If you’ve ever lived in a space the size of a postage stamp — and trust me, I have — then you’re familiar with the key rules of furnishing said abode.
First, you have to focus on the essentials. These items include, but aren’t limited to, seating, dining, sleeping and storage. Second, you have to make the most of every square foot in your space, including forgotten corners, walls and ceilings. And lastly, multifunctional items are king. A beautiful sofa that turns into a sleeper? Done. A kitchen cart with hideaway stools that has wheels, too? Sold.
But finding these items in an aesthetic that is modern and fresh, and at a palatable price point, isn’t easy. And of course they need to be high-quality products that aren’t going to break within a week of putting them together. Having lived in nearly half a dozen Manhattan apartments over the years, most of which were 600 square feet or smaller, I know exactly what you need and the smartest way to incorporate these pieces into your space.
Below are 20 of the most creative compact furniture solutions you can buy right now. From a storage bed to a drop-leaf dining room table, these are the pieces you’re going to want to scoop up for your living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and beyond. Here’s to your home sweet (small) home.
Nia Velvet Square Arm Sleeper ($320.99, originally $571.99; wayfair.com)
Nearly 10,000 Wayfair reviewers agree that this pin-tufted velvet sleeper is a must-have. Available in seven bold hues (we’re partial to the light green and mustard yellow), the 81-inch sofa easily converts into a twin-size bed for overnight guests. (If this is appealing, we’ve also got a full roundup of reviewer-approved Wayfair couches.)
Duvet Storage Ottoman ($499; cb2.com)
Because you can’t fit a sectional couch in your small space, you’re going to want to invest in some ottomans to rest your feet on — and this one, which comes with ample storage, is a winner. Crisp and modern in its design, the pillow-top duvet is comfy enough to sit on and big enough to hold blankets, board games or whatever else you’re looking to tuck away.
3-Piece Peekaboo Acrylic Nesting Table Set ($199; cb2.com)
You need this table set for two reasons. First, acrylic is having a major interior design moment, mainly because its clear composition matches literally everything — from brass and dark metals, to light wood, bright velvet, you name it. Second, when you’re hosting a party and are in need of side tables galore, this set pulls apart into three separate tables.
Hashtag Home Tierney 6-Door Accent Cabinet ($122.99, originally $151.99; wayfair.com)
A wooden take on lockers, this accent cabinet is one of my favorite pieces from Wayfair’s small spaces line, Hashtag Home. Available in four muted colors (peach, mint green, white and gray), the chest provides nearly 40 inches of tabletop space for vases, frames, TVs and more, plus six whole cabinets’ worth of storage.
The Artful Shelf (starting at $85; minted.com)
When in doubt in your small space, look to the walls for answers. Save yourself some precious floor space by hanging shelves throughout to store your wares — from plates and cups in the kitchen, to photos and artwork in your living spaces. I’m a big fan of Minted’s wooden ledges, which come in three colors and four sizes (ranging from 2 to 4 feet long) and have a smart lip design to keep pieces in place.
Zipcode Design Adams Drop Leaf Dining Table ($232.99, originally $349.99; wayfair.com)
Just because you live in a small space doesn’t mean dinner parties aren’t in your future. When you’re hosting a group, this table can be folded out into a large rectangle with seating for six. With more than 1,600 positive reviews on Wayfair, the wood-and-metal table comes in two hues (gray/white or tobacco/black), and can function as a slim 14-inch-deep console when you’re not feeding the masses.
Rivet 3-Tiered Bar Cart ($149; amazon.com)
A roving table on wheels, the bar cart is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture on the market. Whether you use it to serve up bloody marys during a weekend brunch or to showcase your spirits 24/7, the cart’s wheels mean that it can easily move from room to room depending on your needs. I love that this one from Amazon’s Rivet line includes three dark trays, which are accented by a chic gold metal frame.
Suspend II Tall Bar Cabinet ($999; cb2.com)
Sure, we all want a built-in wet bar to serve drinks and store stemware, but when the space for a wall-to-wall unit doesn’t exist, consider this sleek cabinet from CB2 instead. Boasting chevron-patterned panels (the wood in each is cut diagonally in opposite directions), the cabinet’s focal point is two slabs of Carrara marble, the perfect spot for mixing a cocktail or placing a decanter. More to know: Three roomy cabinets provide a whole lot of storage.
