3 Beautiful and Functional Small Patio Design Ideas 

Small patios are common in city apartments, condos, and many homes. But just because a patio is small doesn’t mean that it can’t have a big style. Even if your patio is less than 10 square feet, you can create a beautiful design for it that’s an extension of the rest of your home. It’s all about how you execute the design elements.

To make the most of a small patio design, it’s helpful to think through how you want to use the space. Are you looking for an outdoor dining space, lounge, or conversation area? Maybe you want a little bit of everything! With some strategic planning, you can transform your small patio into an outdoor paradise.

To help you figure out the best design approach for your small patio we’re breaking down the different uses and layouts you can consider, along with how to make each design work. The result? Creating a relaxing retreat that serves as a beautiful and functional extension of your home. (Bonus: you can also use these layouts to create small patio ideas on a budget since not much is required to bring these small spaces to life!)

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The Dining Layout

Patio with fireplace and coastal style dining area

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The right table and chairs are key if you want to transform a small patio into an outdoor dining area. Similar to a small dining room design, if you have a super small patio, consider a round, two-person bistro table, since round tables are easier to navigate around in a small space. This is perfect for enjoying coffee and breakfast outside! But for small to medium-sized patios, you could get away with a square or rectangular table that sits 4-6 people. For small patio designs, you’ll also want dining chairs that have a sleeker profile. For small patios, we love cafe-style chairs, like the ones pictured above. They’re stylish and durable but they have a smaller footprint than many other patio chair styles.

A great addition to an outdoor dining area is an herb garden. It complements the dining theme, and it’s always nice to have fresh herbs on hand to use as a garnish for summer meals.

This is a great layout choice for…

Those who love to entertain and dine al fresco.

The Conversational Layout

Patio with outdoor living room area

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For small patio designs with a conversational seating area, opt for a comfy sofa or chairs. If you have the space, a small outdoor sofa, paired with an outdoor accent chair, will help you maximize seating when hosting guests. But, at the very least, prioritize a pair of chairs for a one-on-one conversation zone. An easy way to add seating options to a small conversational area is to include a pouf (which can double as an extra seat or a footrest) or to choose a coffee table that can double as an extra seat when needed.

This is a great layout choice for…

Those who love to host small, low-key gatherings with a couple of friends.

The Mixed-Use Layout

Mix-use patio with dining and conversation area

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If you have the space, you could create a mixed-use layout that includes both a conversation area or reading nook and dining space. Keep the dining space small, with a bistro table that seats 2-3 people. Then, add a pair of outdoor accent chairs on the other end of the patio for lounging and conversation. With a mixed-use layout, opt for lighter-weight furniture that’s easy to move around, as you may need to adjust your layout on occasion to accommodate the needs of a specific gathering. In this case, lightweight materials like aluminum and rattan are great choices.

This is a great layout choice for…

Those who want the option for both lounging and dining in comfort in their outdoor space.

Other Considerations

Once you land on your desired layout and find the right furniture for your needs, you’ll want to add some finishing touches to help your small patio go from functional to fully designed. And what exactly is required to take the design to the next level? Lighting, textiles, and plants.


No matter the size of your patio, accent lighting can help create a cozy and inviting ambiance. We love the idea of cafe string lights, which add a cozy vibe while also taking up zero floor space since you can hang them up above your seating or dining area. Another great option is tiki lanterns, which can be set up in all four corners of your patio, creating a boho patio vibe. Tabletop candles and lanterns can also drive home a cozy and inviting vibe.


A great way to make small patios feel like a natural extension of the rest of your home is with outdoor textiles. Indoor-outdoor rugs can be used to create some visual layers in your patio design, and outdoor pillows in weather-resistant fabrics make a seating area so much more comfortable. Plus, both can add color, pattern, and texture to your space, which makes it feel so much more consideration from a design perspective.


Is a patio a complete outdoor space without plants? We think not. A couple of potted plants in varying sizes will help your small patio feel more designed and inviting. Potted plants just make every patio design better by adding color and texture to your space! If you live in a climate where it’s warm year-round, you could have dedicated outdoor plants. Otherwise, you could bring your plants outdoors in the warmer months and move them back inside as the weather gets cooler.

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My Modsy Story: Creating a Cohesive and Cool Design For My New Loft

Sean made the move from a cramped New York City apartment to an open loft space.  He welcomed the chance to spread out a bit but struggled to fill the blank canvas with a design that made it feel like home.

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Homeowner: Sean G.

Space:  Open Living-Dining Room

My Style: Rustic Traveler

Before photo of customer\'s living room space

Before photo of customer\'s living room space

The Backstory

I am a single guy living in NYC who recently moved from a small apartment to this large loft space. I was excited about the extra room and the opportunity to update my home’s style. From a design perspective, I know what I like and what I don’t like, but in my new apartment, I found myself drawing a blank when it came to creating a cohesive look.

Customer\'s design of studio apartment living room in modern style

The Design Dilemma

I’d brought some furniture I liked with me when I moved, but in terms of what I wanted for the whole space—how I wanted it to feel—it was like working with a blank canvas. And, boy, that blank canvas felt daunting! I needed help creating a cool, modern, clean space that was both comfortable and functional.


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Customer\'s design of studio apartment dining room in modern style

The Modsy Moment

I was really excited to see what my space would look like in 3D, and my Modsy designs didn’t disappoint. Sometimes it is hard to visualize how a design will actually look and how everything will fit in together, but Modsy’s 3D renderings are amazingly realistic and made me feel confident that the designs would work in my space. The designs also captured the comfortable and practical vibe I wanted for the loft space—incorporating the minimalist, uncluttered Scandinavian style I love.

Customer\'s living room in boho eclectic style with a large gallery wall

The Real Results

I love seeing my Modsy designs taking shape IRL. I think interior design is one of the last things that a single guy living in NYC thinks of for his apartment but it makes such a huge difference. I’d recommend Modsy to everyone. My apartment designs make the place so much more comfortable and “homey.” It’s great to have a design that shows off the uniqueness of my NYC apartment.

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22 Creative Ways to Decorate a Bay Window

Bay windows are a beautiful design element in a home, often native to the bay area and a big part of San Francisco  interior design. They add a little extra character, square footage, and natural light to your space. But over the years, we’ve had a ton of customers struggle to design their bay window areas. In fact, sometimes, rather than a lovely architectural element, they feel more like awkward nooks. But take heart—they’re easier to design than you may think, and this is not a design element you should just ignore! There are so many great ways to play up this beautiful feature in your home and add a little extra charm to your space!

Today, we’re going to address some common bay window interior design questions, along with some examples of bay window ideas to show you how to bring these spaces to life!

What is a bay window?

First things first—let’s define our terms. A bay window is a window space (generally made up of a trio of windows, but sometimes more) that projects outward and angles beyond the main walls of a room. This creates a “bay” in the room. These are also sometimes referred to as picture windows.

Fun fact: Rooms with four to six connected windows that form more of a curve than angles are called bow windows rather than bay windows, but overall they’re fairly similar architectural details.

What should I put in my bay window?

There are no hard and fast rules about what you should put in a bay window. But you do have a couple of main choices! A bay window can be left free of furniture and to keep the views bright and open and celebrate the natural light pouring in. But they can also be furnished—perhaps with an accent chair and side table—to maximize your space. Some bay windows have built-in window seats or banquettes; and even if they don’t, you can fairly easily build those in. Bay windows also look beautiful framed in with window treatments.

Reading nook in bedroom with two blue swivel chairs

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How do you decorate a room with a bay window?

When it comes to decorating a room with bay windows, don’t just ignore them because you don’t know what to do. When designing these spaces, you want the bay window to be incorporated in the layout and design of the room—or at least be spatially considered.

If accented correctly, a bay window can be an architectural marvel in any space. You could do something simple, like using wallpaper or paint to accent the nook, or put a piece of furniture you want to highlight in the bay. We’ll get more into the specifics later in this blog, but  just know that bay window decorating ideas don’t have to be complex. We’re big on “simple but impactful” when it comes to bay window design.

