How to think big for small living spaces


Furniture in small apartment

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Real estate can get expensive, regardless of whether you're renting or buying, and one way to get your housing costs down is to downsize the space you live in.

Easier said than done, right? Your place might be small, but it probably could get smaller now that micro-units are becoming popular in certain cities.

No matter its size, your space doesn’t have to feel as small as it may be.

The key, as many local interior designers will tell you, is the furniture you put in it.

Surprisingly, the obvious choice of smaller furniture isn’t necessarily the best option.

Sometimes you gotta go big, and a prime example is a sectional sofa, even though you may be resistant to the idea.

“Whatever your hesitations are, get over them,” says Liz Levin of the highly rated Liz Levin Interiors. 

“Especially if you’re in a small space, it’s probably exactly the solution you’re looking for,” the Bethesda, Maryland, designer tells the Washington Post.


Why big furniture works in small places

How is that?

Well, contrary to popular belief, using large pieces in a small room is far better than filling a small room with many, smaller pieces of furniture.

By utilizing larger pieces, the eye perceives the room as larger.

You can also keep from crowding a small room by having the pieces of furniture you select do double duty. An upholstered ottoman, for instance, can serve as additional seat or coffee table when a tray is placed on top.

Speaking of ottomans, many furniture manufacturers build them with removable tops, providing extra storage inside.

Finally, look for furniture that is visually lightweight. Clear tops, such as glass, and furniture on legs that creates space between it and the floor help the eye see more space than perhaps there really is.

For more information about how to make your space work for you, check out this Angie's List guide on Interior Design and Home Decorators.


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This article was written by Jason Hargraves of Angie’s List.

Moving to a smaller space? Get the Skinny on Downsizing your Home.