Place a little on the small side? Don’t sweat it. We’re here to show you how, with the addition of some space saving furniture, you can find yourself some breathing space and maximise your storage, without sacrificing on style. From versatile designs that double up as crucial stowaway places, to specialised furniture made with small apartments in mind, all it takes is a few savvy investments to transform a tiny city flat into a blissful urban sanctuary. This isn’t all about city slickers either. Whether it’s a bolt hole away from the big smoke (lucky you) or a box room that looks more cramped than you’d like, these space saving furniture ideas and interior style tweaks will work perfectly for small homes and rooms everywhere.
Stylish small living room furniture ideas
As with any furniture investment, measure your place meticulously before you choose a new piece. Compact sofas, armchairs and loveseats (which are made to fit two people cosily) make for perfect small living room chairs. They’ll give you more floor to work with, and look for designs with exposed legs to give the illusion of more space in your lounge.
Then, shunt everything tight against the walls, right? Not necessarily. Pulling armchairs and sofas away from walls will actually add more volume to the room. The extra space that this conjures works wonders on the eye. So if you can, manoeuvre things slightly more centrally; it’s an easy antidote if your living room feels a bit poky.
If a spare room’s not an option you can offer, look for sofas that unfold into beds so your lack of space won’t prevent you from hosting. And, of course, look out for designs that have storage craftily integrated. They are always failsafe living room furniture additions when space is a squeeze. If a footstool is a must-have for you, make sure it also has built-in storage as well.
Similarly for coffee tables, choose one that can do more than be somewhere to rest a brew or books upon. A small living room table with integrated shelves and drawers will stop clutter in its tracks. Once bits and pieces have a home to be tidied away into, it’ll instantly ensure your small room looks and feels more spacious.
If you’re already on top of storage but still want to open up the space more, another strategy is to use a ‘barely there’ glass or light coloured table. Go for designs with visible legs. Slender metal frames in particular will make a small living room feel bigger than it may be.
The best bedroom furniture picks for small rooms
Your first port of call should be where you bed down for the night. Take advantage of the free space below your mattress and consider a storage bed with drawers to keep easily-accessible essentials. You can also opt for an ottoman design (which lifts the mattress up on hinges to provide storage beneath). Stash your linen, shoes or whatever else you need to make your room less crowded.
Instead of competing for space you can also give bedroom furniture double functions. Need a desk in there? Move it next to your bed so it doubles as a nightstand or dressing table. Desk and bed combos are staple space-savers when it comes to children’s bedroom furniture for small rooms. Beyond classic bunk beds, there are designs with integrated guest mattresses to make sleepovers a breeze. If you don’t need a single bed with a guest mattress, look for a cabin bed that has shelving units built into the base. These nooks and crannies are low to the ground, simple for your little one to access and easy for you to tidy away toys.
If your little one is entering teenager territory and living in a box room, make sure that a small floor isn’t constantly strewn with clothes with their own dedicated laundry bin. Canvas and fabric designs are lightweight, designed with handles for easy transportation and are often collapsible. Beyond the floor you can also look to the walls in box or small rooms. Striking prints are an easy way to add a little colour and curtains should be hung high to make your window look taller, and fix them wide too. This stops curtain material encroaching on the window when they’re not in use and lets light pour in. Natural light will always make small rooms feel far more airy.
So does streamlining your other furnishings. One of the smartest small bedroom furniture ideas is swapping out wardrobes for rails. These sleek designs add minimalist chic to the décor and come in metallic and wooden materials. They free up crucial space from cumbersome constructions, and you’ll have your favourite outfits on show every day. No harm in that.
Tables, chairs and furniture for small dining rooms
Space saving dining tables extend and fold out to give you more control over your limited room (and greater options to entertain). And if you ever work from home, choose a design that will double up as a desk for you too. Whereas in the living room you want to draw furniture away from the walls to create volume, here it’s worth having your table snug against the sides. Carrying hot dishes requires an extra bit of a walkway.
To get everyone sat down to eat, a bench can be your best bet as dining room furniture. They can fit more than one diner and can be slid out of view when not in use. Also, there are models with that all-important in-built storage to help keep you organised. For chairs, clean lines and minimalistic shapes won’t eat up space. Stylish fold out designs are handy to store, and ideal to bring out when people are over. You may also find that round or oval table designs are better for squeezing in visitors to eat. These can extend and fold out a charm too.
To add more charisma to a little dining room, it’s worth looking at mirrors. Whether it’s sunshine or candles, they’ll let light move around the room wonderfully. You can choose a large centrepiece or work with several small shapes. Arrange those little ones from the eye line upwards to draw the gaze higher and create a feeling of greater height and space.
Storage furniture for small bathrooms
Where we get ourselves clean and tidy are often some of the tiniest rooms in our homes. By using canny small bathroom storage ideas you can make them uncluttered havens and keep yourself spic and span a lot easier.
First up, could that mirror be doing more? If so, swap it for a mirror cabinet and your daily essentials will be serenely stowed. Aside from that, there’s also the walls. Floating shelves can give you superb small bathroom storage. Fix them above the toilet, place another above the door and, if you can fit it, slot a small one above the sink. Spare toilet rolls, toiletries and towels are out of the way but found hassle-free whenever you need them. Baskets can keep everything together and are easier on the eye than piles of toiletry products.
Don’t overlook what you can do under the sink either. A small shelving unit (or another basket) can keep day to day items neat and simple to grab. If there’s a cabinet under there, see if you can hang a new hook on the back of the door to hang a trusty brush or washbag.
It’s an easy organisational hack to overlook, but if you already have a hook that’s overladen on the back of the door invest in another that has multiple fixtures instead.
Furniture and storage ideas for small kitchens
To rustle up some more space in your kitchen consider swapping some cabinets for open shelving. If you want both, see what vertical wall space you have free (within reach) and work your way up. Open shelving and cabinets with glossy and reflective surfaces will really open the room. A small mirror or two on the walls will also get the light bouncing around brightly.
And keep making those walls work as diligently as possible so you’re uncrowded in kitchen. Fix a rail above the range to hang your utensils so they are the right arm’s length. Same for pots and pans; see if there’s room for a rail, have them hooked and hanging out of the way. If that’s freed up space in your cupboards or cabinets, store away any appliances that you don’t use every day and they won’t clutter up counters. To free up drawer space, think about a stylish utensil holder or two in place of a cutlery drawer. A magnetic strip up a wall can also make a clever new home for your knives.
If you have a small kitchen table, think about changing high backed chairs for open back stools. These can be handily tucked out of sight. A bench is also a good option. It slides in from view and the right design can have in-built storage so it works doubly hard to earn its place at your table.
You see, we told you, dinky doesn’t have to mean dingy. It’s simply down to being clever with your space.
By Thomas O’Toole