What is the best window covering for a bay window?

Speaking of window treatments—what window coverings you use in a bay window is really up to you! However, the architecture of your specific bay window may dictate how to choose curtains that are suitable for your space. How deep the bay windows go and if there’s a built-in window seat in the window nook do impact your choices.

No Window Treatment

You can leave your bay windows wide open, without window coverings, if the space allows for it; this maximizes the natural light and view, if the window offers a good one. This is a great choice if you don’t need to control the amount of natural light coming in throughout the day and if you don’t need privacy in the room the bay windows are in.

Curtains, Roman Shades, or Blinds

For a more formal look, to have light control, or if you need privacy, you can add drapes, sheers, Roman shades, or blinds to your bay windows. You can even layer two of them! Layering blinds with curtains adds texture and depth, and it can help with insulation from weather.

If your bay window has a built-in window seat, you may want to skip the curtains, as these can look funny or get in the way of the little window nook. But if you absolutely love the look of curtains, you can do it—you’ll just want the curtains to end at the seat, so you’ll probably have to get them hemmed or custom-made.

Ready to see some bay window ideas in action? Whether you’re looking for living room design ideas or inspiration for a bay window in your bedroom, dining room, or kitchen, we’ve rounded up a ton of ways you can utilize these charming window nooks.

Keep reading for 22 bay window decorating ideas!

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Bay window with leather accent chair and bar cart

1. A Bar Cart Lounge Area in a Bay Window

If your bay window is off of a living or dining room, it’s a great place to house a bar cart and club chair! Use this window nook to mix a drink and then kick back and enjoy this classy place to relax.

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bay window bedroom with seating nook

2. Seating Nook in Bedroom

We love the idea of utilizing a bay window in a bedroom for a cute seating nook. Depending on how large it is, you can add one or two chairs, along with a side table and lamp to fill it out and add an extra touch of practicality.

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Bay window with a coastal style eat-in kitchen

3. A Bay Window Breakfast Nook

A bay window in a kitchen is the perfect place to set up a cute breakfast nook. You could create built-in banquettes or benches, or simply add a freestanding bench. A round table makes the most sense for a rounded bay window to help you fully utilize the space.

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Bay window with boho reading nook

4. A Casual Bay Window Reading Lounge

Bay window nook designs don’t have to be formal—in fact, tuck a floor sofa in your window nook and you have a great casual place to lounge! This is a great design approach if you have teenagers. The floor sofa feels laid back, creating a cool lounge area that’s flooded with natural light.

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Bay window with bench seat and plants

5. A Window Seating Nook with Plants

This built-in window seat is perfect for reading or lounging near the window and soaking up the natural light. Hanging some plants and layering in some other leafy floor plants is a great way to make this nook even more inviting. Plus, the plants will thrive in the light from the windows!

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bay window dining room

6. A Dining Room with a Bay Window

A large bay window in a dining room can easily house a large dining table. You could have chairs around the full table or, as we did here, place a bench on the side of the table closest to the window to keep the views unobstructed.

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Coastal bay window with sophisticated seating area

7. A Console Tucked into a Bay Window Nook

You can have a bay window seating area without tucking the chairs fully into the window nook. We like the idea of floating a pair of chairs away from the bay window but leaving a console in the window nook. This adds visual depth to your conversation area. Adding lamps or candles to the top of the console is a nice touch, making the view from outside extra cozy.

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Working nook for kids with child\'s desk and pink walls

8. A Kids Homework Space in a Window Nook

This type of window nook is a great place for kids to work on homework, do homeschooling activities, or even work on crafts. A small desk fits perfectly in this space and creates a little ‘room’ without being closed off.

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Rustic living room with leather chesterfield sofa

9. A Sofa in a Bay Window

With a bay window in the living room, you can use every inch of the space by putting the sofa in the bay. It can make the space feel more open because the sofa is tucked into the bay, giving you a little extra square footage in your space for a more robust seating area.

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Eclectic living room with bright yellow sofa and carved wooden stools in front of a fireplace

10. A Sofa in Front of a Bay Window

If you have a bay window in your living room but your sofa is too long to tuck into the window nook, you can simply have the back of the sofa to the bay window. The window offers a nice frame for your sofa, without the furniture setup feeling cramped, and makes a pretty backdrop for this main piece of living room furniture.

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bay window glam home office

11. An Executive-Style Bay Window

Like the idea of working with a view? The floating desk sits centered in front of the windows, making the view out of the bay window the focal point in this design. Contrasting drapes on the outer windows frame in the view.

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Neutral bedroom design with striped jute rug and white dresser

12. A Bed in a Bay Window

Have a bay window or window nook in your bedroom? Skip a headboard and use your windows as a pseudo-headboard! Situating your bed in the bay will saturate your bed in natural light each morning while creating a cozy nook that frames in the bed.

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Extra nook in room used for exercise room

13. A Window Nook Workout Zone

This window nook is the perfect size for workout equipment, giving you a dedicated space for home workouts. You can either keep your equipment contained to the nook itself, or spill out into the adjoining room a bit to give yourself more space to stretch out. Either way, it creates a nice space to have as a zoned exercise area.

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Playroom nook decorated in soft yellow and white colors

14. A Window Nook Play Area for Kids

Bay window nooks like this can be a tight squeeze for furniture—but they’re great for kids stuff, since kids furniture is scaled down! This type of space can contain kids toys and give them their own little ‘room’ to play in.

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bay window double sided living room

15. A Bay Window Seating Nook to Take in the Views

Don’t want to waste the views out your bay windows by having your sofa face away from them? If you have a large enough living room, push your sofa more toward the center of the room. Then add some seating that backs up to your sofa and looks out toward the view. While a bit of a nontraditional layout, this setup takes advantage of the views while still giving your a robust seating area in the main part of the living room.

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Bay window with upholstered bench and long profile bookcase

16. A Bench in a Bay Window

A small upholstered bench fits in this smaller bay window. The addition of a pillow and sheepskin rug makes it a cozy reading nook. Simply add a bookcase nearby for a place to store a lamp and books for reading.

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Bay window with grand piano

17. A Bay Window Piano Space

Grand Pianos are just that—grand. And they deserve to have a special place in the spotlight. With their curved backs, it makes sense to nestle them in a large bay window, not only making great use of the space but creating a lovely music area.

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Bay window with hanging macrame chair

18. A Bay Window With a Hanging Chair

Hanging chair in a bay adds a carefree and casual hangout/seating area in your home. Pair it with a pouf, plant, and geometric rug to play up the boho vibes and complete the look. It makes a great place to soak up some sunshine while curling up with a good book.

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Bay window with chaise lounge and floor mirror

19. A Bedroom Bay Window “Dressing Room”

Adding a chaise lounge and a full-length floor mirror in your bedroom creates some fancy dressing room vibes. This is a great option for large bedrooms or spaces off a bedroom that have open bay windows.

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Plant corner with tiered plant stands

20. A Bay Window Greenhouse

Want to transform a corner of your home into a conservatory full of plants? Use your bay window nook as a makeshift greenhouse for houseplants that need plenty of light. Add a humidifier to the corner to keep those tropical plants happy!

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bistro table in kitchen with pink patterned chairs

21. An In-Kitchen Bay Window Dining Nook

If you have a bay window in your kitchen but don’t have room for a full breakfast nook, consider creating a mini breakfast spot, with just a bistro table and pair of chairs. It’s a great place for enjoying coffee and a light breakfast—perfect for a small eat-in kitchen area.

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Bay window painting area with bar cart for art supplies and an easel

22. A Bay Window Painting Nook

Do you have artistic inclinations? Set up an easel looking out your window and get inspired by the views. To keep your paint and supplies nearby, set them up in a bar cart, which can be moved around as needed (and hey, maybe keep a bottle of wine and wine glass stocked on the cart as well!).

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Layout Guide: 3 Ways to Design an 8×8 Bedroom

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. We show you different ways to lay out a space—because we’re big believers in working with what you’ve got! Today, we’re tackling a tricky one: a petite 8×8 bedroom layout.

