Here's How Experts Buy Furniture For Small Apartments


In most apartments, you’re working with pretty limited space. Fitting furniture into small spaces is a balancing act between having what you need and making your apartment look cluttered.


Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as it might seem at first. You just have to know what to look for.


This guide will walk you through the best ways to find furniture for your small apartment. With these expert tips, you can make the most of what space you have and make it feel even bigger at the same time!



1. Function, Function, Function


If your furniture is going to insist on taking up so much of your precious space, it should at least offer you something in return. Don’t you agree?


When you’re buying your furniture, think about what purpose it can serve and if it can do more than one thing if necessary. Multifunctional furniture is your best friend when you’re short on square footage.


For example, an ottoman is a great choice to replace a traditional coffee table.


A coffee table can’t really do more than advertised. It’s a table to put things on, and that’s it. Plus, it takes up a good amount of space right in the middle of your living room. 


On the other hand, an ottoman is a place you can put your feet up while doubling as extra seating for guests. And if you add a nice tray on top, it can serve just as well as a coffee table.


A sofa that turns into a bed is something you’ll get a lot of use out of if you happen to have a lot of guests. It turns your living room into a guest room without using up extra space.


And any furniture with hidden storage inside is always a winner for small apartments.


Just remember, the more your existing furniture can do for you, the less furniture you need.


2. Light and Simple


Color makes a big difference in how crowded or open your room looks.


Unless you’re going for a jewel-box effect, you want to keep your colors light. White, off-white, and pale neutrals work the best for opening up small rooms.


Use your accessories to bring in color and keep your main furniture simple so you don’t have to worry about changing it out later when you want to switch things up. 


The same idea applies to patterns. 


Solid-colored furniture that is clean and simple keeps your rooms feeling airy. Patterns run the risk of making an already small space seem cluttered. But if you’re determined to have one, stick to a simple pattern without too many colors.


If your furniture is too busy, it won’t flow quite the same.


3. Expose the Legs


Floor space is prime real estate in a small apartment. The less of it your furniture takes up, the more spacious things are going to feel.


Unfortunately, most furniture tends to take up a lot of it.


Give the illusion that you have more open floor space by purchasing furniture with long, exposed legs.


Sofas and tables with sleek legs and nothing underneath them are great for small spaces. You’ll still be able to see the floor under them, making it seem like it’s still usable space even though it’s not.


4. Be Transparent


Following that same train of thought, there are few things that open up a small room better than furniture you can see right through.


This obviously applies to your coffee table and end tables, unless you manage to find a couch made of glass. That probably wouldn’t be very comfortable to sit on, though.


Glass pieces trick your brain into thinking you have more room than you do because your line of sight isn’t cut off by a solid piece of furniture.


In a similar way, mirrored tables open things up just as well by reflecting the light around the room.


5. Less Is More


Because your space is small, you may be tempted to buy small pieces of furniture so you can fit more in the room. But trying to pack a lot of smaller pieces into one space will actually make it feel cramped.


You’re better off using the space for fewer big pieces of furniture.


By only having a handful of larger pieces, you’ll make the room feel cozy and cohesive. Not to mention, it improves the flow of the space because there is less for your eyes to trip over.


When in doubt, keep things nice and simple.


6. Play With Height


Give your apartment more depth with furniture of varying heights.


Mix and match a low couch with tables that have long, lean legs. Or pair some high-back armchairs with a sleek cooker table. 


Furniture of different heights brings visual interest to a room where you don’t have much else to work with.


You can also push your ceilings visually higher by decorating vertically. Use tall shelving units or floating shelves to display your decor items up the walls as high as you can.


Creating a gallery wall or adding an oversized piece of artwork or a large mirror gives the same illusion that your room is taller than it really is.


7. Float Your Furniture


When you get all your furniture in your apartment, don’t just go shoving it all against the walls.


Cutting off the walls like that just makes a smaller space in the middle with no flow around the edges. Floating your furniture away from the walls and leaving space behind larger pieces creates more airflow.


Tie everything together with a large area rug that sits under all of your furniture for one cohesive space.


In Summary


When buying furniture for small apartments, you have to take a few things into account: the space you have available, the functions you need the furniture to achieve, and if a certain piece will help the room feel less confined.


With these expert tips, you can’t go wrong in choosing furniture for your apartment. Go and find the perfect pieces for your space.


Just make sure you take your measuring tape along!


Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with West 38 on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.

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