MCA-Big Ideas for Small Space Design-1

When it comes to great design, size really doesn’t matter. A small space can be just as beautiful as a large one. The only things that really have to be big are your ideas.

That’s one of the beautiful things about the seven fundamentals. They always work regardless of the size of the space. If you use them, they’ll get you to a successful small space design faster and easier.

Think about it. Mother Nature never spared any detail on her smallest and most incidental creatures. In fact, she may have turned up the dial on details depending on the creature’s role (which is the fundamental we call “Objective”). But by dialing down the scale and keeping perfect proportion, nature gave us the wings of the monarch butterfly and the petal of the rose.

We’ll never top Mother Nature, but by using the seven fundamentals, we have managed to create beautiful and highly functional designs in all kinds of small spaces.


By clearly defining your goals and objectives for each space, you set the foundation for the design. The clearer the objective, the better the outcome will be.


Make every square foot of space play a role. Make them function to enhance the way you want to live.

Here, gaming, bar, TV and lounge seating are all carefully choreographed into just 400 square feet!


Yes, you can have a master suite in small space!

You’ll have to scale down some of the pieces, and you’ll have to use perfect proportions to detail it just the way you want…

…but the results are so stunning you won’t even notice that the space is small.


Choosing light colors for walls, counters and cabinets will keep the space light and make it feel more open. Here, we “borrowed” light from the window and reflected it in the mirror to brighten the room. Picking a vanity with open legs adds detail and because the legs don’t block the sightline, everything feels lighter and a lot more open.


Using color to highlight or define an area can add a lot of impact to a small space.


The great texture of this wood wall defines the living area and visually separates it from the sleeping area. Even though you can reach out and touch the bed, it feels like you’re sitting in a separate room. It’s a great solution for people who live in a small place but still like to entertain at home!


Personal touches, carefully selected/collected art and meaningful accessories are what make a design come to life.

Small spaces can have a big impact when the art and accessories don’t overwhelm the space, but contribute just the right amount of impact to achieve harmony. Work them until you get it. You’ll feel it when it’s right.

Mary Cook & Josh Kassing

Written By

Mary Cook & Josh Kassing

Founder and President of Mary Cook Associates (MCA)