girl by Bay, by Victoria Smith (

“A treasure trove of interiors, from house tours to product and store reviews.”

Style by Emily Henderson (

“Emily’s blog is not only chock-full of amazing interior tips and tutorials, she’s hysterical and oh so entertaining.”

Jura Koncius