Living in a small home can make you creative in a hurry. If there's barely a closet -- let alone a spare room -- organizing your space in an efficient way that still makes you feel at home can be quite a challenge. For many apartment dwellers, there isn't the luxury of separate rooms and each piece of furniture needs to serve multiple uses.
We've already covered some of the best ways to create storage when you're living in a tiny space, and fortunately, there are more and more unique furniture pieces that make small-space living more of a joy than a pain. Things like lightweight objects that are easy to move, a tool that can make anything a table, furniture that has multiple functions, and storage that's a snap to assemble and disassemble make it fun to do more with less -- and will also appeal to the design-obsessed.
Below, see 24 ways to make small-space living way easier without sacrificing great design.
Peter van Dijk via Reinier de Jong
The REK bookcase from Reinier de Jong is perfect for the growing book collection and comes in both child
When Kyle Hoff and Alex O'Dell put their project on Kickstarter
, they received more than 10 times their goal. The Floyd Leg
(really, a set of four legs available in two heights) uses a simple clamp that lets you turn any surface into a table or desk. And you can dismantle it just as easily if you need to free up space or are moving to a new, even smaller apartment.
These are actually the same piece of furniture. The BADA from EcoSystems
easily transforms from a desk, to a table, to a couch that's the perfect size for a cramped living area. Watch the transformation here
When you're not using the bright Lumio
lamp, it can be folded into an elegant-looking book. The multi-function Lumio, designed by Max Gunawan, is portable and rechargeable, can be hung or used flat and can be used indoors and outdoors. Plus, it's mesmerizing.
Erik Five Gunnerud via Kristine Five Melvær
, designed by Kristine Five Melvær, is half art piece, half room divider. If you're putting a living area, kitchen and workspace into one cramped room, a lightweight divider at least gives the appearance of separation.
One of the frequent problems of city living? Not only are you living in tight quarters, but you're squeezed in with roommates -- or your walls are so thin that it feels like you are. Hush
, a felt pod designed by Freyja Sewell, is a solo, cozy retreat perfect for reading, working, sleeping or thinking, even in the midst of a hectic home life.
Takumi Ota via Naoki Hirakoso
The many compartments of the sleek Kai Table
, designed by Naoki Hirakoso with Takamitsu Kitahara, would be perfect for tucking away small objects that can end up all over the house when you don't have lots of storage.
Alexander & Pearl's Crypto line,
which includes an end table, desk, sideboard and coffee table, has even more space to store living room clutter without sacrificing sleek design.
Rather than bulky drawers, Anna Lotova's Oxymoron Desk
uses a foam interior to store books and office supplies. The lamp and side extender are wedged into the foam and can be moved around as space allows.
If you don't have a closet, or it's tiny, you might end up stacking overflow clothes on shelves or in bins. (Or, like some of us, leaving them all over the floor.) Designed by Studio E.O, the SINE hanger system
is a simple solution, and when clothes are hung neatly in its grooves from its matching hangers, they're almost decorative.
Just because you barely have room for a couch doesn't mean you shouldn't have a game room -- Fusion Tables
creates sleek dining room tables that transform into pool tables.
With just a hook, this mirror and small storage container become a vanity and medicine cabinet. Designed by Outofstock
for Ligne Roset
, the playful but functional pieces can be arranged in dozens of ways.
The 3:1 Table
designed by TJOKEEFE is a set of nesting tables that can be used as a cube or three separate end tables, so when you get bored with your decor you can rearrange your space without buying new furniture.
Danny Kuo said it best when describing his Staircase
piece: "The most efficient way to build is vertically. ... When it comes to interior design, the same rule can be applied." The lower drawers of this many-doored storage unit act as stairs so you can reach the top.
Torafu Architects might beg that you don't sacrifice design when it comes to your dog. Like much of the other furniture on here, the wanmock
(the name combines hammock with wan, Japanese for a dog bark, according to Torafu) is easy to put together and take apart. It's made of interlocking lightweight wood and your own clothing, which your dog will certainly love. (Buy a kit or download a free template to build your own here
Kristina Lindqvist's Cubious bookcase
tricks the eye with its fun geometric design and can also be used as a room divider -- each side has shelves. These aren't yet for sale, but Lindqvist is looking for a manufacturer.
Resource Furniture's Lollisoft IN
is just one of their many beds that fold up into unassuming wall units -- perfect for studios or when your rooms need to have multiple functions.
Plants are great to decorate with. Not only do they look nice, they can also help purify the air and create a relaxing ambiance
. But they don't need to clutter all your horizontal surfaces. Anya Sebton's
Add System, designed for Lammhults
, is a lightweight storage option that includes room for houseplants -- and storing different kinds of objects altogether is much more unique than separate bookcases, clothing racks and planters.
item is like a supercharged Murphy bed: it hides bed and all sorts of storage in one unit. Boxetti has similar units for most rooms of the house, including one with all your living room furniture, one with an office and one that contains a kitchen.
Joakim Bergström via Minna Magnusson
The simple Bridge shelves
are elegant and easy to put together. Designed by Outofstock for Bolia
, they can be used for books, tchotchkes or even bathroom toiletries.
These cushions might be intended for poolside, but they'd work on a balcony, roof or covering a makeshift bench. The Weathermaster Accessory Folding Poolside Chaise
from Lane Venture is another flexible furnishing, easily moved around and usable as either a lounger or stool.
Unlike a huge sectional couch, the Raft Sofa
from Outofstock fits into a small space. It's designed to be easily disassembled to squeeze it through narrow door frames and stairways.
The cutely-named Snug-it shelves from EcoSystems
can be built tall or wide, used for display or storage and changed on a whim -- they're easy to put together and take apart.
What creative ideas have you come up with to make small-space living more bearable? Tell us your tips on Twitter or Facebook, and check out some examples of tiny homes that definitely need to save space:
Tiny Homes With Tiny Porches