Is Your Small Space Suffering From These Furniture Mistakes?

cramped small bedroom

Living in a small space certainly has its challenges. Whether you live in a studio apartment, a tiny house, or simply a small home, you might have to deal with awkward layouts, narrow hallways, and little to no storage.

Fortunately, with a bit of determination, some compromises, and strategic planning, your small space can feel just like home. But first, you'll have to avoid these small space furniture mistakes.


When living in a small space, whatever you put in your home really should have more than one purpose because you have to make the most of what you've got.

Your couch should be more than a couch; it should also have storage space underneath. Your ottaman can be used as a seat if needed. Tables should have drawers built into them. There are a lot of different ways you can use a piece of furniture as more than just one thing.

Too Big

wrap around couch in small area

The most obvious mistake is buying furniture that is too big for your small space. Sofas, tables, chairs, and shelves should be able to fit in your home without looking awkward and crowded. You also don't to be shuffling past furniture; you should have big enough walkways between pieces so that you can move around effortlessly.

Even though you should look for apartment sized furniture, that doesn't mean it has to be extra-small. A lot of stores often mark smaller furniture as 'apartment sized,' but a good rule is to look at couches that are 80 inches long and 36 inches wide. You also should look for bookcases, television stands, and tables that aren't too wide.

It's a good idea to measure your space before shopping. Then take a measuring tape with you so that you can measure any furniture you're considering to make sure it will fit.

Too Bulky

Just like furniture that's too long and wide, it can also be too bulky. Sofas with big rolled arms, lounge chairs that are super stuffed, or dining chairs with a lot of padding take up way more space than necessary.

While comfort is important, you should try to look for pieces with straight lines and smooth edges when selecting furniture for your small space. Or, at least, take it into account when measuring it to see if it fits.

Out of Proportion

Usually in a small space you want small furniture, but sometimes a smaller piece will look out of proportion. It's important that you envision what the piece will look like in your space before taking it home. A couch that goes from wall to wall might actually look better than a smaller couch that could just end up making your space feel even smaller.

Too Much

tiny room with a lot of furniture

Buying too much furniture is a common problem. People often think they need a couch and a love seat, or two end tables, when they really don't. Just because we have an idea of what is needed in a living room or a bedroom doesn't mean it's the only way. In a small space, less furniture is often better.

Open Storage

A small space can easily begin to look cluttered with wide open storage. All it takes is a few items left out where people can see them to start feeling claustrophobic.

Instead of having an open bookshelf, open cupboards, or even collections on display, you should consider buying furniture with doors. That way, you can simply close them to hide things away.

If you do have bookshelves for storage, instead of leaving items out on them, buy nice looking baskets or crates to put things in. This keeps your stuff organized and out of sight.

Unused Wall Space

Small spaces have less square footage, therefore there's less floor space. It's important to take advantage of your wall space when buying furniture.

Buy shelves and dressers that are tall rather than wide. Hang things on the walls to use as storage rather than placing it on the floor, like shelves or racks. You can also buy nightstands that attach to the wall to free up floor space. Even consider buying rods that go across the wall to store cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets in, rather than taking up counter space.

Furniture Sets

small bedroom with furniture sets

A lot of people buy furniture sets because it can make decorating go a lot easier and faster; all you have to do is select a set you like and you're done! It takes away the hassle of trying to find pieces that go together. However, when you live in a small space, buying a furniture set can cause problems. Furniture sets are often large, include more pieces than you actually need, and are less creative and interesting than selecting your own furniture pieces.

When furnishing a small space, each piece should be carefully selected for it's intended purpose and area so that you know for a fact it will fit, both in size and in function. Furniture sets don't give you that control and freedom.

Arranged Poorly

One of the trickiest parts of furnishing a small space is arranging your furniture. It can actually take a few tries to get it right - to get everything in a spot that feels comfortable, looks good, and is easy enough to get around. Don't just settle on the first arrangement you try. If it doesn't feel right, spend some time experimenting.