When you walk through the door of your small apartment, do you feel that your space is as inspiring as the ones featured in our post 30 Best Small Apartment Design Ideas Ever Presented on Freshome? If not, this is the post for you.
We’ve gathered dozens of examples of space-saving furniture for your small apartment to enhance your living space, organize your belongings and give your home the modern edge you’re after.
Here are the four categories of space-saving furniture we cover:
We also have some ideas for color accents to make your space your own. Before you add any furniture to your small apartment, take a weekend to organize and clear your place. Go through your closets and cabinets, and donate or discard anything you don’t need or haven’t used for some time.
Once you’ve sorted all your stuff, give your apartment a fresh paint job or a good wall and surface scrub to freshen it up. Starting with a blank canvas is liberating. Now it’s time to personalize!
A small apartment can easily look cluttered. Storage is often limited, and items without a home end up in piles on the floor and every other surface. Visible storage solutions like boxes, jars and baskets often add to the clutter problem.
The solution is hidden storage. Hiding life’s necessities behind doors or other clever cover-ups gives your apartment a clean, minimalist feel. It also lets your favorite design elements — a sofa, a piece of art, a great view — be the star of the show.
1. West Elm Modern Weave Tall Lidded Storage works as a great side table with plenty of storage inside.
2. HomePop Upholstered Decorative Storage Ottoman at wayfair.com hides blankets, magazines or anything else.
3. SAIC Cache Storage Cabinet at cb2.com could serve as a bar; simply slide out the shelved unit to access drinks and barware.
4. CB2 Peek Shelf with Mirror hides clutter behind a mirrored panel.
5. West Elm Industrial Storage Coffee Table opens to reveal storage under the surface.
6. Container Store Large Poppin Accessory Trays are useful when stacked to store papers, remote controls and other small items.
7. Designer Pet Products Designer Catbox Litter Box Enclosure at overstock.com hides your kitty’s litter box inside a furniture chest.
8. Great Useful Stuff Eco-Friendly Bamboo Multi-Device Charging Station and Dock at amazon.com hides cables and organizes all of your devices neatly in one place.
Tip: Even though some items may not be designed specifically for hidden storage, you can still find creative ways to use them as such.
Multifunctional Small-Apartment Furniture
When square footage is limited, the last thing you need is an obstacle course of furniture to weave through. Stick to the basics of what you need to enjoy your space. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an empty apartment; it means you should select pieces that serve double duty. Some ideas for multifunctional furniture include:
- An ottoman (even better: a storage ottoman). It can convert your sofa into a chaise sectional or work as a coffee table (with a tray on top for stability) or extra seating.
- A sofa table. This can serve as a makeshift dining table, a desk or an entryway table. Go the extra mile and choose a narrow 30-inch-high bookcase or a sofa table with shelving.
- Stacking, self-storing furniture. Nesting side tables have a variety of uses.
- A bench. It can serve as dining room seating, a coffee table or a low media cabinet.
1. Coaster Home Furnishings Casual Accent Cabinet at amazon.com serves as a mirror, storage and reminder board all in one.
2. Baxton Studio Eileen Gray Accent Table at overstock.com can be tucked into your sofa as a laptop desk with adjustable height.
3. Inspire Q Coffee Table Ottoman With 4 Trays at hayneedle.com has four invertable panels that can be used as seating or trays.
4. Euro Style Raymond Adjustable Height Accent Table at lampsplus.com can be set from 19 inches (side table) to 31 inches bistro height).
5. Wildon Home Patia Coffee Table Set at wayfair.com has four tucking seats; combine them and you have a large, round ottoman.
6. Wildon Home Penington Storage Cube and Coffee Table Set at wayfair.com comes with four square ottomans with storage inside.
7. Roost Recycled Wood Nesting Console Tables at modishstore.com are a set of four that can serve as a bench, a desk and sofa tables.
8. Crate and Barrel Ascend Sliding-Door Storage Units can be used individually as a storage bench or stacked as needed.
Tip: Add locking wheels to multifunctional furniture if you plan to move the item around (the wheel locks will keep the item in place). Remember that wheels will add to the height of the item.
Apartment-Size Sofas and Seating
Companies such as West Elm and CB2 have developed a whole range of apartment-size sofas and seating for small-space dwellers, and for good reason: The sofa is usually the most space-consuming furniture piece in a home.
Opt for sofas that have a shallower depth, 37 inches or less. Skip oversized, rolled arms — which can waste a foot or more of floor space — and pick a modern, streamlined style with thinner arms. Less arm space also means more seating; in fact, an armless sofa or a one-armed chaise is the ultimate space-saving seating solution.