8x8 bedroom layout

The Space: An 8×8 Bedroom

The Challenge: This is a mighty small bedroom, which can make fitting everything you need in a bedroom a challenge. Plus, it has three doors to contend with (the main bedroom door, a closet, and French doors out to a patio) which further complicates the layout.

A 64-square-foot bedroom is definitely smaller than the average bedroom size. But it’s also not unheard of. While at a glance it may feel impossible to fit everything one would want in a bedroom into such a small space, you don’t have to downgrade to a single bed to make it work.

The key is to decide what you most want and need in your bedroom. You will likely have to make some sacrifices—you simply can’t fit all in an 8×8 bedroom layout as you can in a 20×20 bedroom. But we think you’ll be surprised to see how charming and functional such a small space can be!

Ready to explore some layout options? We’ve designed 3 layouts for this 8×8 bedroom to help you explore all the possibilities this small space can offer!

8x8 bedroom layout

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Layout Idea #1: Maximizing Storage Options

This layout is great for someone who wants to maximize their storage options. A storage bench and 5-drawer dresser, along with underbed storage, offers plenty of space for stashing and organizing, despite this room’s small footprint.

See more small space storage options!

8x8 bedroom layout

Open Up Your Walkways

Despite a lot of function being packed into this small space, the bedroom itself doesn’t feel over-full. That’s because we’ve kept walkways open. We positioned the full-size bed in the corner, leaving an “L-shaped” amount of floor space open—keeping an open path from the bedroom door to both the closet and balcony door.

8x8 bedroom layout

Make the Most of Vertical Space

In a small space, it’s essential to work up, not out. That means taking up less floor space and more wall space.

  • The tall dresser adds ample clothing storage without taking up too much floor space, and a floating shelf above gives an additional surface for decor.
  • Hanging a swivel sconce above the bed offers bedside lighting without the need for a stationary nightstand.
  • And the hooks above the bench (which doubles as seating and concealed storage) are a great place to hang scarves, hats, bags, keys, and more.

All of these small space hacks help you make the most of the limited floor space.

Small bedroom design with hooks and bench for extra storage

Forego a Traditional Nightstand

Since the bed is tucked in a corner, and the outside edge is right next to the bedroom door, there’s no space for a nightstand. However, the use of a c-table gives you some bedside functionality.

  • Pull it out, next to the bed, for a surface to set bedside essentials.
  • Nest it into the bed when you need to access the closet.
  • Move it over to the bench for a makeshift workspace, since the surface is just large enough for a laptop!

No nightstand? No problem. See more nightstand alternatives, one of our favorite hacks for small bedrooms!

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8x8 bedroom layout

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Layout Idea #2: A Bedroom/Home Office Combo Deal

Would you believe that you can fit an at-home workspace into an 8×8 bedroom layout without sacrificing the functionality of your bedroom as a place of rest and relaxation? Well, believe it. This layout is perfect for someone who needs a working space but doesn’t have a separate home office.

Figure out what you’re willing to sacrifice. In such a small space, sacrifices have to be made. In order to maximize space and make room for a workspace, we had to place the bed against the balcony doors. But luckily the doors open out, so the balcony is still accessible!

8x8 bedroom layout

Maximize Square Footage

To make this layout work, we opted for more “petite” furniture throughout the space.

  • Going for a full-size bed rather than a queen allows for more walking space between the furniture.
  • The space is further maximized by using a cabinet nightstand—which is larger than the average nightstand but smaller than a dresser, while still giving you a decent amount of storage space.
  • The wall-mounted bookcase/desk combo utilizes vertical space, giving you not only a workspace, but shelves for books, storage bins, and decor. Opting for a small stool rather than a full-size office chair saves additional floor space, since it can be fully tucked under the desk.

Not sure how to outfit your small space? Read our guide to small apartment furniture must-haves!

8x8 bedroom layout

Sneak in Additional Function

It’s important to make the most of every square foot of an 8×8 living room layout, sneaking in extra function wherever you can.

  • We were able to sneak in extra storage by opting for a raised bed that allows you to slide storage bins underneath
  • A large basket hamper, tucked in the corner, makes use of space that would otherwise be wasted.
  • The back of the bedroom door houses a full-length mirror, which is close to the closet and adds great functionality for getting ready.
  • A wall-mounted coat rack offers a place to hang bags and coats, keeping them off of furniture or the floor!

Small boho bedroom with symmetrical design and woven pendants

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Layout Idea #3: Simple & Minimal

This layout option is perfect for those who primarily want to use their bedroom as a place to unwind and sleep and don’t need additional function in this space. There’s no room for anything but a bed and two nightstands, which keeps the function simple. (Though, this layout does leave room for a queen-size bed!) It’s a perfect layout for a couple, since it offers access to both sides of the bed and has room for individual nightstands.

8x8 bedroom layout

Stay Symmetrical

Keeping the layout symmetrical establishes visual balance and the sense of minimalism, which is important for small spaces. This layout doesn’t leave a ton of floor space leftover, so skipping any additional furniture and keeping the space strictly symmetrical keeps it from feeling cluttered.

8x8 bedroom layout

Choose Furniture With Clean Lines

With such a simplistic layout, and in such a small bedroom, keeping your furniture style minimal, with clean lines, will help create a sense of visual openness in the space.

Not sure what you need in a bedroom? Peek our bedroom furniture checklist!

Small bedroom design with wall hooks

Maximize Surface Space

This layout option doesn’t offer a ton of surface space for necessities and decor. (Frankly, it’s just the two nightstands!) To maximize those two surfaces, we opted for hanging pendants over the bed to keep the nightstands clear while still offering ambient lighting. Wall sconces could also work!

Explore more bedroom design ideas!

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Layout Guide: Three Ways to Design a 10×10 Living Room

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. We show you different ways to lay out a space—because we’re big believers in working with what you’ve got! Today, we’re tackling 10×10 living room layouts.

10x10 living room layout

The Space: A 10×10 Living Room

The Challenge: This small living room has the constraints of including an entryway and a doorway into another room, which limits where you can place furniture.

This is a commonly sized living room in smaller family homes and apartments. But the fact that it includes a window, an entryway, and a doorway into another room can make landing on living room layouts more challenging. Plus, the layout you choose will depend on how you want to use this space.

Keep reading to explore three different ways to approach this 10×10 living room layout—along with some small living room design tips—to help you explore the possibilities in your own home! Bonus: despite the small footprint, each of these three living room ideas includes all the essentials in our living room furniture checklist.

Need help with your room’s layout or needs some additional living room design ideas? Modsy designers can help! See your exact room—expertly designed in 3D—like these designs below.

glamorous living room and home office

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Layout Idea #1: 10×10 Living Room with a Home Office

Just because you have a small living room doesn’t mean you can’t make it work for multiple purposes. In this living room furniture layout, we not only included a seating area with a sofa and accent chair, but we also made room for a small desk for someone who has to work from home but doesn’t have a separate home office.

10x10 living room layout

How to Make It Work

small awkward living room

Include a small desk for an at-home workspace. To utilize the small wall space between the entryway and hallway, we chose a desk that perfectly fits along that wall. It’s not a huge workspace—but the desk is just big enough to house a laptop, and it includes an internal drawer for storage.

The floating shelf above the desk provides additional storage for the work area without taking up floor space. And, pairing the desk with a clear, acrylic chair helps to reduce visual clutter in this small space.

10x10 living room layout

Work in some hidden storage. Since this living room layout doesn’t leave space for any storage furniture, we opted for a coffee table that offers some hidden storage inside—a favorite small space storage hack that tops the list of our small apartment furniture checklist. It’s also round, making it easier to walk around by eliminating sharp corners.

Reduce clutter (but not style!) by keeping decor to your walls. In terms of decor, the accents are mostly on the walls, so as not to clutter up the few surface spaces in this living room.

  • The floor mirror helps to reflect light around the small space, giving it a sense of openness and airiness.
  • The tall floor lamp illuminates light upward, helping to further open up the room.
  • And a piece of statement wall art, as well as a patterned rug add a stylish, chic point of view to the space.
  • We also included a hanging plant to bring some texture and greenery into the space.

