Living in a small apartment in the city has its benefits, but the flip side is that it comes at the cost of space. A small flat will test your ingenuity in making it comfortable and stylish at the same time, in creating a balance between design and function. It is a task that will take some doing, in terms of creativity and organisation. We break it down for you with a carefully curated list of must-have pieces of furniture that will help you live large in a small space.
Extendable dining tables
Wishing you could host a sit-down dinner for six in your small apartment? Look for foldable or double-drop-leaf extendable tables that are multifunctional and work in a petite space.
Tip: Find a version with wheels or add your own, to easily pull the table around to create a console near the entryway or a makeshift bar cart.
Floating shelves can save you a lot of floor space. They look light and airy, because where there would normally be legs is now an open space. They also attract the eye to travel across the whole perimeter of the room, creating a spacious feel. Use them as nightstands, bookshelves, or even storage for your pots and pans. The possibilities are endless.
Sleeper sofas, as they are also called, allow you to convert your living room or your home office into a guest bedroom. Since it serves as both a bed and a couch, it gives you more room to entertain as well as a place to sleep. So next time a guest turns up unannounced, fret not.
The space-saving stackability of nesting tables makes them a handy furnishing to have around. They are super flexible – they can be spread out when you need to lay out a few snacks and tucked away at other times or even used as extra seating.
Create storage vertically on your walls. Making your wall work for you helps you take advantage of every inch of space in your small apartment. This built-in storage wall has a hide-away TV, bookshelves and cabinets.
Strategically placed mirrors – the bigger the better – besides being functional, make your compact apartment appear larger and brighter. Try hanging or leaning a large decorative mirror on the wall opposite a window – this will maximise natural light and act as the focal point at the same time.
Tip: High-shine chrome furniture pieces also make clever (and chic) additions to small flats as they, too, bounce light around a room, creating the illusion of space.
Mobility is key when you need to give a room a different purpose. Rolling carts help add more storage and another horizontal surface, and can be easily moved out of the way when needed. Use it for a counter or an island in a narrow kitchen, storage for items that come in handy while cooking or as a mobile bar when you have guests.
Large ambience lamps
Several lighting fixtures in a small space might look a bit overcrowded – and annoying as well, as it means having many switches. Zero in on one large statement-making lamp that produces a lot of light. Because floor space is precious, try to find a slim one with a small (but heavy) base.
Tip: Lamps with multiple bulbs that can be adjusted to point in various directions are perfect for a small apartment.
Small-scale furniture and careful planning are key in a tiny space that must serve many purposes. Round tables and furniture with curvy shapes make moving about in compact rooms easier, while glass or Lucite tables create more visual space. Furniture with curves also looks less bulky than rectangular or square pieces.
Bedroom benches, upholstered or not, are fabulously versatile and a great style addition. From doubling as storage for linen to being used as a coffee table to providing extra seating when chairs run out, there’s little that a bench can’t do.