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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 any small space, the most important thing is to make sure your office takes up minimal floor space. That means choosing small apartment furniture and decor that are going to help you maximize square footage, such as a bookshelf that doubles as a 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 home office to be! Read on and get inspiration from some of our favorite tiny home office spaces and pick up clever design ideas for your own 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.

How To Get The Look: Part modern, part boho, you can work this into your home by combining modern furniture with eclectic accents, like bright pillows, bold paintings, and a kilim rug.

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 desk next to your bed for a workspace that doubles as your nightstand.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Two nightstands isn’t always possible in a small space. But you’ll get the same amount of storage (if not more) with a drawer-desk.
  • 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!

How To Get The Look: A mix of classic and rustic styles, recreate this look with a streamlined desk, an earthy headboard, and traditional touches, like a bird print and a marble table lamp.

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 doesn’t take up room while utilizing the wall space above for storage. It’s a genius space-saving small apartment setup.
  • The sleek and minimal appeal of the ladder 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.

How To Get The Look: It’s all about warming up mid-century style here, and you can pair any furniture with the mounted ladder desk as long as it plays up cozy wood tones and colors.

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 Rest And Work Space

With any small apartment design, you want to maximize square footage in the main room. One of our favorite bedroom office design ideas is this sleep and work space that’s all about function.

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Why This Design Works:

  • One of our favorite design ideas, this dedicated desk area takes up half the bedroom and provides a larger workspace that feels like a separate private office area.
  • The desk is big but doesn’t feel bulky. It also is in keeping with the rest of the furniture in the bedroom in terms of style and color palette.
  • The setup with the desk lamp and wall art draw the eye up, evening out the visual balance in the space.

How To Get The Look: Make for the Minimalist style in this space with contemporary pieces. A few ideas to try could be a slender desks and nightstands or an office chair with open armrests.

The Best Part: For those of you who work long hours from home and need a larger workspace surface, this makes for a comfy setup where you can sit for hours and get things done.

small apartment designA Bedroom Corner Office

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.

How To Get The Look: Organic Modernism is the style here. It’s a mix of Mid-Century style furniture, natural textures, and boho-glam touches, which make any room feel instantly elegant.

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 adds 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.

How To Get The Look: This is all about Classic Comfort. If you’re thinking of transforming a nook into an office, stick to timeless furniture that easily blends in with your room’s other pieces.

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.
  • The tall furniture means that the office occupies less footprint in this high-traffic area.
  • 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.

How To Get The Look: To translate this Mod Contemporary look for your home, go for all-white furniture with height, which is sure to make your space feel more pared-down and open.

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 office 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.

How To Get The Look: Think Industrial Modern. Most small apartments with under stair nooks tend to be sleek contemporary boxes, so play into that with metal pieces and graphic elements.

The Best Part: You heard it here first, but in this instance your office furniture should have a different style and vibe from the rest of the living room. This will set it apart as its own space.

small apartment designA Hallway Home Office

For a small apartment design consisting of one overall open concept room, try this sophisticated home office setup in the hallway corridor leading in from the entryway.

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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.

How To Get The Look: Go for Classic Industrial furnishings and interior design elements, which feature metals and woods and sculptural silhouettes. It’s the perfect sleek and warm combo.

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 space 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.

How To Get The Look: Modern Minimalism meets Eclectic in this simple and sleek workspace configuration. Make sure to start with a tall table that has enough surface space for you to work.

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 desk behind the sofa adds an instant work zone to the room that always feels organic.
  • 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.

How To Get The Look: Mid-Century Industrial furniture always works in a space where you want the office furniture to complement the rest. Pick lighter woods for a cool, streamlined look.

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 Corner Office

Few things get better than an office with a window view, like this workspace. You can make that happen even if you live in a super small apartment or a single open room studio apartment.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The desk and wall-mounted shelving make use of storage that is all above ground, which opens up the office area with a more airy feel.
  • In true small apartment decor fashion, this office utilizes wall space to stack up storage, freeing up floor space.
  • The layout is smart as it isolates the home office off to one end of the room for privacy, while the furniture and art help maintain a cohesive style in the space.

How To Get The Look: A touch modern, a bit eclectic, this comes down to a mix of classic dark-wood elements, leather, and industrial accents. Round it all out with bright graphic art.

The Best Part: For those who are ready for a permanent home office space, this is the ultimate. Not only do you get tons of natural light, but you also have room to spread out your work.

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.
  • 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.

How To Get The Look: Look for modern pieces and a few glam statements, like the turquoise armchair and abstract art. Then keep to a neutral and subdued palette for everything else.

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 narrow console table 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 into the room as well as serve up an amazing view of the outdoors.

How To Get The Look: This is pure Rustic Elegance with its dark woods, tan leather, cowhide, and earthy palette. If you have big windows, these elements will work beautifully in your space.

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

How To Get This Look: Modern Boho is the name of the game here, so go big on clean lines and bright colors. Just be sure to make lots of room for storage pieces and accents.

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 design2. 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.

small living room design3. 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.

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 design6. 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 design7. 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 design8. 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.

Kickstart your living room project today!

