9 Micro Loft Design Tips to Save Space

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated April 4, 2022
Couple in apartment kitchen
Photo: DigitalVision/Getty Images

These ideas prove that you have to think big to live small

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If you live in an exceptionally small place, like a micro loft or a studio apartment, it helps to have a few space-saving tricks up your sleeve. With the right storage solutions, room-opening design hacks, and multi-functional furniture, even the most limited square footage can feel spacious and satisfying. From the obvious to the surprising, these micro loft design tips will help you win back space you didn’t even know you had. 

1. Use a Room Divider to Create Separate Spaces

It can feel challenging to create separate spaces if your entire home is just one room. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Partitions or room dividers are one great way to split up your space with style. Try setting one up between your bed and living area to establish distinct areas for play and rest, or use a divider to block out distractions from your work area. This type of furnishing is available in countless forms and fashions, so it’s not hard to find one that suits your aesthetic or a room divider idea that you can DIY. 

2. Choose Multipurpose Furniture 

Every inch counts when decorating a micro loft, and the furnishings you include need to work twice as hard to deserve a spot in your space. Investing in or building fixtures that do double-duty—like a lamp that’s also a bookshelf or a stool that doubles as a storage unit—will halve the amount of furniture you need and free up that much more square footage. Want to build something that suits your space but doesn’t have the necessary skills or tools? Reach out to a carpenter in your area to get the job done. 

3. Organize Every Last Nook and Cranny

Man organizing books
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Mess builds up faster in small spaces than large ones, but having an organization system in place helps keep clutter to a minimum no matter how micro your loft is. Take stock of your piles and assign a designated place for each item. 

That could be a key rack that’s also a coat hanger to catch the bare necessities when you walk through the front door or under-the-bed storage for your collection of vintage magazines that you’re not willing to give up. As long as everything has a place, your space will be both tidier and easier to clean. And you’ll be surprised at how much you can have without it feeling cluttered and crowded. 

4. Decorate From the Ground Up 

Though ignoring the top half of a room in traditional homes is common, micro lofts don’t exactly have space to spare. Taking advantage of overhead areas is an absolute must, and there are plenty of great ways to do it beyond a raised bed. Try buying or building a staircase desk equipped with storage in every step. Or install a ceiling-high bookshelf to create storage while also dividing your space.

5. Pen Up a Space With Mirrors

Nothing makes a small space feel bigger more quickly than a mirror. Large or small, these reflective decorations are great at making cramped corners look twice as large. Even though mirrors don’t technically save space, the effect is a trick that will make your loft appear more open. This rule applies to all reflective objects, including polished metal furnishings and shiny marble countertops. 

6. Skip Huge Wardrobes and Opt for Open-Layout Closets

Wardrobes take up a lot more space than the clothes they contain, so skip the bulky unit and embrace a small, open closet system. Standing or wall racks are hardly there and put the focus entirely on your attire, so you don’t have to go digging when you’re getting dressed in the morning. Instead of a dresser, use baskets and shelves to store foldables and free up walking room at the same time. 

7. Take Advantage of Wall Space

Man hanging bike on wall
Photo: Cavan/Getty Images

Hanging things on the wall is an absolute must in tiny spaces. That includes the expected, like shelves, and unexpected, like everyday objects. No room on the floor for your bike? Put it on wall hooks, making it easy to access for grab-and-go moments. Kitchen cabinets stuffed to the gills? Hang your plates on the wall for a decorative flair that gives you more room for ingredients.  

8. Pick a Room-Brightening Color for Your Walls

The color of your walls can significantly impact how large or small your space feels. The best colors for enlarging a room are neutral and light colors, like beige, off-white, and blue-greens. Dark colors aren’t entirely off-limits, but they need to be used wisely, like on an accent wall that’s already barely lit or in narrow corners that see no natural light. In these cases, the darkness of the accent will highlight the lightness of your other design elements and make your space seem even bigger.

9. Use Lighting to Make Your Space Feel Larger

Lighting is another secret weapon that micro lofters love because it’s so easy to update and has such a big impact. Knowing how to use color temperature to set the mood will help you create both separate areas and the appearance of additional space. Try a long, pendant light to isolate a dining area, or pick a bright, daylight-type LED bulb to energize and widen your workspace.

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