8 Absolutely Genius Furniture Pieces for Small Spaces You Probably Haven’t Seen Before (Promise!)

updated May 17, 2021
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Credit: Chinasa Cooper

The right furniture can make or break a small space. I know this from experience: As a New Yorker, I’ve never lived in an apartment larger than 700 square feet, and I’ve seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t. When everything fits just so and all your storage needs are met, you hardly even notice you’re living small. But when your furniture is sized wrong or limited in its uses, it can feel like you need more space — stat. When I was writing and researching my book, “The Little Book of Living Small,” I uncovered some amazing small-space finds that make the most use of every inch. Here are eight of my favorites:

Credit: IKEA

A lift-up storage bed

IKEA’s lift-up MALM storage bed is a clever way to make use of the space beneath the bed. My younger sister’s roommate had one of these years ago, and I marveled at how much she could store in her tiny bedroom. And one of the subjects in my book had her luggage, holiday ornaments, and winter clothes stored in hers.

Credit: Gothic Furniture

A bed with built-in drawers

For daily under-the-bed access, I love Gothic Cabinet Crafts captain’s beds. They’re not sleek, modern-design marvels, but boy, are they durable and hardworking. My mom had one of these in the 1970s that’s still in use in my sister’s home, and I’ve had one almost as long as I’ve lived in New York, including my current home.

Buy: Queen Captain’s Bed, starting at $969

Credit: Finnish Design Shop

A compact desk that can be used while sitting or standing

I spotted this gorgeous Made by Choice Fem desk in the A Thing or Two newsletter and immediately added it to my apartment wish list. The unfinished wooden desk can be used both sitting or standing, and even works as a practical sideboard or entryway console. Another small-space advantage of this piece: It’s easy to assemble, disassemble, and store.

Credit: One Forty Three

A multitasking bedside lamp

I’ve had One Forty Three’s wall sconces pinned to my Pinterest boards for approximately forever, so I was very excited to see their design for a bedside lamp with a small table built in.

Buy: Night Shelf, $295

Credit: Finnish Design Shop

Table and desk legs that can be used on all kinds of furniture

People often end up buying cheap, disposable furniture for a small space, because they don’t want to invest in a home they may not live in long. A smarter solution is to buy flexible furniture that can adapt to your next place. I’m particularly fond of these Tiptoe table legs or the Floyd Leg, which can be used to create desks, dining tables, console tables, and more.

Credit: Amazon

A paper stool

So handsome they’re almost like mini sculptures, I first spied these folding paper (!) stools in decorator Sally Breer’s Los Angeles home. I love that they can fold up to just 12.5 x 14-inches.

Credit: Resource Furniture

A stylish folding chair

If you prefer extra seating with a back, my pal Alison Mazurek enthusiastically recommended Resource Furniture’s Pocket folding chairs. “For our space, it was worth spending more to save a few inches of space as we did not have space for five-inch-deep chairs, ” she explained.

Buy: Pocket Folding Chair, pricing available upon request

Credit: Amazon

A beanbag chair with storage

This last one is for the parents whose kids have a lot of stuffies: The Stuff ‘n Sit by Creative QT is a beanbag chair that comes empty, so you can stuff it with plush toys. I like that the fabric is 100 percent cotton canvas and available in solids and timeless stripes.

Buy: Creative QT Stuff ‘n Sit Beanbag Chair, $36.99 (normally $44.99)