Pub. Date:
How to Live in Small Spaces: Design, Furnishing, Decoration, Detail for the Smaller Home

How to Live in Small Spaces: Design, Furnishing, Decoration, Detail for the Smaller Home

by Terence Conran

Paperback(Second Edition)



A world-renowned design authority shows how to make the most of every square foot.

Praise for the previous edition:
Lavishly illustrated, it makes living, cooking, entertaining, working and sleeping in less than 1,000 square feet easy and even desirable.
—Chicago Life

Packed with myriad possibilities on how small scale can still contain big style.
—Chicago Tribune

Whether motivated by soaring energy costs, smaller families or the desire to live more simply, homeowners are abandoning "McMansions" for smaller housing. In How to Live in Small Spaces, Terence Conran explains that what's paramount to livability is not the square footage you have, but how you divide it.

In this comprehensive, full-color book, Conran tackles the many challenges posed by small spaces. Chapters cover storage, bedrooms, children's rooms, lighting, extension and much more. "Assessing your needs" checklists and "Points to consider" sidebars add valuable ideas. Six case studies conclude the book with excellent examples of great designs.

First published in 2002, Conran brings the book up to date by incorporating the latest technological and design innovations in space-saving furniture, fixtures, décor trends and construction. He offers practical design advice on exploiting every inch of space, such as:

  • Using fold-down and pull-out features
  • Buying slimline appliances
  • Installing indoor portholes and windows
  • Lessening the impact of furniture
  • Using scale and proportion to advantage
  • Manipulating color, texture and pattern
  • Using screens, partitions and platforms
  • Improving circulation paths.

Terence Conran doesn't lose sight of the challenges posed by small spaces and the ingenuity and compromises they demand. He shows how easy it is to create a home whose comfort is not dependent on size, but on efficiency and design integrity.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770851061
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 09/27/2012
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sir Terence Conran is the founder of the Conran Group, an architecture and design firm that also operates 28 restaurants and shops in the United States, Europe and Japan. His books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. His first book, The House Book (1974), radically changed how we view our home environment.

Table of Contents



Part 1
Making the Most of Small Spaces

Design and Planning

    Living in small spaces
    Levels of change
    Looking for potential

    How to get rid of things
    Planning fitted storage
    Customizing fitted storage

    Scale and proportion
    Architectural detail
    Minimizing architectural detail
    Fireplaces and stoves
    Screens and partitions
    Open-plan layouts
    Top lighting

    Stairs, halls and landings
    Simplifying routes
    Space-saving stairs
    Making use of circulation space

Decoration and Furnishing

    Getting the work done
    Creating a decorative scheme
    Using color
    Space-enhancing color
    Textural contrast
    Bold statements
    Decorating practicalities

    Assessing your needs
    Types of lighting
    Lighting schemes for small spaces
    Choosing light fittings
    Choosing light sources
    Natural light

    Furnishing small spaces
    Fold-down furniture and equipment
    Space-saving beds
    Minimizing the impact of furniture
    Basic kit

Branching Out

    Getting the work done

    Planning permission and legalities
    Hiring professionals
    Managing the work sequence

    Converting lofts
    Permissions and regulations
    Structural issues
    Fitting out

    Converting basements
    Extending downwards
    Structural issues and building work
    Natural light
    Potential uses

    Assessing your needs
    Building work
    Style and character

    Sheds and outbuildings
    Working retreats
    Converting an existing shed
    Prefab solutions
    Converted outbuildings

Part 2 Small Space Specifics

Area by Area

    Multipurpose spaces and studies
    Basic strategies
    Designing the layout

    Living areas
    Home media solutions
    Concealed storage
    Dividers and partitions
    Surfaces and finishes

    Kitchens and eating areas
    Keep it simple
    Designing the layout
    Space-saving and space-enhancing ideas
    Eating areas

    Creating a tranquil retreat
    Sleeping platforms
    Sleeping pods
    Clothes storage
    Dressing areas

    Children's rooms
    Flexible storage

    Designing the layout
    Wet rooms
    Space-enhancing ideas

    Home office

    Small gardens
    Assessing your outdoor space
    Planning and layout
    Design principles
    Views, vistas and local points
    Connecting home and garden
    Front gardens
    Container gardening
    Roof gardens

    Second homes and weekend retreats
    Choosing a location
    Expressing a sense of place

Case Studies

    Case study 1
    3773 studio project, Los Angeles, CA, USA: Home studio

    Case study 2
    Live-work maisonette, London, UK: Working from home

    Case study 3
    Split-level apartment, Paris, France: White light

    Case study 4
    Converted garage, Seattle, USA: Artist's retreat

    Case study 5
    Family house, London, UK: Courtyard house

    Case study 6
    Engawa House, Tokyo, Japan: Bringing the outside in


Customer Reviews