Winsome Wood Suzanne Kitchen ($142.33, originally $224.99; amazon.com)
Here’s a fact: No matter how small or large your home, guests will always congregate in the kitchen. And if yours is ultrasmall and lacking in seating, invest in this three-piece breakfast bar set that stores two stools and gives you an extra 30 inches of counter space. Including a built-in paper towel holder, the set has a 4.6-star review status on Amazon.
Three-Tier Hanging Basket ($39; urbanoutfitters.com)
Free up your much-needed counters with these hanging baskets, which are perfect for holding fruit, air plants and more. Made of wood and cotton netting, the boho-chic item is a key kitchen space saver.
Cubiko Storage Mirror ($99; urbanoutfitters.com)
When installing a bulky medicine cabinet isn’t in the cards, opt instead for this minimalist storage mirror, which includes three 5-inch-deep shelves that are cleverly hidden behind the frame.
Superior Essentials Wall-Mounted Ironing Board ($129.99, originally $139.99; amazon.com)
As boring as ironing is, for some of us it’s a must. Eschew the humongous, old-school board in favor of this wall-mounted option that can be moved and locked into multiple places and folds flat against the wall when not in use.
Polder Wall-Mount 24-Inch Accordion Clothes Dryer ($22.95; amazon.com)
Not all garments should be machine-dried — but the drying racks of yore are way too big for our small spaces. Instead, opt for this wall-mounted version that has seven sturdy rods of drying space. When retracted, the rack extends a mere 5 inches off the wall.
Utex 3-Shelf Bathroom Organizer Over The Toilet ($65.95; amazon.com)
One of the highest-rated over-the-toilet storage solutions on Amazon, this slim piece fits over most standard-size toilets and features sturdy wood shelves that can host everything from glass jars and tissue holders to towels, toilet paper and more. A cheaper option (with nearly 2,000 positive Amazon reviews) is this sleek metal shelf unit that’s now on sale for under $27.
Houchins Upholstered Storage Platform Bed (starting at $306.78; wayfair.com)
Pretty much everything about this bed is great. First, it bears a 4.6-star rating and more than 3,200 positive reviews on Wayfair. Second, it’s currently majorly on sale, starting at just 300 bucks for a twin. Lastly — and most importantly — it has two to four ample drawers for storing whatever your heart desires.
Andover Mills Suri Corner Desk ($131.99, originally $139.99; wayfair.com)
When your room doesn’t have the space for a stately (and large) Parsons desk, take advantage of the nooks with this corner desk from Wayfair. With nearly 2,000 positive reviews on the site, the space-conscious piece includes a drawer and two shelves and comes in five colorways, ranging from light pink to bright red.
Leni Leaning Mirror ($149; urbanoutfitters.com)
Just because you live in a studio doesn’t mean you need to give up your full-length mirror — it just means that your mirror needs to work a bit harder than most. This one from Urban Outfitters has nonslip footing and includes hooks and rails to hang or drape your favorite necklaces and scarves.
Home Decorators Collection Aberdeen Double Hall Tree ($623.75; homedepot.com)
Mud rooms are the design feature we all yearn for, but most small spaces don’t include entryways with built-in areas for all your stuff. Solve that problem with this beautiful piece from Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection, which comes in the on-trend hues of white or dove gray and includes drawers, hooks, nooks and seating galore. Looking for something a bit cheaper? Consider this four-drawer bench on Amazon, which comes in at just $227.
Cost Plus World Market Oval Wood Lira 7-Piece Folding Dining Set ($1,399.99; worldmarket.com)
To say I’m obsessed with this outdoor dining set would be an understatement. Crafted of smooth eucalyptus wood in a light brown stain, the oval table folds into a compact size, storing its six chairs and cushions. When folded down, the set is portable, thanks to wheels on the table, and it comes with a cover if you’d prefer to keep it outside year-round. More to know: A built-in umbrella clamp eliminates the need for a base!
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.