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Layout Idea #2: Living Room With TV Viewing

This living room layout is centered on TV-viewing, reading, and just lounging and relaxing. The sectional sofa adds a comfortable place to lounge, and it faces the television, which is perfect for movie nights. But there’s also plenty of space for storage, organization, and other activities.

10x10 living room layout

How to Make It Work

10x10 living room layout

Choose an artfully placed sectional for optimal lounging. The sectional has a smaller footprint than some, and by having it nestled in a corner, it doesn’t take up as much space in the room. But it’s still big enough for several people to lounge on while watching a movie.

10x10 living room layout

Incorporate plenty of storage to maximize your space. The media stand is stylish, while also providing ample hidden storage. And a wall-mounted bookcase takes up less floor space and provides open storage while utilizing vertical space in the room. (No matter the room, wall-mounted bookcases are among our favorite small space hacks for the storage they offer while taking up minimal floor space!)

10x10 living room with a workout space

Give yourself the flexibility to embrace a multifunctional space. The open rattan coffee table is airy, keeping the space visually open. It’s also very lightweight and easy to move around. We love this living room idea, as it allows you to shift the coffee table out of the way for at-home workouts, whether they’re self-directed or a group class you’re streaming on your TV!

living room with leather sofa and bookcase wall

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Layout Idea #3: Conversational Lounge Living Room

This living room layout is geared toward entertaining, conversations, and lounging. With multiple seating options and a bit more space to spread out, this layout is perfect for game nights, happy hours, and long conversations.

small awkward living room

How to Make It Work

Establish a conversational layout. The deep sofa fits several people, with the lounge chair facing it for a conversational layout. We also included an extra ottoman next to the sofa, which can be used either as a side table or a makeshift extra seat, depending on your needs.

10x10 living room layout

Make use of vertical space. The wall-mounted bookcase is the perfect way to utilize wall space and ceiling height in this living room. We styled it with decor and books—but also a mini bar set-up housed on a few of the shelves, which is perfect for entertaining.

10x10 living room layout

Keep the energy flowing. The oblong coffee table provides ample surface area for snacks and drinks without being bulky or impeding on walking space and flow throughout the room.

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Cloffice Design Tips: The Ultimate Home Office Hack You Need to Know

Many of us are still working from home in 2021, and we’re seeing people get creative to make the most of their spaces. Living rooms are tripling as playrooms, home gyms, and lounge spaces, while dining rooms are working overtime as a place for meals, homeschooling, and the family HQ.

With so much functionality packed into the home, any space you can find has become fair game for a home office. Meet the “cloffice.” If you haven’t heard of this home office trend, the name says it all—it’s creating an office in a closet!

You’ve probably seen closet offices popping up all over social media. It’s a smart way to pack function into a small space without taking up precious space needed for other duties—which is the case in homes where every room has to serve multiple functions. Not to mention, a closet office also gives you privacy during work hours.

Whether it’s a walk-in closet, one in your hallway, or a small spare room that’s just large enough to do work in, they can all be transformed into a stylish closet office design! Here, we’ve rounded up our best design ideas for designing your own “cloffice.” Find out more below!

Can’t free up any closet space? Get our tips for How to Create a Home Office With No Spare Room, and find the right pieces for your space with our Home Office Checklist!


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1. The Floating Cloffice

Add a floating desk with built-in drawers and shelves in a closet for an office nook that maximizes space and offers seamless storage. The desk attached to the wall eliminates the need for legs, and you can keep books and office supplies organized in bins on the open shelves above.

The result is a dedicated closet office that’s compact and super functional for a full day of work. For a pop of personality, accent the cloffice with fun wallpaper and art. Also, check out our work from home design tips for more decor ideas.


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2. The Half Walk-in Closet Office

Walk-in closets are typically long and narrow, so you can line one side with office furniture to maximize half of the space as a cloffice.

Pull in a writing desk that’s just the right size to give your closet office space a visually open look and feel. Flank the desk with ladder-style bookcases to add some open and hidden storage while utilizing vertical space. Think of this as if you’re designing a small apartment home office.

Top off your cloffice with some bright colors, whether it’s a few vibrant plants that thrive in low light or a colorful rug. If you have a window, use sheers to let natural light brighten your space!


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3. The Full Walk-in Cloffice

If you can take advantage of your entire walk-in closet, you can turn your closet into an office with the simple addition of a desk and shelves.

For a closet office, there are a few types of desks that work best. In this cloffice, the acrylic desk provides a functional workspace but has a slender and minimalist silhouette that keeps the small space open and airy. The floating shelves are hung high to provide vertical storage, which adds to the openness of the room, while baskets and boxes help keep small clutter at bay.

For even more function, a versatile storage ottoman is perfect for full walk-in closet offices since they can be used as a seat, footrest, and storage that’s easy to move around.


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4. The Hallway Cloffice

A stylish cloffice idea is turning a hallway closet into an office nook. It can make for a super practical and pretty workspace with the right pieces.

A tall ladder desk is best for a small space like a hallway closet office. It offers vertical storage and a work surface all in one piece. It also leaves enough room to add a small file cabinet on wheels that give you extra concealed storage. Add some colorful books and display art and cool decor on the shelves. It will help give the space personality and make it feel like a real room.


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5. The Living Room Cloffice

You can instantly transform any living room alcove or closet into an office nook with a desk and chair. But to really make a closet office feel like a functional workspace, add lighting!

Since closets don’t usually have built-in lighting, adding some in your closet office is one way to set it apart as a dedicated work zone. Try working in a desk lamp, pendant, or even plug-in sconce for a practical, well-lit cloffice.

Office in a closet not an option in your living room? Get more ideas for How to Create a Home Office in Your Living Room and creating a dining room office design.


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6. The Kids Cloffice

If you have kids, a cloffice can be a great workspace design for them. It provides an enclosed space for them to do work without needing to build out a whole separate room.

With a kids cloffice, start with a desk and floating shelves, then let your kid add their own fun artwork and colorful accents. This will help make them feel like the cloffice is truly a space that’s theirs. For added comfort and color, pull in a rug to complement your desk choice. It also makes for an easy way to ‘zone’ the closet office.


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7. The Versatile Cloffice

If you don’t need much storage and prefer not to hang shelves on the wall, opt for a compact and moveable desk with storage drawers in your closet office.

Because a cloffice is all about maximizing a small space, you can make it as flexible as you need it to be. Adding a writing desk and a stool next to it can be a casual way to create a workspace that has tons of storage without it being a “fixed” closet office.

If you’re building out a more permanent home office but still need a workspace for right now, this is a great solve that doesn’t require built-ins and tons of investment pieces.


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8. The Bedroom Cloffice

Designing a cloffice in a bedroom is probably the most practical and common, especially because it can work perfectly in small apartments and homes. This is also an easy way to add an office for everyday use in a guest room.

A closet office that is open in your bedroom is a great solution for those who have two closets and dressers for clothing storage. Bring in office furniture that goes with the rest of your bedroom pieces—like the chaise lounge and C-table here—and add a rug that extends under the desk to make your closet office feel like part of the room. This will give your space an overall cohesive look.

If you’re not sure where to start, get our easy tips on How to Design a Bedroom Home Office!

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13 Clever Home Office Ideas for Small Apartments

When it comes to decorating small apartments, one of the most common dilemmas is finding a way to make room for a home office. And, with more people working from home now, a home office has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have, even in a small apartment.

When it comes to small apartment home offices and work-from-home spaces, the most important thing is to make sure your office takes up minimal floor space. That means choosing small apartment furniture and decor that help you maximize square footage, such as a bookshelf that doubles as a computer desk or stacking floating shelves that utilize your vertical wall space. It also means you’ll have to get creative with your interior design approach, whether it’s having your bedside table double as a desk or creating a corner in your living room that has a table and chair setup that’s fit for work and for meals. From there, you’ll want to work in functional storage, such as baskets and boxes that can be stowed away easily.

