Carving Out Extra Room In A Small Space Home

Yesterday I was standing in my kitchen staring at my counter tops wondering how I could gain more room surface space. So I asked myself: What do I really not use?

And then my eyes fell on the red utensil jar.

How many of those kitchen utensils do I really use? Well, only about half of what I had in the red jar.

So I took what I don’t use out and put them away.


Then I put what I do use into vintage jars and added it to the vintage box where I have my silver ware stored. I really like having silverware and utensils out in the open and not in a drawer.

You will find that when you store things out in plain sight you tend to keep things more tidy and organized.

There’s even enough room for my hand and dish soap in the box. So once again I’m utilizing decorative vintage boxes to store what I need in my everyday life.

I always prefer decorative storage!


Thus I was able to clear out and gain the surface space I desired.

The cutting board that you see setting horizontally in the corner has olive oil behind it. The other one is right where I need it tucked behind my clear sugar and tea bag jars.

Then there’s my paper towels and knives. Aside from the microwave, that’s really all I need.

Then I stood in my kitchen staring at my refrigerator, thinking: If I had a smaller refrigerator, say, an under-counter refrigerator, then I’d have even more space.

But then I probably wouldn’t have enough refrigerator space for food. Have to be careful not to go too far! But I will keep that idea in mind.

So if you just stand in your space and look at everything there and ask yourself what you could do to gain space, all kinds of ideas will come to you.

Just look at every single thing individually, allow your eyes to rest on each thing, and ask yourself if you actually need it there.

dining room

Then I walked a few feet into my dining space and took what was there into the same consideration. What could I do to gain even a foot or so of space?

The table, my eyes told me. I could gain space by letting down the table leaves.

dining table

So I let down the table leaves to gain a bit more room space. I can simply lift them back up if I need them.

In a small space, you need “visual space”, also called “negative space” in the art and design world, in order not to feel overwhelmed.

Since that meant the chairs would be angled, I ironed my homemade pillow coverings and added the pillows to my indoor/outdoor chairs.

I still have the red Christmas (or I suppose it’s for Christmas) floral stems in the vintage postal box. I may not put them away at all because I really like the contrast to the light green postal box.

A small space tip:

When purchasing dining room chairs, consider purchasing indoor/outdoor chairs. Then you have extra seating when you need it outdoors. Multi purpose furnishings are the name of the game in small space living.

house plant

If you live in a small home, try doing as I did and look at every single thing in your rooms where you desire or need more space. Ask yourself what you really need and what you can put away or purge.

I’ve learned from personal experience that this is a great way to visually expand your space and declutter what precious space you have.




  1. Are you still not using the cupboards? I only leave a few items on my counter tops. I don’t find it a problem keeping my cabinets or drawers neat. A place for everything and everything put back in its place. My husband also follows this, we share cooking and cleaning and gardening together.

    1. I’m using the cupboards to store stuff I’m not using. I don’t use any of the drawers. Afraid of mice again.

  2. I know at one time you opted not to take off the kitchen cabinet doors, but what if you took them off on the uppers and used them like open shelving? Putting enclosed canisters or whatever on the upper shelves? Either way, you have a good set-up! I had a small fridge once and would also have you opt against it. Frost and tall items are definitely a deterrent!

    1. I know. Just a thought late at night when I was tired. I’ve had the cabinet doors off, but then I have to store them.

      1. LOL because my guess is IF you wanted to do that, only you could come up with an awesome solution for a cabinet door wall decor! Or cabinet door shutters? Heehee.

  3. Hi Brenda! Very cute ways to give yourself a bit more room! Your kitchen looks great, and I love the red pillows you made. Have you tried your dining table the other direction (leaves still down)? If it looked OK that way, you’d have a place for your knees without having to put up a side. I have a drop-leaf dining table and I keep the drop-leaf to the front, but maybe that wouldn’t save you space. Have a great week!

  4. Small homes and rooms really are a challenge but they force us to think creatively! I agree about negative space on the walls. I was just upstairs having my guy hang somethings and changed my mind about a photo because I wanted the eye to have a place to rest! It’s a fine line between cozy and too much I think!

  5. I love the challenge of decluttering and downsizing, especially since I now have fewer closets and less storage space. I really enjoy posts such as this one. They get my creative thoughts flowing!

    1. I enjoy many of the same things that you do—-such as TRADER Joes ginger snaps, red accents in your home,love of birds and nature , rearranging for the better, however I canthave too many plants—–CAT in the house . Keep up with your blog. Sorry about the typos am still learning. Cant find the apostrophe on the keyboard.

    YOU WOULD LOSE PRECIOUS FREEZER SPACE ( you mention you freeze things like taco soup) AND IT’S JUST A BAD IDEA FOR MANY REASONS.

    1. When I eat, I put the table leaf up for my legs to be comfortable. Wouldn’t work if it wasn’t a drop leaf table. I do this from time to time, and then I always end up putting the leaves back up!

  7. Great organizational ideas, and I need to do that with my kitchen. I like the idea of indoor/outdoor chairs as I need some for my kitchen, and the patio is directly off the kitchen table area.

    1. I bought these when living in Texas. I didn’t realize when I bought them how much I’d need them!

  8. I am going to be looking for ideas like these when we downsize and move this summer. I won’t be in quite that small of a space but still-any extra gained space is a bonus. Hope you have a great Sunday, Brenda. xo Diana

  9. Brenda,
    A word of advice,don’t replace your fridge with a small one.
    Mine is slightly bigger than an apartment or dorm size one,it’s got a separate freezer,but it’s still a PITA
    There’s very little room,especially for large water bottles etc,you have to bend down to get stuff and the mini freezers aren’t frost free, which sounds petty but when there’s frost there’s even less space….it was here when I moved in and there’s really no space for a larger one.
    Thumbs up on the indoor outdoor furniture, that’s what’s in my small space!
    Love the vintage box storage.

    1. I agree on the fridge. I had one of those tiny fridges for a while when I was single. I worked 16 hours a day and never cooked or even ate at home, so all I kept in it was Dijon mustard I had bought in Dijon and a bottle of champagne I had bought in Reims. But the biggest problem in my mind was the freezer–it didn’t have one–which made ice cream impossible. After a rough day at work, there is nothing like ice cream to soothe the soul.

  10. Love these ideas. I am definitely going to do the same, go around the house looking, really looking at each space to see if I can improve on it.
    My husband is sick (very bad reaction to a medication) and has lots of ‘stuff’ all over the kitchen counter. I didn’t want to say anything right now so I went and got a tray and put everything on it. It looks so much more tidy now.

    1. Whenever you use a tray to contain things, it always looks more tidy. Then you can just lift up the tray and move it when necessary.

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