6 Smart, Stylish Items That’ll Do Double Duty In Your Small Space

updated May 26, 2020
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Credit: Jessica Rapp

When your living space is short on room, the stakes are high when you bring in a new piece of furniture. Does it fit? Will it work with your existing items? Does it serve more than one function? The ideal piece checks all the boxes, but that last criteria is especially important.

Last weekend, Apartment Therapy had 20 designers decorate 20 rooms for the first ever Small/Cool Experience at Home. And since the spaces were small (all under 120 square feet!), many rooms had pieces that do double duty (you can browse and shop all 20 rooms here if you haven’t already). Here are some of the standouts, and how they can work overtime in your space.

Credit: Danie Drankwalter

A lamp that also acts as a table combo

Emily Henderson’s Eclectic English room features a classic, yet brilliant, twofer: the floor lamp and table combo. There was probably one in your grandparents’ house, and they’re still lighting up living rooms today, but in sleeker style than you could imagine. Henderson chose a contemporary version from Pottery Barn that also includes a USB port for even more utility. A bonus to this piece is that unlike the cord from a lamp on a side table that you’d need to hide, the floor lamp’s cord is less visible and can be run under a rug.

Credit: Pottery Barn

Buy: Edward Wooden Shelf Floor Lamp, $299 from Pottery Barn

Credit: Danie Drankwalter

Ottomans that work as seating or surfaces

When I think of versatile pieces, ottomans immediately come to mind. And Mikel Welch agrees: in his Hard Lines, Soft Curves dining room, there is a pair tucked off to the side, which can serve as overflow seating, or easily be moved to another space and function as a coffee table or footrest.

Buy: Cavett Leather Wood Frame Ottoman, $499 from Crate & Barrel

Credit: Danie Drankwalter

Propagation that conveniently looks like wall decor

Obviously, The Plant Doctor Hilton Carter’s room was going to be packed to the brim with leafy friends. The star of the show is a wall full of his own propagation cradles, where clippings hang out and wait to be sprouted and potted. Not only are they functional, but when grouped together, they give the space a living wall vibe.

Credit: Things by HC

Buy: Maple Live Edge Cradle, $75 from Things by HC

Credit: Danie Drankwalter

Bar carts that double as side tables

Angela Belt’s deliciously dark bedroom holds a trifecta of smart double duty hacks. First up is the bar cart, which you should absolutely bring into your bedroom, for both the “Mad Men” vibes and the storage. Most bar carts have multiple tiers, so it’s a great way to display items (even if they’re not boozy).

Credit: Apt2B

Buy: Carlton Bar Cart, $488 $414.80 from Apt2B

Credit: World Market

A shelf-mirror combo that functions as a nightstand (and a vanity)

Also in Belt’s room, this mirror is positioned next to the bed so that the shelf can double as a nightstand. Another genius move is that there’s a storage ottoman tucked underneath so that it can be used as a vanity.

Buy: Half Round Mirror With Acacia Wood Shelf, $99 from World Market

Credit: World Market

Baskets that work as wall art

These woven baskets look great on a table to hold fruit or bread, but grouped together, they add texture and instant interest as wall decor.

Buy: Woven Basket Discs, $59.99 from World Market