Small Space Living

There’s no doubt that many of us are dealing with cramped spaces – trying to live, work, cook, and relax all in the same space can be a daunting task, but with a few thoughtful updates you can make it a haven that is inspiring and relaxing. 

The first step is to align your priorities with your furniture selection. Choosing pieces that can serve more than one purpose helps make your valuable space more functional, and multipurpose furniture ensures that the money you spend decorating works as hard as you do. A common mistake we see is choosing an a piece of furniture that is not properly sized for your space.  If you are unsure about how to size furniture for your home, consult our Guide to Measuring Furniture.  Look for pieces that add additional storage or can serve another purpose, such as a coffee table with a second level, or a dining table that can also be your workspace. It’s best to start with the larger pieces of furniture first and then layer in the accessories, lamps, and art work.

When it comes to setting up the space, define the areas you want to create and if your home is one open area then you want to create the illusion of rooms or dedicated spaces.  The easiest way to start is to use area rugs to define each space.  While one large rug will create a uniform open feel, using smaller, coordinating rugs will help define each areas distinct purpose.  When space is tight, we love a runner next to or at the foot of the bed, while a larger rug can set the stage for your living area. Our Guide to Rugs  will help you define the proper size for each of your rooms. 

When we look for the larger furniture pieces, we look for designs that feel light and that can give the illusion of more space that you have, without sacrificing style or comfort. The Munro bed, is a wonderful marriage of simplicity and design.

You could also consider the Distrikt bed  with it's built in nightstands and under bed space for extra storage. 

 A bench or a trunk at the foot of the bed may seem like an extra piece of furniture but if we recall the need for duality a bench can hold extra bed sheets, a place to sit while putting shoes on and much more. 


As for nightstands, ‘floating’ nightstands / shelves are a very sleek way to maintain function without sacrificing space. 



The next large piece of furniture to focus on would be a sofa, within a studio apartment it can only be so big, if you’re lucky it can be up to 90” in length. A U-Shaped sectional may be a distant dream but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or design. Couches that fall under the modular furniture category could lend desired versatility as well. 

If your space doesn’t allow for an entirely separate area, a couch such as the Sumo Sofa could work by being placed in front of the bed since it doesn’t have much height to it but enough for a minor distinction in space. 

If you are someone with slightly extra room who typically hosts, this Neru sofa bed could lend itself to be very helpful for you. Or perhaps for the true minimalist this could double as both your sofa and bed.


Media consoles such as the Ginger Counsel can separate items and curate your own personal gallery within the same piece of furniture. A place to store books, candles, the TV, lamps, art work, they are a vessel for so much more that will add to the feeling of making the space into a home.  


 If you prefer to have things hidden, consider the Riggs media counsel




Now we want to focus on a small work area that can double as dining. You may not want a traditional desk for this purpose but something that works as a desk when needed but can be cleared up easily for dining. The Feve desk works great to experience that duality within a small space. 



 Wall mounted desks are great space saves and look thoughtful and intentional, we love the Rail desk, or the sector desk (which can be stacked for added shelves).  



 A third style could offer versatility but no storage; the Christel 48 folding desk has the ability to put the desk away and potentially hide it behind a curtain or lean it up against the wall is appealing to many in small spaces



Something to consider is the importance of mirrors, a large horizontal mirror will reflect light while creating the feeling of spaciousness that you desire. It can be placed above your bed if you don’t have a headboard, above the couch or where you see fit for your space. Feng Shui would rule against an object placed above your bed but sometimes in small spaces we have to make some compromises. The Pirouette Brass Mirror would be an ideal way to incorporate mirrors into your home, its timeless design will transform a space and be a piece you find yourself with for years to come. 


Something such as the Poise oval mirror, is slim enough to not take up a lot of space yet still holds enough space to give you a nearly full body look over on your way out. Something like this would work well near your entrance.



Coffee tables are so important to small space living. They punctuate your living and lounging area, function as an extra place to enjoy a snack, or the perfect place to display a collection or artbooks.  The Arc Coffee Table is a good example of form + function due to its hidden storage compartment.



However the Solana Oval coffee table offers Scandinavian style minimalism that may be desired, decorating a small space means walking that fine line of function, minimalism, and design.




Another style coffee table that works well is finding one with different levels or layers to it such as the Amore Coffee Table. 

The last remaining pieces fall under the accessory category such as art work, decor, curtains and rugs.  When starting to design a space from scratch, we'll often start with the rug as the style foundation. Drawing up a simple floor plan can really help you choose the perfect rug size, and figure the ideal sizes for your larger furniture pieces. 

Never underestimate the impact a few, well chosen wall art pieces will have on the mood you are creating. Our guide to hanging wall art is a good place to find tips and tricks for different ways to hang and display wall art.


Ultimately how you decide to navigate your space is based on what suits your daily needs but at the core what is important is the same for any small space. Emphasize the need for good design and watch how seamless life in a small space can be. 

Check out more hand picked pieces suited for small space living, here