It’s easy to indulge in a classic Southern interior design style when you’re living in a generously proportioned home, but how do you incorporate all those typically oversized elements into a tiny townhouse?

Readymade space-saving designs are almost always created with the modern urbanite in mind, but not everyone wants their home to look like they just looted their local IKEA. When your style isn’t quite minimalist enough to coexist with those kinds of streamlined transforming pull-down elements, you have to get a little more creative about hiding your clutter.

Architecture firm Pursley Dixon pulled off a laudable feat with this small Southern home. The space may be smaller than average, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. They’ve sacrificed virtually none of the elements you’d expect to find in a larger unit while somehow finding a home for everything. The design is cohesive, and the rooms avoid reading as visually busy. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the firm is well known for designing elegant traditional-style homes that are rooted in history but present a fresh perspective. Check out some of the tricks they utilized to make this small living space feel surprisingly grand.

Camouflaged TV

Televisions, whether we like it or not, have become the center of virtually every living room. Some people may tout their authentically TV-free lifestyles by showing off living spaces with sitting areas that feel more conversational, but those of us who actually like streaming Netflix and watching sports can simply fake it with little bit of clever camouflage. Pursley Dixon’s solution was to employ two bifold doors that fold flat against the wall on demand, resembling nothing more than a pleasant landscape painting (complete with gallery-style lighting) when closed up.

Tiny Kitchen Misdirection

The kitchen of this townhouse is so small — and so seamlessly blended into the rest of the room — that it barely registers as a kitchen at all, at least from the dining area. But walk around the other side of that dove gray panel, and you’ll find all the usual necessities: sink, appliances, and dishes, to name a few. Acting as both a room divider and a backsplash, this panel rises higher than the countertop, effectively concealing everything behind it.

Hidden Spice Cabinet

Speaking of seamlessness, did you look at the kitchen and wonder where the heck they put all their small stuff, like the many tiny bottles and jars any cook worth their salt always needs on-hand to make a meal? Surprise — those are also hidden behind a painting. This spice cabinet is set into the wall, which means there’s virtually no trace of it when the door is closed. Guests must be impressed when they see it in action.

Plastic-Free Pet-Proofing

Many of the removable gates designed to keep dogs (or babies, for that matter) out of certain rooms are frustrating to use and all too easy to break — not to mention ugly. Even the least offensive designs usually have to fold against the wall, taking up valuable walking space. In this case, the architects have built a dog gate right into the home, and it retracts into the wall when not in use.

Home Bar On Demand

When square footage is limited, how do you fit in a “luxury” like a bar? Easy. You hinge the door of a cabinet so it pulls down and transforms into a usable surface. Then, when the party’s over, poof — it’s gone.

All photos by Annie Schlechter via House Beautiful