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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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small apartment design

15 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. It makes sense especially with more and more people working from home.

In small 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 apartment design ideas for your work space to be! Read on and get inspiration from some of our favorite tiny home office spaces and pick up clever small room desk designs along the way.

small apartment designA Place To Create

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

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Why This Design Works:

  • The desk and workspace occupies its own small zone along a wall but it still ties into the rest of the bedroom furniture stylistically, 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 apartment designA 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 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!

small apartment designAn Urban Home Office

With tiny studio apartments, creating an office in one open space that’s used for living, dining, and working 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 room while 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.

small apartment designA 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 beige desk and get creative with your color ideas for bedding and art.

small apartment designA Working Nook

Who doesn’t love an office nook? With small 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 designA Practical Entryway Office

Small spaces call for innovative design ideas. You can’t beat the convenience and function of this small home office design 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.

small apartment designA 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 office furniture 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 designA Hallway Home Office

For a small apartment design consisting of one overall 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 designA 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 workspace 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 any room at all. In fact, it takes up practically zero square footage out of all our ideas.

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 designA 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 designA 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 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 ideas, 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 designA 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 designAn 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.
  • When not in use, the office area can be used for dining.
  • With the raised profile, you can squirrel baskets under the worktable 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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small living room design

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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Design Ideas To Try

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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Design Ideas To Try

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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Design Ideas To Try

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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Poufs

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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Mirrors

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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Sconces

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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