Must-Have Furniture for a Small Apartment
When you find yourself walking into your sofa or shuffling past your bed, it’s time to rethink your furniture. Investing in some new, functional pieces for your small apartment can do wonders for the appearance of your interior and your overall mood. Look at it this way, you can’t change the apartment, so the best way to create more space is to get smart with your furniture choices.
The great thing about furnishing your apartment is that you’re in control of your budget and what you need to create the space you want. So, whether you’ve just moved into a small apartment or you’re thinking of saving on rent by cutting back on square footage, the following guide can help you pick the best styles of furniture to make it work.
Let’s start by looking at what is considered a small apartment and how new furniture can improve your space, your comfort, and your life.
How Small is a Small Apartment?
Today’s apartments are getting smaller which means that we need to know how we can live smarter. There’s nothing wrong with a tiny apartment and with a few practical changes in the design and layout of furniture, it can become a cozy and comfortable space.
Small apartments are considered 500 square feet or less. Some micro-apartments are around 300 square feet, so you’ll really need to know how to work with each room to create practical living areas. If you have a small rental and you’re having trouble getting organized, create space, or flow then it’s time to rethink your furniture and its placement.
What Can Furniture Do to Improve Your Living Quarters?
The reason for rethinking your furniture in a small space is because certain styles of décor can create a cramped apartment. Smaller apartments can become cluttered quickly. When you place large items of furniture into a room that is already narrow or lacks square footage, simple things like moving around the apartment without bumping into the sofa or table or having the pieces you enjoy inside your home can be achieved when you pick functional items that are designed for a small house or apartment.
The Best Styles of Furniture for a Small Apartment
If you need more space or you need more storage in your apartment, we look at the top styles of furniture for the small apartment.
1. The Living Room
Your living room is where you relax and entertain your guests so if you can barely move around, it makes the room feel cramped and unpleasant. It also prevents you from adding items such as a coffee table, dresser for storage, or accessories because you just don’t have enough floor space.
Because the sofa is a staple in the living room, there are certain styles that you should consider for smaller areas. Sofas that work best in a tiny living room have thin or visible legs, slim arms, and a low back. Legs lift the sofa off the floor making it feel like a free-flowing space compared to the chunkier flat bases. It also makes the living room easier to clean because you won’t have to move a heavy sofa to clean under it.
Convertible sofas are popular choices for one-bedroom apartments because it offers guests a place to sleep without having to turn your home upside down!
Another quick tip for choosing your sofa is to pick a neutral shade of fabric. Patterned sofas will draw your eye straight to it every time you enter the room which makes the area feel congested. For more tips and styles of sofas, you can visit our Guide to Choosing a Sofa for Your Small Apartment.
Coffee tables are great additions to living rooms but when you don’t have enough space, should you skip these items completely? The good news is that even the tiniest apartments can have a coffee table, you just need to be creative with the style.
If you have a really small space and you can’t get a coffee table to work, consider a sofa with flat top arms that are broad enough to allow you to place a coaster and rest your glass safely on top of it. Alternatively, you can use a sidetable to place next to a sofa for your morning coffee or extras.
If you have enough floor space in the living room, choose glass tabletops or light wood and pine materials. You could also incorporate contemporary coffee tables that are designed with metal frames or vertical shapes. Try to keep the color selection neutral because it makes a room lighter and brighter.
An ottoman can serve as a coffee table, an extra seat, and it offers storage. It comes in different sizes, fabrics, and shapes so you’re sure to find one to suit your living space.
Table Floor Lamp with Tray
Combining luxury with practicality, the table floor lamp with tray is a slim design and the perfect addition to a small room in need of some extra light.
2. The Bedroom
The bedroom is your private room and should be functional so you can avoid stress and simply relax. Even in a small bedroom, the organization can become tricky, and your furniture can make it feel even more cramped and difficult to move around in.
When you have a tiny bedroom, you want some floor space, a fair amount of storage, and clutter-free conditions. To create a spacious feeling, you want to start with your bed. It is better to either remove the headboard or to go with something plain and simple that is also not oversized or too broad. Large and impressive headboards are certainly a luxury but for smaller rooms, it takes over and leaves the room feeling tiny.
Pick your bedframe very carefully. Something like a sleigh bed looks great but it’s not a good idea for little rooms especially if you have side tables and dressers that you want to add.
Another tip is to keep the bed quite low if possible. Tall legs on a bed frame with a thick mattress to add height creates a cramped feeling. You could get away with it if your apartment has very high ceilings but if not, rather give it a miss.
If You Have Space for a Dining Room, Here’s What You Can Do
Dining rooms are not common in small apartments but in most cases, you can use a nook or unused space in the kitchen or living room to make a little dining area.
A round dining table with a light top or a glass surface is best for a tight or narrow space. Glass is always a winner in tiny apartments because it creates less bulk and improves clarity. Avoid tables with thick wooden legs that will add unwanted bulk and consider metal or slender frames. The same goes for the framework of the chairs. Slim and open designs including mesh or clear plastic chairs are light, breezy, and simply perfect.
3. The Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen and bathroom are areas in the apartment that are most difficult to improve with furniture. If these are rooms that are important in your home, it is better to look for apartments with the space that you need. Pieces that work well in small spaces include a bathroom shelf organizer. It’s similar to the ladder shelf or wall bookcase but can be positioned over the toilet and against the wall. It also has a plastic coating to protect against moisture damage. You can also have a look at our guide on Increasing Storage in Your Small Apartment for more inspirational, space-saving, and affordable design solutions.
The Following Types of Functional Furniture are the Most Popular for Small Spaces
Wall Bookcase/Ladder Bookshelf
Great for the bedroom, living room, or bathroom, the wall-mounted bookcase is a versatile and functional item of furniture that is all about saving space, vertically! It doesn’t require any wall fixtures so it’s the perfect choice for a small apartment.
A small space such as a studio open often has one large living area making it difficult to keep the room organized. A room divider is a simple and convenient way to separate spaces. The slatted design also allows light through, so you won’t have to worry about creating dark zones.
Any small space can benefit from furniture that has a slim framework and tapered design. Items with tapered legs create a feeling of spaciousness because it doesn’t cut sections off from your view of the room. Making your apartment feel larger is all about lifting furniture off the floor and the best way to achieve this is to purchase pieces that have slimmer tapered legs. Both wood and metal finishes will work but always consider the color. It should be light and neutral rather than dark and heavy.
Think about how one piece can serve two or more purposes in your space. A bed with feet allows you to place storage baskets or containers underneath it, again removing clutter and creating organization. Alternatively, you can buy a bed frame with drawers allowing you to store goods without them being visible at all!