These spaces may be small, but they still showcase character, design and function.

Small-space living is becoming a fact of life for many in urban areas, but with a lot of natural light, symmetry and open-concept designs, you can make your small amount of square footage go a long way—here are nine living rooms (some filled with bright pops of colour and unique objects) to prove it.

1. Eclectic Slide

Small spaces can be packed with just as much style as larger ones. Take a cue from this Christine Dennis-designed living room and use all of your beloved pieces (patterned throw pillows, vintage furniture, mix-and-match picture frames) to create an eclectic look. Get more decorating tips from DIY Mommy.

2. Up, Up and Away

Designer Aly Velji  brought warmth to this living room by placing floral wallpaper on either side of the off-white fireplace; the floor-to-ceiling coverage draws the eyes upward and then slowly back down, placing emphasis on visual height instead of the width of the room to make this space seem larger than it is. Get more advice about using colour and pattern in the home.

3. Chic Minimalism

This New York micro apartment shows just how stylish small-space living can be. At just 360 square feet, it’s functional thanks to a pull-out sofa and a plethora of storage cabinets; the white colour palette gives it an airy, open feeling, too. See more of this chic space.

4. Cabin Fever

With only 750 square feet (spread out across two floors!), designers Jennifer Connolly, Tricia Morrison  and Blackhawk Contracting had their work cut out for them. They created an open-concept space (flooring is consistent throughout for a seamless transition from one room to the next) and added a ton of extra storage (there’s a small unit tucked just to the right of the fireplace). See more of this cozy cabin.

5. Bright and Airy

The high ceilings and large windows in this laneway house built by Smallworks Studio and Laneway Housing demonstrates how a lot of natural light can make your small space seem larger than it really is. See more of this modern Vancouver home.

6. Call of the Wild

Everest Lapp designed her 680-square-foot Pender Island home with a grand view, perfectly captured through the windows in the compact living room. See more of this woodsy island home.

7. Modern Love

Designer Anna Dhillon‘s condo showcases her love of art and glam furniture. The mirrors that flank the marble fireplace reflect natural light, adding depth to the space while highlighting the painting. The tightly position sofas also bring intimacy to the space. See more of this art-filled home.

8. Nitty Gritty

It may only be 600 square feet, but this Oliver Simon-designed space is gorgeous. We love the eclectic mix of the large leather sofa and industrial photo frame on the wall behind it. See more of this beautiful condo.

9. Bold and Beautiful

Marc Boutin built this 840-square-foot cabin on West Vancouver Island; the result is a beautiful open-concept home with a the red sofa and black fireplace to add a bold touch. See more of this charming space.

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