You may have just moved to the big city and you want to live in the best part of town. You may have to sacrifice the three bedroom house for location, but it’s still possible to create a comfortable and breathable living space. The key to making a small space feel bigger is no mystery. It all comes down to scale. This doesn’t mean that you have to find mini-me furniture. It just means that the gigantic overstuffed couch may not be the best idea. You don’t have to sacrifice your style, though. Here are some furniture solutions to some small space issues.
1. Problem: You love the overstuffed look.
- Solution: Instead of choosing a full-sized overstuffed couch, get the armchair in the overstuffed style. Or you could get an overstuffed loveseat and leave a full-size sofa out altogether.
2. Problem: You can’t make it from one side of the room to another without tripping over things.
- Solution: Consider the arrangement of your furniture. You don’t want to have guests stepping over the ottoman to get to the kitchen. It could be a simple matter of rearranging the room, or you could take the chance to get rid of cumbersome ottomans or at least to find a sleeker ottoman.
3. Problem: The furniture just looks too big.
- Solution: Stand back and look at the way the furniture looks in the space you have. If you have tall ceilings but not a lot of space, get tall narrow furniture. If you notice the corner of the couch coming over the edge of the wall, you should consider downsizing.
4. Problem: I’ve moved the furniture around. I’ve purchased smaller furniture, and the room still feels small.
- Solution: Paint! Dark colors make small rooms feel smaller. Paint the room a lighter or brighter color to open up the space.
5. Problem: It just doesn’t fit!
- Solution: There are ways to fit a lot of stuff in small space. You don’t have to get rid of your favorite books and throw out your miniature car collection. Just invest in furniture that fulfills more than one role. Use a trunk for a coffee table and fill it with blankets. Find vintage filing cabinets for end tables and fill them with your office supplies.
6. Problem: There’s not enough space for the functions I need.
- Solution: If you have two bedrooms and you want a bedroom, an office and a guest room, it doesn’t take a math whiz to see the problem. The solution is to combine two into one. Make the guest room the office too. Get a pull-out couch that turns into a bed and keep it put away while you use the room as an office.
7. Problem: I still want a regular sized couch.
- Solution: If you like the whole family to be able to fit on the couch for movie night, it may not be good enough to get a loveseat instead. Get a full-length couch with higher legs that show the space under the couch. This space gives the illusion of space even as the couch takes up a full area.
Small spaces have a lot of advantages. They can get you into the best parts of town. They can be easy to clean. They can really feel cozy. If you make the best of your space, you’ll keep the focus positive and avoid the downsides.
Rose Singer writes articles for interior design blogs.