If it all sounds a little daunting, don’t worry. We’re here to help. No matter your space, we’ve got plenty of small studio apartment decorating ideas for your work-from-home space to be! Read on and get inspiration from some of our favorite tiny home office design ideas and pick up clever small room desk designs along the way. These are all great ideas for where to put a home office without an extra room!

a bedroom with white walls, large carved headboard, small office, and colorful decor

1. A Place To Create

If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, one of our favorite small apartment home office ideas is to integrate your workspace in the bedroom instead of in your living room.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The desk and workspace occupies its own small zone along a wall but stylistically it still ties into the rest of the bedroom furniture, giving the space a cohesive look.
  • The wall shelves make for functional storage that doesn’t take up floor space, which means you can add more decorative storage, such as easy-to-move baskets and bins.
  • The desk can also easily double as a vanity or display surface for art when not in use.

The Best Part: It’s especially great if you enjoy having people over on the regular. This gives you a workspace in a private setting that’s totally separate from your entertaining and lounge area.

small bedroom with a wood headboard and white desk instead of a nightstand

2. A Double-Duty Station

Need ideas for making the most of your furniture in a small bedroom? Try placing a small desk next to your bed for a workspace that doubles as your nightstand.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Two nightstands aren’t always possible in a petite space. But you’ll get the same amount of storage (if not more) with a desk with two drawers (or more).
  • Curated accents make all the difference when decorating small apartments, so make room for a chic table lamp, colorful artwork, or a cool tapestry.
  • A desk also gives you a huge surface to corral your electronics, stacks of books, and your nighttime beauty products—keeping it all within easy reach!

The Best Part: Think of this as the ultimate two-in-one office setup for a small bedroom. Not only does it save space, but it also adds function as a spacious bedside table with storage!

a small bedroom with a mid-century modern daybed and wall-mounted bookcase desk combo

3. An Urban Home Office

Looking for studio space decorating ideas? It’s definitely not impossible to create an office in an open space that’s used for living, dining, and working. It simply requires clever furniture arrangements that use both horizontal and vertical space!

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Why This Design Works:

  • This mounted ladder desk next to the bed is perfect for small spaces, as it doesn’t take up a tone of floor space while still utilizing the wall space above for storage.
  • The sleek and minimal appeal of the wall desk doesn’t visually clutter up the room.
  • This is versatile in small spaces in that the ladder desk will look just as good next to a bed as it does alongside a sofa.

The Best Part: If you have high ceilings (and even if you don’t), this setup will make your room feel more open and airy. This trumps any ideas you might entertain of having an actual desk.

eclectic bedroom design with a black and white color scheme, dark grey walls, and small white desk instead of a nightstand

4. A Bedroom Corner Desk

For a chic take on the bedside desk look, take a cue from this modern and glamorous room. It’s a functional and fab approach that we see working in any small apartment design.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The Mid-Century style desk next to the bed is vanity first, work surface second, nightstand last. And it serves all those functions with style to spare.
  • Instead of a table lamp, a hanging pendant light takes up no surface space while doubling the lighting for the desk and the bed.
  • Despite all the patterns and accents, the varying neutral tones provide a monochrome palette that makes the small space feel cozy but not cramped.

The Best Part: Lean into the power of a neutral palette, which is calming and comforting in a small space. Start with a white desk and get creative with your color ideas for bedding and art.

attic loft bedroom with a blue bench, dark wood dresser, and small home office design

5. A Working Nook

Who doesn’t love an office nook? With attic loft spaces, there often will be awkward corners and alcoves that are tricky to decorate. One solution? Make them mini tucked-away office spaces.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The writing desk and chair add instant function to an otherwise unused corner.
  • Without having to make room for an office elsewhere, this setup maximizes floor space.
  • The shelving over the staircase in this nook area is an extension to the office nook and provides convenient storage for books and office supplies.

The Best Part: Any sort of table and chair combination can work. Play around with some ideas, like a round bistro table and a pair of side chairs or even a console table and a stool.

small apartment design

6. A Practical Entryway Office

Small spaces call for innovative design ideas. You can’t beat the convenience and function of small studio apartment decorating ideas like this small home office in the entryway of a tiny apartment!

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Why This Design Works:

  • The office area makes smart use of vertical space, from the desk and wall shelving to the adjacent bookcase. There’s lots of room for storage all around.
  • Bar-height options make great desks for small spaces because they occupy a smaller footprint.
  • Everything also enhances the entryway in that the rug is a durable foundation, the desk can be a catchall, and the bookcase can be used for both everyday and office storage.

The Best Part: This is a great multipurpose solution if you don’t need a dedicated entryway. And if you have other ideas for the furniture, go for it! Just pick tall pieces that are space-saving.

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7. A Hidden Home Office

File this under best small space office ideas. This under-the-stairs corner desk nook brings function to an awkward area you might find in a duplex or small apartment design with a mezzanine.

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Why This Design Works:

  • This tucked-away office works nicely as an extension to the living room while maximizing all the square footage possible in the under stairs space.
  • The practical yet industrial workspace in the bedroom turns the workspace into a focal point that’s just as stylish as the rest of the room.
  • It feels like a private dedicated work space with plenty of storage despite being in an open living area.

The Best Part: A small desk on wheels is perfect for small spaces since you can easily move it around to serve other functions when needed.

small apartment design

8. A Hallway Home Office

For a small apartment design consisting of one large open-concept room, try this sophisticated home office set up in the hallway corridor leading in from the entryway. You can even get crafty and use a console table as a desk for small room designs like this one.

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Why This Design Works:

  • This compact home office makes use of narrow and tall furniture, such as the desk and bookcase, which take up minimal wall space that would have otherwise gone unused.
  • The hanging mirror conveniently turns the spot into an entryway catchall.
  • The stool slides neatly under the table and doesn’t block the flow from the entry into the living room. You can also explore other ideas for seating, like garden stools or poufs.

The Best Part: If industrial style isn’t your thing, opt for furniture in a style that suits your taste. Just be sure to stick to slender pieces that line up minimally against your walls.

small apartment design

9. A Collaborative Work Zone

Need design ideas for a small living room workspace? Try this makeshift coworking corner floating desk in your own small apartment. It’s one of our favorite ideas for a small home office for two that’s also a breakfast spot.

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Why This Design Works:

  • You can easily mix and match a cafe table with different chairs to build out this work corner in your small space. Or use furniture you already have!
  • This workspace can be used for different purposes when needed, like as a game table or for a meal.
  • Because all the pieces are so versatile and moveable, it doesn’t take up a ton of extra room.

The Best Part: This is a low-lift approach to a workspace that’s great if you’re not looking to splurge on furniture. You just need a few pieces that you can arrange together as needed.

small apartment design

10. A Floating Home Office

Even when decorating small apartments, floating or suspending your home office area in the living room, like this workspace behind the sofa, can make for a smart and stylish solution.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Instead of a console table, a writing desk behind the sofa adds an instant work zone to the room that always feels organic. Plus the two drawers add extra storage for office supplies.
  • When out of wall space, this is a great way to integrate a functional office spot into a small apartment design, where it’s part of the living and entertaining space.
  • This maximizes the space behind a sofa, another tricky space, that would otherwise be unused.

The Best Part: If we’re talking about ideas for partitioning or dividing up a room into zones, a desk is probably the chicest in our book given it’s practical, space-saving, and totally stylish.

small apartment design

11. A Statement-Making Office

Looking for a bold and elegant way to create an office space in your small apartment? This neutral and studio apartment does just that with a shelf-desk that’s both functional and chic.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The built-in desk on the bookshelf is the ultimate space-saving office hack as it doesn’t take up any additional floor space. These are our favorite desks for small spaces.
  • The pair of tall bookcases are eye-catching and practical at once, serving as stylish displays and wall storage while also offering up a small space work surface.
  • The statement armchair and clean-lined coffee table are the main furniture pieces that stand out in the room. They help balance out the office area as additional focal points.

