If you live in a small space, let's face it: there's only so much KonMari-ing you can do before it's time to think bigger — as in literal furniture bigger. Because no matter how much square footage you're working with, or rather, not working with, the right furniture pieces positioned in just the right ways can truly maximize your living space.
Since the living room often gets the most use in a space (it's an office, a yoga studio, a movie theater!), it's the perfect area for making a few smart tweaks for optimum comfort. From thoughtful pieces to creative solutions, keep reading to discover our go-to design tips and accompanying products to shop so your small space can make a big impact.
Investing in multifunctional furniture pieces to save space may be the oldest trick in the design book, but it's one that's truly impactful. You're probably familiar with the sofa that moonlights as a pullout bed or a desk that's built into a bookshelf, but there are also clever ways to transform traditionally single-purpose pieces into multiuse ones. For example, a stool can serve as a makeshift side table or even a bar cart (just add a tray and fill it with your favorite liquors) in addition to extra seating, and an ottoman can be used for seating, storage, and a coffee table. Other ideas: using a bench as a console table or a bookshelf as a room divider. It's all about thinking creatively!
Clutter is the fastest way to make a small space look even smaller. But rather than trying to stuff your exercise equipment or spare cables and chargers into a closet (that's probably already overstuffed), why not just make storage part of the decor instead? Using decorative objects like baskets, bins, and trays as storage solutions to corral similar items will help keep things tidy and visually streamlined. A tray can serve as a decorative object on your side table while also holding your remote controls, while a basket can stash spare blankets and pillows or books and toys.
When you're working with limited floor space, every bit of square footage counts. And the more you can keep things off the floor, the airier and more spacious your living room will feel. Opting for hanging pieces rather than their free-standing counterparts will help you build up rather than out: a wall mirror instead of a floor mirror, a sconce instead of a floor lamp, a hanging planter instead of a standing one — you get the idea. Consider floating pieces as well. You can have a floating bookshelf, a floating side table, a floating desk, even a floating bar! Now, you have extra storage space underneath if needed.
Similar to how open floor space can make a room feel bigger, glass and acrylic furniture pieces can have the same effect since they don't take up visual space or absorb light. What's more, the unique thing about see-through furniture is that it can make a statement and blend in all at once. On the one hand, these pieces draw the eye since they're so interesting to look at, while on the other hand, they help highlight the surrounding elements. A glass coffee or side table can spotlight a bold rug underneath, and an acrylic chair can make a pillow look like a dramatic floating centerpiece.
Oftentimes, weird alcoves, awkward recessed spaces, and irregular corners are considered a design hindrance rather than an advantage. But rather than letting those nooks and crannies go to waste, finding unique solutions for them can really help your space shine. If part of your wall is recessed, for example, add a floating surface to turn it into a small work station, or stack multiple floating shelves to give it a "built-in" bookshelf feel. If there's a gap between your sofa and the wall behind it, add a long bookshelf as a sneaky way to up the storage and visual interest. If you have a narrow wall you're not sure what to do with, transform it into a focal point and display hats or a gallery wall of mirrors. You can even make a standard corner work for you with a corner shelving unit. Every inch matters!