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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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small living room layout

Great Layout Guide: 2 Layout Ideas for a Living Room in a Small Apartment

small living room layoutIn our Layout Guides series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing a small living room layout, with two multipurpose designs that save space and look good.

The Space: A small living room in a city apartment

The Style: Southwestern Chic

The Challenge: Creating a multipurpose living room layout that saves space and looks good.

When it comes to decorating a home, the blank space of a living room can feel like a very daunting challenge. Creating a space where you can chill out on your own or with family, entertain guests, watch TV, display art and photos, find room for storage, etc. takes some serious strategizing!

And if your living room is on the smaller side, then you have to be even craftier in your design work. A super tiny space, like a city apartment for instance, requires a small living room layout that checks all these boxes. Read on for our guide to designing a multi-purpose small living room layout that saves space and looks good.

small living room layoutLayout #1: Entertainment Layout

This small living room layout is all about entertaining. The design allows for open traffic flow into the room and leaves plenty of space to navigate around furniture. Instead of a coffee table, we used two poufs for the centerpiece of the room. They can double as a footrest, extra seating or a coffee table. The sofa has a clever built-in arm/side table so you don’t have to bother with an extra piece of furniture. And the wall-mounted desk/bookcase offers plenty of space-saving storage, leaving the floor free.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for Entertaining

Ample Seating: This layout features a large, cozy sofa and a deep armchair as the traditional seating options. But the two poufs centered as a coffee table can also be split apart and used as additional seats for when extra guests swing by.

Optical Illusions: Both the mirror and the open-base furniture are great small space hacks. The mirror makes the room look much bigger. And open, airy furniture creates a sense that space is larger because it’s not bulky or visually heavy.

Chic Style: The Southwest chic style is trendy and very small space savvy! White walls and a light wood floor help keep the space feeling minimal, clean and uncluttered. And the exposed brick, neutral accessories and natural materials give it a warm, welcoming quality.

Can an Entertaining Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love to entertain and want to easily make room for more visitors
  • Prefer a conversational area over TV viewing
  • Enjoy a sparse, beautiful and clutter-free space
  • Want your space to feel cozy and warm

small living room layoutLayout #2: TV Viewing Layout

Design #2 is a multi-purpose small living room layout with an emphasis on TV viewing. The sofa fits perfectly against the back wall so it doesn’t take up extra floor space by jutting out. Having the TV mounted against the wall directly across from the TV is optimal for viewing and also saves space. This layout offers a cozy spot for you to kick back and see what’s new on Netflix.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for TV Viewing

TV Viewing Space: In this small living room layout, the sofa is positioned so it faces the TV and offers prime viewing ability. You can stretch out on the sofa and use the tucked away pouf as extra seating when needed.

Smart Storage: The large credenza under the TV provides tons of extra storage inside the small living room. Because the TV is mounted on the wall, it leaves room for such a large furniture item below it so you can make sure all your excess clutter is hidden away.

Fun Furniture: The small coffee table is perfect for this room because it is big enough to hold decor, beverages, remotes, etc. but it also doesn’t take up a ton of floor space—something important in a small room! The credenza doubles up as storage and the stylish pouf can be used for extra seating but also tucks away under the coffee table when you’re not using it.

Can a TV Viewing Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love a cozy space to watch TV
  • Live alone or don’t need a lot of extra seating
  • Need your space to be beautiful and clutter-free
  • Love a sparse, minimalist design with a cool and relaxing vibe

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small living room design

9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Living Room

If you feel like your living room is always cramped and cluttered, you aren’t alone. Let’s face it—small living room design can be a struggle. Especially in light of the fact that it’s the room you likely spend the most time in and also needs to be super functional. But don’t let your small living room cramp your style!

Some people say the only way to make a small living room work is by avoiding dark wall colors or certain types of furniture. But we disagree. You don’t have to sacrifice your personal style to make the most of your small living room. Here are a few tried and true tips from our designers that are sure to help you ace your small living room design for a space that’s big on style and functionality.

small living room tips1. Use Your Walls

If your living room is short on floor space, it’s time to get creative by using your walls! Wall-mounted storage options are amazing and they give you all the same functionality without taking up floor space. Think about using a bookcase to double as a side table or even try one with a built-in desk option. It reduces clutter, maximizes storage, and means you have one less piece of furniture to buy.

small space hack2. Go for Clear Furniture

One small living room design trick that often goes unnoticed is to use clear furniture. Clear, or even mirrored, furniture helps to reduce visual clutter which is a must-have in a small space. The optical illusion creates a more open and airy look instead of dense, heavy pieces that sit directly on the floor. You can get the same effect using furniture that sits on tall, tapered legs, as well. (Ever wondered why Mid-Century Modern design is so popular in urban spaces? Because it’s a great style for small rooms!)

small living room design3. Use an Organic Shaped Rug

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find a rug that fits into your small living room design. They often seem way too big or awkwardly small for tight spaces. Rather than drawing attention to the small size of your room with a rug that doesn’t fit, try using one with an organic shape. We love options like this cowhide rug. It has the same function and doesn’t need to follow any rules as far as room shape and size.

