Small apartment furniture ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the greatest challenges when moving into a small apartment is finding furnishings that will not overcrowd the limited space. As you search for furniture that will fit into your small apartment, have the measurements of each room handy. Ask salespeople for recommendations; many stores have sections dedicated to small-space furniture.

Dual-purpose Items

When space is at a premium, each item of furniture should be as useful as possible. Look for items that can be used for more than one purpose, such as a kitchen island that doubles as a table, or an armchair that folds out into a daybed.


In a small apartment, storage space is valuable. Find items with hidden storage, like coffee tables that have bookshelves underneath, or ottomans that open to reveal a storage cube. Purchase under-bed drawers to make the most of bedroom space, and use hanging dividers or a lower rack to increase closet capacity.

Guest-friendly Furniture

If you would like to have overnight guests stay in your small apartment, the furniture you choose can have a big impact on their comfort. Choose a sofa that pulls out into a bed, or a wide couch that is comfortable to sleep on as is. Be sure to lie down on the couch (or couch bed) before buying to ensure that your guests will have a good night's sleep.

Transforming Items

For extremely small apartments, even a bed or coffee table can take up too much room. In these spaces, consider using furniture that transforms into other furniture. Off the Wall Beds makes a stylish version of the flip-down bed, which looks like part of a wall or cabinet during the day and flips down to reveal a bed at night.

Smaller Versions

When furnishing a small apartment, consider buying small versions of traditional items. Instead of an enormous entertainment centre, choose a small television stand. Instead of a full-size dining room table, buy a small table for two. Televisions are also bulky; if you can afford it, buy a flat-screen version to hang on the wall.


A small apartment may not be able to fit a regular-sized bed. Choose a twin bed, or if it is important to you, buy a large bed and deal with less space to move around.


If space is limited, you may need to eliminate bedside tables or end tables by couches. To increase light without a place to put a table lamp, use standing lamps tucked into a corner or hanging over a couch.

Wall Space

If you cannot fit bookshelves in your apartment, use wall-mounted shelving units to hold books. Alternatively, choose a desk or table that has a top portion that you can use for storage.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.