1. West Elm Heath Sofa is small in scale without sacrificing classic styling.
2. Ikea Ekero Armchair has a reversible back cushion and thin arms for the space challenged.
3. Kyle Schuneman Monroe Apartment Size Sofa at apt2b.com has a classic, retro feel and fits in small spaces.
4. Euro Style Calais Dining Chairs (set of 2) at 2bemod.com aren’t just for dining rooms; they can work in any space.
5. CB2 Casbah Corner Chair can be used indoors or out, singularly in a corner or doubled up to create a loveseat with arms. The Casbah Armless Chair can be added to extend it into a chaise.
6. Istikbal Twist Convertible Loveseat at wayfair.com comes in bright colors and converts to a sleeper.
7. Euro Style Fenia Swivel Chair at amazon.com is small and versatile, thanks to the swivel mechanism.
8. CB2 Flatiron Haze Apartment Sofa is sleek and streamlined at only 60 inches wide.
Tip: Get a sleeper sofa for guests or movie Sundays. If an apartment-size sofa is still too large, go with a loveseat.
Bookcases are a lifesaver when it comes to living small. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Our picks are not only functional, they’re attractive. Some ways to use a bookcase creatively in a small apartment include:
- As a room divider, floating it in an area to split up the space.
- To house collections of items to clear clutter and give a room a design boost.
- As a home office, with a shelf set at a height of 28-30 inches to serve as a writing or laptop spot, plus a section for a printer.
- As an entry, breakfast, media or sofa table.
- As an armless sofa bookend instead of a side table.
1. Ikea Kallax Shelving Unit without a back works well as a room divider.
2. Zin Home Metropolitan Low Bookcase is stylish and mid-century modern in styling.
3. Container Store Driftwood Aspect Shelving Unit is lightweight in steel and less than 12 inches deep.
4. Room & Board Slim Bookcase is available in 14 colors.
5. Container Store Dark Grey Sapien Bookcase is a small-space storage solution for stacking items.
6. Crate and Barrel Kyra Console Table has two rows of shelving versatile enough for use anywhere.
7. Smart Furniture Trilogy Staircase Shelf at amazon.com is designed for awkward staircase walls but would add a graphic look to any area.
8. Mercury Row Draco Bookcase at wayfair.com has an elegant, polished look.
9. Crate and Barrel Sawyer Mocha Leaning Wine Bar has storage space for wine and all the accoutrements.
Tip: Another option is to hang a wall-mounted bookcase or shelves 18-20 inches off the ground, and tuck a bench, ottoman or cube underneath that can be pulled out when additional seating is needed.
Now you’re ready to give your small living space a personal touch. Adding some color, texture and interest to your basics will keep your apartment from looking like a furniture showroom.
Layer textiles such as pillows and throws on your seating. Choose 20- or 22-inch-square pillows that can double as floor cushions. Add wall canvases and decor in bold tones. Finally, the right area rug will warm up your space while adding color and pattern. Below are some of our favorite accent pieces.
1. Fab Rugs World Tangier Pouf Ottoman at wayfair.com is a colorful piece that can be used as a cocktail table (add a tray), extra seating or a footstool.
2. Jonathan Adler First Lady Needlepoint Throw Pillow by the king of kitsch adds a little vintage fun to a room.
3. DENY Designs Miss Penelope Throw Blanket at allmodern.com has all the vibrant colors in fashion now, blended in one pattern.
4. My Art Outlet Tile Tic-Tac-Toe Painting at allmodern.com has nine hand-painted canvases that can be hung in any configuration.
5. Jonathan Adler Happy Needlepoint Throw Pillow has happy words like cash, puppies and sunshine for some retro chic.
6. Trina Turk Pillows at burkedecor.com offer vibrantly patterned statements.
7. Nuloom Ikat Rugs come in a variety of patterns and colors to give your floor a modern look.
8. DENY Designs Bianca Green Throw Blanket at wayfair.com adds graphic detailing to your apartment-size sofa.
9. Banksy Life Is Beautiful Canvas Print at icanvas.com is available in several sizes for a wall needing an urban edge.
10. Surya Cosmopolitan Transitional Area Rug at amazon.com has a bold, graphic pattern that gives a small space an expansive feel.
Tip: Add some plants. If you don’t have a green thumb, silk flowers — also known as permanent botanicals — look deceptively real.
Don’t give up on your apartment just because it’s small. Give it the high-design look you’ve always wanted; it’s easier than you might think, thanks to these products and tips. The saying “Good things come in small packages” is popular for a reason. Use it as your small-apartment-living mantra.