Sylvia, a former healthcare professional & published writer, shares her journey towards a thrifty, healthy, & environmentally friendly home.
So you've chosen to live in a small home through necessity or desire. Or perhaps you simply want to free up your time and finances to focus on more important things.
Either way, you've probably realized maintaining spaciousness, even after you’ve decluttered, is difficult. Because the rooms in your small home are required to serve several functions, your furniture should do double, or even triple duty as well. Along with the ability to be used in any room.
The list below, while not exhaustive, is a sample of useful furniture that can move with you from home to home and therefore will last you a lifetime!
Choosing the right furniture can make both adequate storage and uncluttered spaciousness possible at the same time!
1. The Flat Surface Factor
Get the largest dining room table that works in your home. Something sturdy and casual—something you can stick a fork into. If it’s too dainty and formal, you’ll always be worried about its integrity. This important piece of furniture should support many uses:
- Food preparation
- Other various projects.
Whatever your choice, the table will be a large piece with maximum impact. It will be the heart of your small home, so to speak.
Make sure you love it.
2. The Underneath Factor
Scared of monsters under the bed? Not if you use that space for storage!
A bed with built-in drawers beneath is ideal.
Otherwise, choose a bed that allows enough room beneath for your suitcases. Then fill ’em and slide 'em underneath. Alternatively, use storage containers—available in most home improvement stores.
Look for storage beneath everything!
3. The Versatile Factor
The Wardrobe, or Armoire:
A wardrobe is an incredible piece of furniture that you can find a use for in practically any home.
Hiding behind a wardrobe’s closed doors:
- is clothing in a bedroom
- are coats and shoes in a foyer
- is an entertainment centre in a living room
- is a computer set up in an office
And it has the vertical factor! Meaning that the greater the furniture height, the more belongings it can store.
Dining Room Chairs:
The same versatility can be used with dining room chairs. Be creative. Depending on the layout of your space, a couple of comfortable chairs used at the dining room table can be turned around and used as part of the living-room.
If the furniture you own is versatile, you won’t have to invest in something new every time you move
4. The Vertical Factor
The semanier chest is an old French term for “seven” indicating seven drawers with seven underwear changes. This useful dresser has lots of storage and the vertical factor. Its tiny footprint can be placed almost anywhere!
5. The Inside Factor
Most of your furniture should have storage, expected, or unexpected.
The Chest, or Trunk:
A chest offers an enormous amount of storage. Depending on its height and style, it can double as a:
- coffee table,
- console table,
- bench in a foyer, or
- room divider.
An ottoman with storage inside is another amazing option for a coffee table. A tray can be used for drinks, and it can be used as a seat in a pinch.
Even if you prefer a more traditional type of coffee table, try to find one with some type of storage.
6. The Portable Stool
A step stool is a necessity for a home that makes the most of its vertical spaces. It should be sturdy, yet light enough for easy transport.
A bonus feature is that the step-stool has many uses.
7. The Shelving Factor
You can’t go wrong choosing a large wall and filling it wide and high with bookshelves—giving the impression of one piece of furniture. Store most everything you need within twelve to fourteen inches along one wall.
Otherwise, think room divider. A low bookcase, or tall pass-through bookshelf placed perpendicular to the wall can do wonders making the areas on either side seem cosy.
8. The Creative Factor
Be open to unusual furniture ideas. For example, do you really need a sofa?
Chairs offer the maximum amount of flexibility. They require less space, they can be moved around easily and you can see the floor beneath them, giving the illusion of space.
If you must have a couch, the 66-inch sofa bed is invaluable. It is long enough to lie down and is a double-sized bed when pulled out.
The three-seater sofa is too big. Guests rarely occupy all three seats leaving the third seat wasted. A two-seater leaves room for an end table.
If you must have a sectional, opt for one without arms as they are easier to get through doors and into apartment elevators. As well, they're versatile in the ways they can be positioned.
There you have it! Your list of practical, space-saving furniture. Whatever you choose, you'll never regret furniture that's neutral and high quality, standing up to the test of fashion and wear.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Sylvia Leong
Sylvia Leong (author) from North Vancouver, Canada on December 09, 2014:
Thanks for your comment Peachpurple! We like the chest too & yes, many, many things are inside.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 09, 2014:
i like the chest, can store many things and clothes in such a small space
Sylvia Leong (author) from North Vancouver, Canada on December 02, 2014:
Thanks for your comment Lauranap12. I'm so happy it was helpful.
lauranap12 from Vermont on November 30, 2014:
Great advice! Thank you for writing this article. I recently moved into a small apartment from a large house and had to downsize on the amount of furniture I owned, especially since the apartment is already partially furnished. I'll save this article to reference when my roommate moves out and takes her furniture with her.
Sylvia Leong (author) from North Vancouver, Canada on October 28, 2014:
Thank you for reading, Sheilamyers!
sheilamyers on October 26, 2014:
You have some very practical ideas. I'm not one of those people who gets all of my furniture from a thrift store or yard sale, but I also don't like the idea of paying outrageous prices at for new furniture that, as you mentioned, doesn't seem to last very long. My furniture definitely fits into your suggestion that not everything has to match in style; however, I do try to keep the colors for each room the same. I will have to remember some of your storage solutions because, unfortunately, my house has very few closets and those that are here are very small.