The absolute most essential, useful furnishing I have purchased for my small home is actually a pretty large piece. It is the dining room table. It's long, with an insert that allows it to expand to nearly eight feet! But it's also very narrow - only 30 inches! That's why it took so long for me to find it - there aren't many tables out there that are so long and narrow. Finally, though, I located this one on Craigslist. It cost only $120, is made of solid wood (with an ugly veneer that I painted over in white then waxed for a glossy finish). And in true NYC form, the table was being sold by a couple who lived just around the corner from my apartment.
I remember the day my husband (then boyfriend) and I went to purchase it. It was windy. Carrying the table down the street back to our apartment, it felt like we were going to be blown away, carried by our new table like a kite into the sky.
Six years later, the table resides in my new home's small dining room. Its 30-inch dimension has never been a problem. In fact, it feels intimate and cozy whether it's just the two of us having dinner on a weeknight or with twelve squeezed around on Thanksgiving Day.
So, there you have my favorite small space purchase. What is yours? Let's list them in the comments below so that: 1) If your favorite small space purchase is still available in stores, it could help someone else who's looking for just the right piece for their own small home and 2) Even if you piece isn't available for sale, your use of it to solve a small space problem could inspire someone else to better their home!
Images: Regina Yunghans