Brian Gluckstein’s Small Space Design Tips

You asked, Brian answered
Brian Gluckstein small space design tips
Interior designer Brian Gluckstein

Living in a small house or apartment often calls for creative solutions when it comes to decorating and organizing your space. Brian Gluckstein recently answered your design questions and shared his small space design tips and tricks for storage, home offices, playrooms, living spaces and more.

Be sure to follow @glucksteinhome on Instagram to submit your questions for our next Ask Me Anything with Brian.

What are your storage tips for a small entrance?

Brian: I like to have a console with drawers in it. You can store small items like keys and gloves, keeping them out of sight but close at hand. Also, consider finding a bench to slide underneath it. 

What type of coffee table works in a small space?

Brian: Typically, a coffee table that’s open and airy would best suit a smaller space. You could also use nesting end tables and bring one of the nested tables out in front when you need the surface space, and then tuck it away again when it’s not in use.

I want a sectional or chaise for my apartment but worry it will feel too crowded. Advice?

Brian: I love the idea of a sectional – especially for small spaces. A sectional is great for relaxing and can work in any sized room. You just want to be sure to find a set that’s scaled appropriately for a small space, such as our GlucksteinHome Bennett sectional. 

small space design tips
GlucksteinHome Bennett sofa, Norway II chair

What to do when you have no linen closet?

Brian: I tend to keep the linens for each bedroom in the closet of that room. Even if you do have a big linen closet, I find it more convenient that way. For towels, you could use double towel bars in the bathroom and a storage shelf hanging above the toilet. It’s also a good idea to edit down your old linens and towels, so you’re only storing what you actually use. ­

What do you suggest when you don’t have a separate playroom space for the kids?

Brian: You’ll want lots of storage to easily put away the toys when not in use. It’s all about organization. Store things in dressers and cabinets so it looks neat. Maybe use nesting tables as a coffee table to stack off to the side so children have more space when they play.

What colours work better for small spaces?

Brian: Lighter colours work best, and the key is to use a consistent colour palette throughout the home. That allows better flow from one room to the next, and it gives the illusion of more space.

GlucksteinHome Serena chair

In a small living room with shutters, will drapes make the room look smaller?

Brian: No, drapes won’t make the room look smaller. I would make the drapes the same colour as the walls, so they add a softness, but your eye isn’t visually drawn to them.

How do I make the most of a small office for two people?

Brian: Have the desks on either end of the room, so that you sit back-to-back. That way, you’re not distracted by each other’s movements or computer screens. Use leggier, lighter desks that don’t have a ton of drawers, so you don’t feel confined in the small space.

How can I create a sound barrier in a townhome to help make a quieter working from home space?

Brian: Well for sound, you want to make sure the room has a carpet, a solid door, and drapes. The more materials you have, the better to absorb sound. Maybe do a cork wall, painted the same colour as the wall, which will absorb sound and allow you to pin things while working.

What are alternative storage options when a dresser is too bulky for a bedroom?

Brian: Storage beds are the best invention. They’re great for small spaces and often hold more than a dresser. They’re also great if you don’t have a linen closet, so you can store extra pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels underneath.  

GlucksteinHome Dawson storage bed

Photography by A Plus (1&3), and courtesy of Hudson’s Bay (2&4)