The 87% of Americans who describe their home as small to medium in size know the importance of using every square inch to maximum efficiency. Rather than making their space look bigger, people want a cozy, intimate feel and prefer to use their space wisely and get the most out of it. "One of the great things about small rooms is that they help us to think creatively about the way we live," suggests Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA). "Furniture is a true complement to a small abode--it helps you maximize your space by providing function, comfort, and style."
The AFMA suggests the following tips for ways to increase square footage without building on an addition:
* Go vertical. Consider tall furniture rather than wide to preserve precious floor space.
* Use your walls. Add a shelf or rack to display a favorite collection or for hanging hats, scarves, and ties.
* Stash it in style. Today's occasional tables offer plenty of storage with drawers, shelves, or cubbies, as well as glass-topped display space for collectibles.
* Stack 'em. Stackable and folding chairs are excellent ways to keep a supply of seating for a dinner party, holiday gatherings, or hosting drop-in guests.
* Sweet dreams. …