Up until a year-and-a-half ago, I lived in a condo. And while it was fairly sizeable by today’s downtown Toronto standards, it still left limited space for furniture, particularly for a packrat like me. Even today, now that I’m in a house outside of the city, some of the rooms are still relatively small.

Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to get creative with small spaces, and furniture to help maximize the space you do have. Here are some tips and tricks.

Stick with appropriately-sized furniture

While you might have your heart set on that gorgeous L-shaped couch, if it will dominate your living room, jutting out past the dividing walls, you may have to rethink your decision. Opt for furniture that’s appropriate for the size of the room, even if it means sacrificing a bit on convenience. This might result in you going for a loveseat like this Hartford Transitional Micro Suede model instead of a full-sized couch. Or, simply a smaller-sized couch like the Copenhagen Transitional Sofa. If you’re worried about not having enough seating space when guests come over, consider grabbing a few folding chairs that can be easily put away when they aren’t in use, and brought out when you need them. Or, get a small accent chair along with the couch so you can manoeuvre them around the room in a way that doesn’t make it look too cluttered.

Add lighting and mirrors

There is something behind the saying “lighting up a room.” If you literally do so, you can help make the space feel more open. Mirrors can also do the trick. When we added a large, vertical mirror to our dining room wall, it instantly made the space feel so much bigger. A simple, rectangular mirror like the Teak 48” x 30” model can add depth to a room. Or, for an extra-small space, you might want something a bit smaller and more modern, like the circular Nexxt Tate 24” Mirror & Shelf, which adds a space to store decor items as well.

Tone down the shelves

Our new home had a nicely-sized foyer, but we ended up using up much of it to build a main-level bathroom. That also meant sacrificing our coat closet since there wasn’t room for both. Rather than buy a separate piece of entryway furniture to accommodate shoes, coats, and hats at the front door, we opted for some stylish hooks that take up minimal space on the wall, and use far less space than a full-sized rack would. The Prepac 60” Wide Hanging Entryway Shelf also doesn’t take up too much room, and it can accommodate everything from your coats, to hats and gloves, car keys, and purse.

Mount the TV on the wall

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of flat-panel TVs, aside from the stellar image quality, of course, is the ability to hang them on the wall like paintings. That’s a god-send for those who live in small homes, apartments, or dorm rooms. Rather than opt for a large, overbearing piece of furniture, neatly place it on the wall, and use a small stand underneath to house your AV equipment. It will free up plenty of space, and give the room a much more inviting feel. The 37” Sanus Classic flat panel TV wall mount can accommodate a TV up to 80” in size and 130 lbs. in weight, and offers full motion so you can angle it accordingly based on how many people are in the room and where you’re sitting. This means you don’t have to worry so much about where you place the TV relative to where your couch is. And full-motion mounts are available in smaller sizes as well.

Get multi-functional furniture

Back when we lived in the condo, I refused to buy a coffee table that didn’t have storage space inside. With the one I have, the top slides to the left to reveal ample space for books and other items, keeping them away from view. The Scout Contemporary Functional Coffee Table, for instance, has a lift-up top and slide-out drawer for extra storage. This doesn’t
have to be limited to just tables, though. With the Ethan 3-piece Storage Ottoman Setyou can store the two smaller ottomans inside the larger one, and take them out only when needed. Or, if you have room for all three, you can store items in the interior of each one, like a warm blanket, magazines, or kid’s toys. I’m also a big fan of nesting tables, which sit comfortably inside one another until you need to pull the smaller ones out to hold drinks or snacks.

Go round, in corners

Tables and other furniture that’s rounded in shape can actually utilize less space, and more easily fit in tight spots, like corners. Can’t fit a full set of tables and chairs in your kitchen? Opt for a breakfast nook, that will also modernize your space. The Transitional 3-Piece Dining Set is small, rounded, and has a drop-down leaf to save even more space when it isn’t being used. For even tighter spaces, consider a set like the Contemporary Bar Table, which can be placed up against the wall and used for casual dining.

Check out more furniture at Best Buy Online, including plenty of options for small spaces.