In a small space, every inch counts. There’s quite literally no room for frivolous decor items that don’t also provide a function. But the items in this post—spotted in real homes from recent house tours—are hardworking and good looking.
Melina Peterson’s 300-square-foot New York studio apartment is not just small, it’s an odd shape. She found a creative furniture layout that works for her needs, and she also filled it with hardworking decor items that look nice and provide a service for her.
Carts are great for any room to hold extra items or even display favorite finds. This affordable IKEA cart is great because it’s got wheels for easy moving and is nice and narrow to fit into even the smallest home.
I believe this IKEA corner shelf is meant to live in the bathroom, but its unusual shape also means it can help you reclaim wasted space in the corners of all of your rooms.
Siria Alvarez and Emmanuel Perez share this small studio apartment in Harlem, and they were able to fit in several “areas” in just one room, like a sleeping space, lounging space, and even work space.
This ottoman from Wayfair is great in so many useful ways. It provides a bit of extra storage. It can be used as a side table, coffee table, or extra seating. And it’s raised slightly on legs, allowing for visual space underneath (vital in small spaces to help them not feel too cluttered).
Rachael Bennett and cute puppy, Kuma, live in this small Crown Heights home, and lots of narrow spaces create headaches when it comes to storing stuff.
This thin, unimposing cabinet can keep shoes out of the way and out of sight and do it without taking up too much space itself!
Emily Zirimis and Jesus Antoshka share a small Bushwick apartment. They managed to find a number of stylish objects that also pull double duty.
Side tables are infinitely useful in just about any room of the home. How do you make them even more useful? Buy a set of nesting tables! And if you don’t want your small space to feel too cluttered, purchase acrylic ones so they blend into your existing decor.
It’s another cart from IKEA, and like the other one linked above, you can use it in the kitchen like it’s intended, or bring it into another room to help you store and display your stuff.
Like the acrylic nesting tables above, acrylic wall shelves will also blend well with your existing decor, and won’t make a wall feel cluttered with too many heavy objects on it.
Elaine Burns lives in a 500-square-foot studio apartment, but she’s incorporated a handful of functional objects inside to help make living in a small space easier.
Not only does this light fixture attach to the wall (and not take up precious table or floor space), but it also pivots, allowing you the flexibility of using it in different positions.
Though this shelving unit isn’t fully transparent like the acrylic accessories above, glass shelves are visually “lighter” looking.
Baskets are always great to have around in any size home, but in a small home they can play a ton of different storage roles. What’s great about this IKEA basket is you can configure it in two different ways, depending on whether you want to display what you’re storing or hide it.
Any tray is actually a great object to have in a small space, because it can corral flat surface clutter and look cute doing it, too. These dog trays are used in Elaine’s home.
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