Thinking Through Double-Duty Furniture in Small Spaces

published Sep 26, 2017
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(Image credit: Ronda Smith)

When you start living in a small space, you quickly realize the value of furniture that does double duty. Whether it’s just a desk by day/dining table by night or a stuff-storing ottoman, finding just a few multifunctional pieces opens up so much cherished storage and living space. However — and this is important — creating a space that fulfills multiple functions doesn’t mean sacrificing style. We recently refreshed the OG Apartment Therapy apartment using this mantra, and we’re very happy with the results.

That said, there are certainly challenges. Since there’s nowhere to hide in a small space, your storage will be on display. This makes finding storage solutions that serve another purpose, all while looking good, key.

(Image credit: Ronda Smith)

Let’s take the entryway as an example. You’re probably working with a super narrow space but still want to give a good first impression to arriving guests (and yourself!). If you’ve got a depth of at least a foot and have a wide expanse of wall, you may want to consider a small entry bench with open cubby holes or a catch-all storage bench with an attractive cover, both made by CB2. They can function as extra seating and storage in even a narrow space.

We used our the entry bench in tandem with CB2’s butler stand to make the ultimate landing pad: It has a place to hang coats (especially useful if you’re out of closet space already) and a lower shelf for bags or shoes.

In tiny living spaces, benches become your best friends. The dylan bench is the perfect example. Get one and it can function as a living room side table next to your sofa that becomes extra seating when you’ve got guests over. Two of them could easily pass as a coffee table when pushed together, but then also be used separately during parties for more space and seating. Use it alone in narrow spaces like hallways or bathrooms and it’s both a small console for towels and an extra seat. Similarly, the curator hide stool-table is exactly what it says it is: both a stool and a table. Use it alone and it offers an extra seat for one, or stack an attractive tray on top to turn it into an extra side table.

If you’re still looking for more storage in a tiny space, look up! Walls are usually under-utilized in most spaces and the possibilities are pretty endless. Wall-mounted bars are winning big in the style department at the moment, especially this one that has a nesting gold shelf on top that’s ideal for holding glassware or a set of bar accessories.