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Designing Small

In small space design, interior designers need to maximize space by seeking out furniture and storage solutions.

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Photos Courtesy of Echo Design + Architecture

When space is limited, interior designers need to pull out all the stops to find great furniture and storage solutions. Ajay Chopra, founding principal of Echo Design + Architecture, believes in adaptable design, especially when it comes to tiny spaces like this Park Avenue studio.

Here the designer gives his best tips for infusing great design into compact abodes. 

Look for dual-purpose furniture

We love companies like Ori Systems and Resource Furniture and are excited that these types of products are now available to us. These products, amongst other solutions, allow furniture to carry multiple uses within the same footprint. Hidden panel sliding doors and retractable furniture are great ways to keep your limited area practical and beautiful. Some alternative companies, such as Henrybuilt, are doing a really good job of integrating quality craftsmanship with design to engineer innovative solutions for the home. We also use Lucifer Lighting often in our residential builds, because of their quality products and sustainable efforts on every level.

Find sustainable solutions

One thing we did with the Park Avenue studio was bamboo flooring. Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable product that has come a long way with regards to durability in a just a few short years. Other products include non-toxic, allergen-free paints, such as Benjamin Moore Natura with zero volatile organic compounds. We have also started to use more LED lighting for both its energy efficiency and low heat output. In addition, LED lighting strips are used in several  of our residential projects as accent lights to highlight feature areas that require a glowing or highlighted effect.

Avoid clutter

Duality of use is essential for small spaces. We develop and build hidden storage solutions that look like walls when they’re closed, but open up into kitchen nooks or drawers for clothing. When you first enter a small space, it’s very important to ensure that it does not feel overwhelming with too much stuff on display. This ultimately makes the space feel too cluttered. I’m a believer in the “less is more” approach, which serves to provide a level of comfort and peace of mind — particularly in smaller spaces.

Keep it simple

When designing small spaces, everything must be rooted in simplicity. Additionally, each design must be intentional, serving multiple purposes in the space. Otherwise it’s superfluous. The goal is to create a space that appears far more spacious than it actually is without sacrificing practicalities of everyday living.


Ajay-Chopra-Echo-Design-and-ArchitectureAjay Chopra is the founding principal of Echo Design and Architecture. Raised within the booming punk subculture of London, Ajay grew up in an array of visual arts, fashions, and music. At twelve, Ajay and his family moved into India's capital, New Delhi, where he continued to take interest in design. Upon moving to the United States and completing his architectural education, he worked for many notable New York City and London-based architectural firms.

Photos Courtesy of Echo Design + Architecture

The Industry Voices blog captures the thoughts, insights and challenges of the lighting and home decor industry from those who know it best. We want to hear from showroom managers, interior designers, trend forecasters, manufacturers and other professionals who have a unique take on the industry.

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