Design | Defining Small Rooms

Today’s design dilemma comes from member Tricia Schmitz- thanks for writing in Tricia.

“My design dilemma is our living room/kitchen. I am having a hard time defining the space. Both rooms fit in only about 9 x 16 square feet of space. I don’t really want my kitchen to look like my living room. But since it’s such a small space I am afraid to chop it up and make it all look smaller.

I also love to have family and friends over so I would like to seat guests, but sometimes we have a hard time finding seats for the 5 in our family. If you could help me with this dilemma I would be so very grateful!”


Since the rooms are connected, it’s best to paint them the same color to avoid exactly what you are afraid of, making them look smaller. One room can be a shade darker than the other, but the same color tone is important.

Stackable seating is very popular for small spaces. I had the same problem, at one time my small round dining table could normally seat only 4 people, but when I had more friends over I didn’t have room to seat them. So I found some vintage stackable office chairs that were really cool, in bright colors.


They fit in my coat closet, and when I needed extra seating, I could just pull out the extras and everyone had somewhere to sit.

Have any other small space tips for Tricia? Leave your thoughts below.




Photo Source: Interior & Design

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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