Living Large in a Small Space

Living Large in a Small Space

Living in a small space presents some unique challenges. With less space to work with, everything in the room must be worth the space it takes up or the room risks feeling cluttered. Here are smart ways to get the most out of a small living room, bedroom, and home office.

Living room with small grey sectional and lift-top cocktail table

Living Room

The living room has a variety of functions: it’s a key spot for entertaining, relaxing, napping, dining, and sometimes working. With this in mind, it’s important to choose pieces that multitask and make the most of the space. For entertaining, get more seating space than a sofa and loveseat combo by choosing a sectional and adding in an accent chair. Not a fan of sectionals? Create a conversation area by arranging a few smaller chairs so that they face each other.

If storage space is in high demand, select a cocktail, side, or end table that incorporates storage and some other functionality, like a USB charger. Lift-top cocktail tables can be particularly handy because, as the name suggests, the top lifts up to provide a handy surface for working on a laptop or eating a meal while relaxing. Many lift-top tables incorporate storage space under the top as well, making them an excellent choice if space is at a premium. If a cocktail table just doesn’t work with the space, skip it and use an ottoman or pouf instead to enjoy extra seating. Some ottomans even include storage space as well as a tray integrated into the lid, making them small-space superstars.

While function is crucial, also consider the way the room looks. The overall color palette has a huge impact on the feel of a space, and a palette of subtle neutrals easily keeps a space peaceful and unified instead of overwhelming. Keep the calm by choosing visually light furniture like glass tables, pieces with higher legs, and armless chairs to create an open look that gives the illusion of more space.

Bedroom with bed that has storage drawers in footboard


The bedroom is a place to rest, recharge, and get ready for the day ahead. Create a practical and clutter-free space that supports this by opting for smart, space-saving pieces like a storage bed. Storage beds feature drawers in the footboard or side of the bed and are a great way to take advantage of space that might otherwise go unused. Depending on the amount of storage needed, a storage bed may even eliminate the need for a separate dresser or chest. If it doesn’t provide enough storage, choose a taller dresser or chest to make use of the vertical space in the room.

Storage aside, it’s important to have enough space to comfortably walk around the room and access any drawers. Maximize the available space by placing the bed against a wall or in the corner. Want a headboard, but don’t want to sacrifice space? Get the look by framing some fabric on the wall, or try mounting a headboard on the wall. For even more style, add an area rug underneath the bed. It grounds the room, adds softness underfoot, and provides some extra color and pattern that can bring the whole room together.

Desk area with L-shaped desk

Home Office

Whether it has its own dedicated room or is simply a desk tucked into the corner of another room, a home office should work hard to support hard work. The star player of any home office is the desk, and there are a variety of desks that offer more than just a work surface. Many desks go beyond pencil drawers to offer storage in the base; some even include multiple locking file drawers that can eliminate the need for a separate file cabinet. Need more storage than what’s offered by a desk alone? Consider taking advantage of unused wall space by adding a hutch to the desk or incorporating floating shelves above the desk.

If the “office” is really just a desk and chair in a living room or bedroom, try choosing a visually light desk to keep it from dominating the room. An L-shaped desk or corner desk is ideal in these situations because they can fit in corners that would otherwise be unusable and offer more workspace than other types of desks.

Creating a small space living room, bedroom, or home office that’s big on function doesn’t have to be a challenge. Simply choose pieces with built-in storage, use the vertical space in the room, and opt for visually-light furniture for a small space that feels like home.