The Best Part: In terms of small apartment design tips, this is a seamless way to integrate an office space into a studio. It not only maximizes space but also storage with the bookshelves.

small apartment design

12. A Home Office With A View

One of the best things about decorating small apartments is that you’re forced to only shop for furniture and designs that are top-notch for you. That’s exactly the case with this alcove office.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Despite being sparsely furnished, this office space, with the small writing desk by the window, is a nice extension off of a living room that feels warm and inviting.
  • You can easily turn the console table into a display when not in use as a work surface.
  • The key interior design element is the row of windows, which lets tons of natural light in the room as well as serve up an amazing view of the outdoors.

The Best Part: You can easily rearrange this space into a living room by simply adding a coffee table and another armchair. Swap in other small furniture and experiment with layout ideas.

small apartment design

13. An All-In-One Studio Space

Think of this as the ultimate studio apartment space where every square footage needs to be optimized for living, sleeping, or working. It’s one small apartment space that needs to do it all!

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Why This Design Works:

  • The high top table and chairs setup is a smart work surface here since it’s slender and has a small footprint and easily fits into a corner or off to the side of the room.
  • This is an ideal dining room office design for small or studio apartments. Because, when not in use, the office area can be used for dining.
  • With the raised profile, you can squirrel baskets or a file cabinet under the table for added storage.

The Best Part: This space spotlights the pretty small things instead of the furniture. So, if you’re debating what to get in your small space, skip the coffee table for the cool floor lamp.


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3 Ways to Arrange a Small Living Room in a Studio Apartment

Designing and arranging a small living room or studio apartment can be quite the challenge. How do you fit all the living room furniture you want and need without making the space feel overcrowded? How do you balance function and style? And where do you even start with open-concept spaces or studio apartments where one room bleeds right into the next?? The struggle is real.

But we find that some of the greatest design challenges can bring about some clever solutions and innovative interior design ideas! Case in point: we designed one small apartment living space three ways to show you all the possibilities. Dare we say they’re some of the best studio apartment layout ideas out there? Well, you can be the judge of that. Keep reading for our favorite design solves for small living rooms!

Layout #1 – The Zoned Studio

In this layout, we created three unique “zones” by making separate living, sleeping, and dining areas. So, while it’s all actually one large room, it feels like many! Placing the sofa at a right angle to the bed helps create a physical divide between the living and sleeping spaces. And having the back of the sofa to the dining room helps this area feel distinct. So, if you like the idea of more unique and distinct spaces within an open layout, a zoned approach is the right layout for you.

studio apartment designThis space is filled with furniture that can pull double-duty:

Just because you have a small living room doesn’t mean you have to skimp on seating options. By opting for multifunctional living room furniture, we squeezed in a few extra seats. So, not only do you have the sofa and armchair, but the coffee table is an ottomoan, which someone can sit on, and the side table is actually a stool. Not to mention you can pull in the barstool from the desk and even use the bed for extra seating in a pinch!

Having an ottoman or pouf in place of a coffee table not only gives you an extra seat for guests, but it can be used as a footrest to help make a small sofa more comfortable, and it takes up less space than most coffee tables would. Simply add a tray on top when you do want to use it as a coffee table, to keep drinks and snacks stable!

However, the key to making this work is to opt for scaled down furniture. A loveseat is a perfect alternative to a sofa in a small space. But many furniture companies also make apartment-sized furniture where you can buy their well-known designs in a slightly smaller scale.

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Distinct zones are great for hosting small gatherings:

Having a small living room or apartment doesn’t mean you can’t host gatherings. In fact, this layout is geared toward just that. The distinct zones of this apartment is a great arrangement for having small groups of friends over.

The sofa and TV are opposite one another, with the TV as a focal point—perfect for hosting a movie night or for solo viewing. But with the chair tucked in the corner, you also have a seating area that’s very conducive to conversation. At first glance, you might think having an office tucked into the living space interrupts the flow of this space. But a bar-height desk can actually double as a serving station for food during gatherings—another great example of furniture pulling double-duty in small living rooms! And the stool tucks underneath, which is a favorite space-saving hack when it comes to home office ideas for small spaces. A bar-height desk also helps break up heights in the room and adds some variance.

As for the rug, this is one case where going smaller in size actually works! It makes the living space feel distinct but not overcrowded. It also helps dampen noise—a must-have for apartments, especially when you’re having guests over!

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The dark accent wall adds contrast and dimension:

Painting a dark accent wall behind the bed and TV adds contrast and dimension to the space. A dark wall actually helps the space feel larger by breaking up all the white and adding depth to the space. The result? Some very cozy vibes.

Using a dresser as a TV stand is a great way to sneak in more storage without adding more clutter or taking up more floor space! And a sconce above the nightstand frees up more surface space but still gives the same functionality of a table lamp.

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The bookcase helps make use of vertical space in a small apartment:

In a small space, you want to make sure you’re making use of vertical wall space. This bookcase does just that, while also adding more storage space.

A cowhide rug, with it’s amorphous shape, is great for small or awkward spaces, like the small amount of floorspace between the bed and bookcase. It functions as a rug by adding some softness underfoot, but its organic shape means it doesn’t compete with the small square footage or draw attention to the small space.

Layout #2 – The Open Flow Studio

While this is the same studio apartment as the first layout, this is a totally different take on a small living room layout. This one is all about open flow. The layout makes the overall space feel much larger. And the openness eliminates any feelings of the space feeling cramped or cluttered. This is a perfect option for a single person who wants to make the most of their space and isn’t afraid of having their bed in the middle of their apartment!

studio apartment designThis bed placement makes the whole apartment feel open and airy:

It’s your space and you can do what you want to! So why not have your bedroom in the open space in the middle of the apartment?? This layout has a much more open and airy vibe. Opting for two nightstands—even if there’s only one person living in this apartment—has a more formal feel and makes the sleeping area feel more thoughtfully designed. And, because of the wall it’s against, you can fit a larger bed here than you could in the first layout.

Placing a stool at the end of the bed is a great place to sit or lay out your clothes for the following day—and it can be moved into the living space if you need an extra seat!

Floating shelves are another great example of using vertical space. While the bed placement doesn’t allow for furniture to the side, hanging a floating shelf above eye level draws the eye upward, opening up the space. And, of course, it also provides a surface for some personal decor and storage!

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Tucking the living space in the back of the apartment allows for a full-size sofa:

In this layout, the living space is tucked into the back nook of the apartment, where the bedroom was in the first design. This makes for a more cozy living area that truly feels like a space of its own. This layout also allowed us to use a larger sofa—a good thing to think about if you like to unwind with a TV show at night and want a full-size sofa rather than a loveseat or apartment-sized option. And we again used a dresser as the TV stand, which gives so much extra storage in a small space!

You’ll notice that there’s no clutter or unnecessary living room furniture here—only the essential pieces. In a small living room, this is an absolute necessity! You have to make every piece count—and bonus points if they have a small footprint or airy design! The long, tapered legs of the side table and the open-base chair add function without adding clutter, making them great pieces for small living rooms.

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The simple layout creates a lot of flexibility for how you can use the living space:

As you can see, this living room is simple but stylish. The combination of white walls and a white sofa give this space a light feeling and don’t add visual clutter. But the addition of the yellow blanket ladder adds a stylish, eclectic touch to the set-up—and utilizes vertical space for blanket storage!

In a space like this, we’d recommend skipping a big coffee table to give the space more flexibility—which is why we went with this stool as a coffee table instead, which can also double as a footrest or an extra seat. It’s also easily moveable, which means you can use the open space between the sofa and dresser for a workout area or for playing games with friends. This gives a small living room layout like this a lot of functionality and flexibility—something you don’t typically find in a studio apartment, which can easily feel cramped and claustrophobic.

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Stylish stools and open shelving make the dining area feel considered:

The kitchen and dining area, while not huge, has room enough for two stools to pull up to the island and create an eat-up dining space. Since there’s a large surface area, the counter can also be used for food prep or as a home office workspace!

The floating shelves once again add storage space on a wall that would otherwise go unused—and they also help this space feel much more intentional and considered. And plants make the space feel alive and cheery!

