Filling small spaces is easy. Filling them with the right amount of furniture for both the size of the room and what you need is the tricky part.
A giant sofa, while might be great for having all your friends round and the odd afternoon nap, can completely drown the rest of a room and will up emphasising its smallness. Before you begin buying furniture for a small space you need to decide what you will be using it for. Does it need to double up as spare bedroom? An office? Or perhaps it’s an eating and living area you’re working with.
Think about how much room you would like to dedicate to each task. If you enjoy cooking and putting on a big spread, then make sure the dining area has enough room for all the chairs. If lounging is your game then think about seating. Where is a good spot for reading that you can get a lamp to? If you only have one place where a sofa will fit then that’ll dictate where your TV and other furniture go.
Here are a few of our favourite small furniture items. Some pull double duty with multifunctionality, others are space savers and some are just plain good looking.
Henrie two-seater sofa, €1,689, DFS
Having a small sofa doesn’t mean it can’t be a luxurious one. A sofa is a big investment and will be the largest piece of furniture in your home after your bed, so either get something that’ll blend in neutral colours and texture, or make a style statement, like with this forest green velvet number.
Fox armchair, €815, April and the Bear
Armchairs take up a surprising amount of space. The absolute smallest one you will find will still take up a square metre of floor space, something small rooms can’t easily give up. Left in the middle of a space, they can also be a bit of a dark hole, where light gets lost and long shadows loom.
Invest in an open lounge chair like this one, that doesn’t suck up all the light and looks as pretty from the back as it does from the front, thanks to those gorgeous mid-century modern inspired legs and twany tweed fabric.
Wycombe dining bench, €350, Lamb
Similar to the armchair, dining chairs can quickly get awkward in a small space. All angled legs, they have a centipede quality to them when they’re all rammed tightly together. Either go for single-stem chairs to limit the distractions or, if large dinner parties are a necessity in your home, a bench. It takes up far less room, is much more multifunctional and can be completely hidden from sight under a table. Plus, you can fit some many more diners on it.
Bobby bed in a box, €498, Meadows & Byrne
If your room is double-jobbing as a spare room but you also need a quiet space to escape from the kids for a bit, then this Bobby bed could be the perfect solution.
Inside this tidy little footstool is a single bed that extends out in less than thirty seconds, ready for naptimes – yours or your guests. It’s also available in double bed size.
Audacious cabinet, €799, Old Mill Stores
Open shelves are a great asset to have in any home, but in a small house or apartment, it’s covered storage that rules the roost. Opt for units that are low to the ground as too many chunky pieces at eye level can weight a room down.
Put all your pretty-enough-to-display pieces on the shelves but hide necessary evils in low-down cupboards. This unit is set up as a drinks cabinet but it would make an equally great linen closet in a bedroom or tableware storage in the dining area. The tweed fabric glides shut while the oak frame makes it seem sturdy yet light.
Cambridge floor lamp, €329, Woo .Design
Like your storage, you should try to keep your lighting low and atmospheric. Create pools of light to subtly annotate an area’s purpose – a task light for reading, a slouchy light over the table for eating, dimmed lighting for relaxing.
Small homes need to be as multi-functional as possible. This floor light keeps the lighting low, highlights your books and creates a designated reading area, and also acts as storage. Win win win.
Ivar shelf unit, €266, Ikea
If you’re renting, there’s a high likelihood that you don’t have enough room in the kitchen. If you don’t have the budget or the permission to add more permanent storage, then this unit is a great alternative.
The Ivar unit from Ikea offers a good balance of cupboard and open-shelf storage, while the table is designed to fold up and into the unit, hiding two shelves from view while freeing up floorspace when you need it.
Featured image: DFS.