4. Hang Your Curtains High

One easy trick for making your small living room seem larger, is to hang your curtains up high! This gives the impression that your ceilings are extra tall and will draw the eye up rather than down. It’s a clever optical illusion that will make your space seem much larger than it is.

small living room design5. Skip the Coffee Table

In a room that’s already packed to the max, skipping out on unessential furniture items is the way to go. So we say get a little crazy and skip the coffee table. If you’re short on space, you can benefit from the open area to use in other ways, like this living room that uses two poufs to double as footrests and a makeshift coffee table. And they can be used as extra seats in a pinch!

6. Use Your Sofa to Divide the Space

If you’re doubling down on your space to create both a living and dining area, use your sofa to divide up the room. The back of a sofa creates a “zone” by partitioning the space into different areas. Having a makeshift wall like this helps to create a sense of rooms within rooms.

small living room design7. Make It Multi-Purpose

Having limited living room space means you need to get the most bang for your buck. Opt for furniture pieces that serve multiple functions—such as using a bench as a coffee table, or a bookcase as a room divider.

8. Maximize Every Square Inch

Another way to make your small living room look great is to make sure you’re using every square inch of space. Tuck in storage where you can, like these baskets hiding behind the open door in space that would have otherwise gone unused. Think about ways to work in extra storage, tuck in a desk, or even extra seating.

small living room design9. Add Sneaky Storage

You’d never guess that this coffee table has interior storage, would you?! Pieces like this are a great hack for small living room design. Instead of adding more clutter with bulky storage pieces, add furniture items that serve multiple functions. Enclosed storage is also great because it’s super low-maintenance—no one knows what kind of mess you’re hiding in there.

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small living room layout

My Modsy Story: Making A Small Living Room Work For My Family Of Five

small living room layout

With a oddly shaped space, Christina craved a small living room layout that worked for her family of five. See how she found the perfect solution for her space.

 

Homeowner: Christina M, University Business Officer

Location: North Logan, Utah

Room: Small, Awkwardly Shaped Living Room

Her Style: Comfortably Chic

The Backstory

Living in a charming home where comfort and practicality are paramount

We are a family of five and we’ve lived in our current home for about a year. We love the all the natural light and the vaulted ceiling, but that was about it.

Our living room is the center of our house. We’re big on movie nights and use the space to watch TV throughout the day, and it’s also where we entertain guests. Unfortunately it’s become a sort of waiting room and a playroom. And while it’s the most-used space in our home, it’s also the least functional.

small living room layout

The Design Dilemma

Dealing with a small living room that needed to work for a big family

I wanted this room to be a comfortable and inviting space since it’s the center of our home. But it’s so long, skinny, and just plain awkward that it seemed impossible to make it work. After six months of hating this room, I decided we definitely needed some professional help to make it into a space we loved.

But when it came to designing the space, we really needed help with everything – A functional small living room layout, some storage for kids toys and games, an awesome couch for movie nights and afternoon Sunday naps, seating for guests, and not to mention a space that was pretty. 

small living room layoutThe Modsy Moment

How a Podcast led her to the ultimate living room solution

I heard about Modsy on the podcast, Young House Love. I was slightly skeptical at first — what Modsy could do sounded awesome, but I wasn’t ready to commit. That’s until I got desperate enough for a design solution for my strange and small living room. Once I got started, it was so easy to use and I was totally convinced this was worth it!

small living room layoutHow Modsy’s Renderings Helped Christina

Getting the exact furniture and small living room layout she asked for — and more!

We LOVED the first two designs Modsy sent us. They were spot on with everything we needed! The 3D renderings looked just like our living room and it was so helpful to see the space with all the furniture in place.

It was amazing how our Modsy Designer was able to incorporate pieces in our designs that fit our style while factoring in all our needs as a family. Altogether, the designs were so doable and the small living room layout ideas were just so much more functional.

“We LOVED the first two designs… they were so doable.”

small living room layout

At first, we liked the simplicity and open look of the first design because it would work with the sofa we already had. We immediately rearranged the room with our existing furniture the very next day, and it made such a HUGE difference in the feel and function of the space.

Then in the second design, our Modsy Designer incorporated a console table opposite the sectional. This was so great to see because I had a very similar console table that I hadn’t thought would work in the space. After seeing that it could work, I pulled it back out and I’m now using it in the room!

small living room layout

Modsy’s idea to put chairs by the window in our second design was genius; it’s the perfect place for them! The round side table was one of our favorite pieces, and we ended up bringing this element to life in our space.

small living room layout

small living room layout

We also loved the mirrors above the mantle in both our designs — it was just what we needed for that space. Everything was just perfect for us.

Ultimately we really wanted a super comfortable space where we could put our feet up, relax, and cuddle with our kids. I had specifically requested to see an option with a sectional, and our Modsy Designer made it happen! Seeing that the right-sized sectional could absolutely work in our space and still look great was a huge eye-opener.

We ended up purchasing a super comfortable small sectional in order to make the sectional layout design happen—and we are so happy with all of it!

See Christina’s Favorite Design in 360!

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