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Layout #3 – The Combo Space

This layout option combines the best elements of the first two layouts, giving you one more creative solution for small living room arrangements! This is a great option if you don’t have a TV, as you’re able to use the space in a much more creative way, without the constraints of having to mount a TV on the wall or make sure the sofa is placed opposite the TV.

This bedroom celebrates multifunctional and flexible designs:

When it comes to bed designs that are perfect for small spaces, a spindle bed frame is a stylish and smart option. The space between the spindles creates visual airiness that helps the room feel more open. And opting for a spindle bed with built-in nightstands is a major space-saver and helps the look feel sleek and clean!

Another space-saver in this design is the use of a wall-mounted sconce—a Modsy must-have for small apartments. It adds lighting functionality without taking up floor space, which we love. And it also swivels, which makes this a very flexible lighting option! We recommend looking for plug-in sconces, especially if you’re a renter, as it doesn’t require you to tear up your walls to hardwire the lighting!

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The sofa placement makes the whole apartment feel more open and airy:

Having the sofa face the large windows at the back of the apartment—and without any furniture separating the living and sleeping areas—makes this small living space feel very open and airy. Having a more open layout that’s not centered around a TV makes this a great layout for hosting guests—and there’s even space for an air mattress if someone wants to crash overnight! This bench adds extra seating for conversational hangouts, but it can also be pulled in and used as a coffee table for a game night.

Hanging a mirror behind the sofa adds a decorative touch but also works as a full-length mirror for getting ready. And mirrors are also a great small space hack to make your space feel larger. And, once again, doubling your dresser as a credenza in your living space not only gives more structure to your living area, but it gives you the storage you need while not making your bedroom area feel cramped!

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9 Foolproof Small Living Room Design Ideas

If you’re struggling with your small living room design, you’re not alone. Many small space dwellers find it trickiest to decorate their living rooms, according to our Modsy designers. They previously shared some of their best hands-on tips for decorating small living rooms. Still, it’s a common design struggle that perplexes many homeowners—and we can totally see why.

First, when you’re already pressed for space in your home, the living room needs to function as a catchall area, meaning it needs to be designed for entertaining, lounging, dining, and even working. Second, because you’re working with limited space, you have to get creative with your decorating, be it small space hacks or sneaky storage solutions. Finally, you want to make sure you bring all the comforts of a normal-sized living room design into your pint-sized one, which is no simple feat. It all needs to add up to a space where form meets function meets comfort.

Below, we’ve rounded our best small living room ideas to help inspire you. Keep reading for our favorite foolproof tips for tackling this tricky space!

small living room design

1. Optimize Your Vertical Space

Take a page from this mid-century-meets-boho space, which makes clever use of all the wall height. This will help add vertical storage and make your ceilings look taller. Decorate at least two walls in a living room that has tall ceilings to balance out the room visually and add a sense of well-rounded warmth.

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Design Ideas To Try

Add double bookcases. With any apartment living room design that doesn’t come with built-in storage or wall shelving, tall open bookcases will create extra storage for baskets and bins. Fill it with your favorite decor and objects so that it doubles as a functional and stylish display.

Hang a large tapestry. This helps create the illusion of a more spacious living room. It does so by drawing the eye up and making the ceilings feel higher than they are. And even if you don’t have super high ceilings, hanging a tapestry will cozy up your living room by giving it some warm visual texture.

small living room design

2. Prioritize Dual-Function Furniture

If you’re dealing with a smaller living room that’s also long and rectangular, be sure to maximize the whole space. Finding furniture that fits and serves multiple purposes will be a game-changer for your small space.

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Design Ideas To Try

Look for a small space sectional. In a tiny living room, find a piece that maximizes your main seating by choosing a sofa that fits into a corner and touches both walls (width of space). Before you rule out sectionals as too big for your space, keep an eye out for loveseats with a detachable ottoman. This opens up the rest of the room to better flow and more walking room. Learn more about sectionals versus sofas here.

Seek out storage tables. This is one of those living room ideas that work in any size room but especially in small spaces. Go for pieces with hidden storage to make the most of your space. A storage ottoman or coffee table that has a top that lifts off and a deep compartment for stashing away blankets, books, pet toys, and remotes. It’s a stylish way to keep spaces clutter-free.

3. Make the Most of Awkward Spaces

When you’re working with a small space, every unused corner is a design possibility. For instance, in this relaxed contemporary living room, a stair nook is made into a comfy reading corner that extends the living space. You can do the same with any awkward living room corner.

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Design Ideas To Try

Find a comfy reading chair. With a small living room, pulling out an armchair for a separate reading corner can make the space feel much bigger. With this stair nook, the armchair is all you need to carve out a cozy spot for one that doesn’t feel removed from the larger living room. Get more ideas for a nook under the stairs.

Sneak in floating shelves. Adding function to unused walls is one of our favorite living room ideas. It makes the most use out of awkward corners and stairwell nooks. Get creative with what you store based on how you want to use your nook. Organize books if you make it a reading corner or use it for craft supplies if your nook is going to be a play space for your kids.

4. Pick Pieces That Reflect Light

Use mirrors and glass to amplify natural light and open up the look and feel of a small living room, like this contemporary spot. Combine it with glass surfaces and accents, which will let light shine through and add to the overall brightening ambiance.

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Design Ideas To Try

Large round mirror. If there’s one accent piece that totally changes the perspective in a small living room, it’s a statement mirror. It bounces light around a room and also gives the illusion of space. Think more mirror, less frame, which for us means a chic round option.

Get in on glass and acrylic. Whether it’s the surface of a console table, the legs of a side chair or the base of a lamp, glass and acrylic designs add a light and airy effect. Light will shine right through these transparent pieces and continue the visually open and airy look of the living room.

small living room design

5. Lean Into a Limited Color Palette

With a small living room, busy patterns and bold colors can easily overwhelm the space. Instead, limit the palette to a few neutral shades, then build on those hues. Case in point: This clean-lined mid-century living room, where gray walls make for a perfect neutral backdrop.

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Stick to solid shades. Solid neutrals are best for small spaces as they keep everything visually streamlined. Use soft hues for your walls, then work in shades like white, tan, black and pops of light or crisp blue. If you want to work in patterns, use them in small doses on art and pillows.

Mix warm neutrals. Employing deep neutrals is one of those living room ideas that instantly cozies up any space. Off-white and beige hues will add warmth while charcoal and fog gray make great contrasting tones. It all adds up to a palette that’s both cohesive and calming.

small living room design

6. Go Big With Small-Space Furniture

You may have hundreds of small living room ideas, but first you need furniture that’s proportionate to your room size. Make it a mission to find small space furniture that’s scaled to your room. Start with the key pieces (sofa, coffee table) and finish with the accents (armchair, ottoman, side table).

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Design Ideas To Try

Find double-duty small furniture. Tiny spaces are exciting to work with because the furniture often has secret functions. For instance, the compact sofa that’s also a sleeper or the coffee table that doubles as a bench. These dual-function designs are key in a pint-sized living room.

Pull in moveable pieces. Whether it’s a side chair or an ottoman, think of these versatile pieces as the mini workhorses of the small living room. They’re your multitasking accents that can be easily tucked away or moved to the side as needed when you need to free up space.

small living room design

7. Add ‘Airy’ Furniture

What we mean by airy is furniture that has open bases and appears to take up a smaller footprint. Think minimal designs like tables with tapered legs and chairs that have open backs and arms. In a small living room, these details will make things look lighter and roomier.

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Seek out slender sofa silhouettes. The best kind of sofa for a tiny living room is one that’s sumptuous but doesn’t come off as bulky or visually heavy. That means going for streamlined designs and sofas that have tall legs, which will make it seem less chunky in a smaller space.

Go for leggy tables. Narrow your living room tables down to pieces that are heavy on top and light and airy at the base. A coffee table with a carved wood surface and splayed legs will take up less visual space than one that has a bulky base.

small living room design

8. Get Lifted Furniture

In the same vein as airy furniture, look for designs that are raised off the ground, such as a sofa with an open metal base, and tables and floor lamps that can be tucked into larger pieces. The idea is to draw the eye upward to open up the look and feel of your small living room.

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Open up your seating. Of all the tried-and-true small living room ideas, prioritize having a mix of seating that’s versatile and moveable. A sofa with four legs that raises its profile off the ground will do the trick, just as a few low poufs can be stacked or moved around. Combine those with an airy side chair and you’ll have upped by the style and perspective in your space.

Tuck in your accents. Mix in a C-side table that can be pulled up and into your sofa along with slender nesting tables that can be stored within itself or spread out across the living room. Or opt for a floor lamp that can be sidled up next to your sofa or moved into a corner when not in use. These space-savers will keep a tiny living room looking stylish and flexible.

small living room design

9. Maximize Your Layout

Coming up with a functional furniture floor plan is crucial in any small living room—and especially if it’s a small apartment living room. The ultimate goal is to open up as much floor space as possible in the middle of your living room, as in this rustic modern space.

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Design Ideas To Try

Avoid floating furniture. Unless you’re using your sofa as a divider between your living room and dining/kitchen areas, try not to suspend your larger pieces in the middle of a room. It’s great in large spaces, but it can end up making a small living room look cramped. Keep furniture against the walls and in corners instead to open up the room from all angles.

Make it a point to layer rugs. With a chair in one corner and a sofa against another wall, your furniture can quickly feel disparate in a small space. Layer rugs on top of each other and across your room to connect the different areas. This is a great way to add a bit of comfort underfoot, but most of all it will warm up your small space by making it feel cohesive and tied together.

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Small Space Furniture: The Modsy “Must-Haves” for Any Small Apartment

When you live in a small apartment, you have to be very choosy about what you bring into the space. You need pieces that are functional and that fit a small space with ease—and bonus points if they’re multifunctional—but this can be quite the interior design challenge!

With all the extra time at home right now, you’re probably becoming very aware of furniture you’re missing or pieces you already have that just aren’t working. If you need help making the most of your space—and finding pieces that are not just functional but are also beautiful—we’ve got you covered! Keep reading for our stylists must-haves for a small space, with our best small apartment furniture ideas!

small apartment furniture ideaStorage Coffee Table

When you have a small apartment, that probably means you have a small living room. So any old coffee table just won’t do. Instead, opt for an option that has built-in storage! These are great small living room ideas because they offer the double function of serving as a coffee table and as hidden storage. It offers the perfect place to store media items, magazines, throw blankets, and whatever else you like to keep close at hand but out of sight.

And we especially love round storage coffee tables for small apartments, as they offer better flow for walking around. No sharp edges to bump your shins, making them great for family homes! Alternatively (or additionally) storage ottomans are another great option.

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C-Table Side Table

We love the idea of using a c-side table in the living room. They’re great pieces for small spaces because they can easily move around. You can also use them as a laptop work surface during the day, as a table for food and drinks while watching movies, and then they can be moved to the side of the sofa for an end table when not actively in use!

What makes these c-tables extra convenient? They slide under the bottom of a sofa or chair and hug furniture—so they take up less of that valuable square footage! And because they’re so lightweight, they can be moved around more easily than a traditional side table.

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Wall-Mounted Bookcase

In a small apartment, we recommend choosing bookcases that are mounted to the wall of a room. Why? Because when you put a piece of furniture flush against the wall, it takes up less floor space. And wall-mounted bookcases do tend to have slightly slimmer profiles than traditional bookcases.

Wall-mounted bookcases are also a great way to utilize vertical space in your home, for storage and display. You can use one as an alternative to a nightstand, as pictured above, or in your main living area as an alternative with more vertical storage than a credenza. Because, in a small space, you don’t just want to utilize the square footage of the floor—you want to make use of every inch you can, all the way up to the ceiling!

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Room Divider + Open-Back Bookcases

Do you live in a studio apartment? Then creating distinct spaces and utilizing every square inch is especially important. For small spaces like these, we love using room dividers to separate one large area into zones. It’s one of our favorite small-space interior design hacks. Room dividers give your apartment the illusion of multiple spaces without obstructing natural light or being permanent. And, since they’re movable, you have the flexibility to rearrange and move them around for different purposes and layouts—the perfect apartment decorating trick!

Want to get extra functional? Opt for a backless bookcase as your room divider. This gives you a way to create separate spaces while also providing the opportunity for ample vertical storage.

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Bar Cart

Just because you live in a small apartment doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a beautiful bar cart in your living or dining room! In fact, they can be a wonderful multi-functional furniture piece in small spaces. We love decorating with bar carts in small apartments because they are easy to move and provide versatile storage. They can even be used as a side table between chairs or next to your sofa! And they can store anything from beverages and books to decor and even personal care items—or maybe a mix of all these things!

Bar carts are also easy to move around when you’re entertaining to whatever area in your home where it’s needed most. Just make sure you get a bar cart with wheels rather than a stationary one!

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Looking for extra seating options? A place to put up your feet? An alternative to a bulky coffee table? The answer to all of these things: poufs. They’re great to have on your living room floor in a small space because they’re lightweight and easy to move to where they’re needed. And, as mentioned, can be used as extra seating, as a footrest, and as a great alternative to a coffee table or ottoman. Bonus: They’re also easy to stash under a table or your bed when more floor space is needed! So, no need to stress about where to roll out that yoga mat!

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Hanging Plants

We’re big believers in decorating with plants in your home, no matter the size. But we particularly love hanging plants for small apartments. In general, plants are a perfect way to bring the outdoors in, and they have numerous health and mood-lifting benefits. (Something we could all probably use more of right now!) We also love the pop of color and texture they bring to a space. But why hanging plants for a small apartment? Because they don’t take up valuable square footage—but it’s a creative way to still add value!

Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. When it comes to plants—hanging or not—you can use real OR faux plants! There are a ton of beautiful artificial plants out there (here are five reasons why we love faux plants).

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Want an easy decorating idea for how to make your tiny space appear larger? Hang a mirror on your wall. Mirrors reflect light, adding ambiance and light to small spaces. And mirrors come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. So you can find one that perfectly suits your style and space. With that, they’re a simple way to add functional decor to your walls!

And you don’t need to stop at just one. Perhaps you want a larger one for your living room or entryway. But smaller mirrors can be added above dressers or integrated into gallery walls for a small pop of light reflection and style!

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Every home, large or small, needs good lighting options. But for little apartments, we especially love wall sconces, which provide light without taking up floor or surface space (as floor and table lamps do). You can strategically place them over sofas and desks for task lighting while reading, writing, and working. And, like mirrors, they add both function and style to your walls! And sconces come in all sizes and styles—so whether you prefer a modern or traditional look, rustic or minimal, there’s a sconce out there to suit your style.

They can also add lovely symmetry and a decorative element to your space—especially when placed on either side of a mirror, as pictured above!

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Pieces With Tapered-Legs

When it comes to choosing furniture for small spaces, we recommend opting for pieces that are lifted off the floor with tapered legs. Why? Because tapered legs give an airier feeling to a room than block legs or furniture that sits directly on the floor, creating the visual illusion of having more space. But they also actually do give you more floor space, given that furniture is lifted—it just happens to be floor space that’s under furniture. But you can put it to good use! Use that extra floor space underneath your bed or sofa as storage space—just stash a few baskets or storage totes and you’re good to go! And pieces with tapered-legs also work easily with those c-tables we mentioned earlier!

Tapered-leg furniture comes in wood and metal legs. For a more contemporary look, opt for metal legs. But for more mid-century or rustic styles, go with wooden tapered legs. Or you can always go for a mix of both on different pieces!

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Round Tables

Earlier in this post, we mentioned that we prefer round coffee tables in smaller spaces. And the same goes for kitchen or dining room tables! In tight spaces, round tables are easier to sit and walk around. The curve also creates a better flow in a small space, with no sharp corners or rectangular forms to squeeze around or bump into! And, though perhaps unexpected, round tables pair exceptionally well with benches, which also offers a versatile seating option in a small apartment.

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