Living in a small space can be a challenge, but with the right furniture and design choices, you can make your compact home feel spacious and functional. In this article, we will explore the top 10 space-saving furniture items recommended by an experienced architect who specializes in designing small spaces. These furniture pieces not only optimize space but also enhance the overall aesthetics of your home.
Gate Leg Tables: A Versatile Dining Solution
Starting our list at number 9 are gate leg tables. These ingenious pieces of furniture fold down to the size of a console table when not in use, thanks to two hinged table leaves supported by gate-like legs. Gate leg tables are a fantastic choice for those with limited dining space. You can place them against a wall and simply unfold them at meal times. Some models even come with drawers or space for folding chairs, making them ideal for small homes. With the right gate leg table, you can comfortably seat up to six people, and if you imagine your regular dining table could fold down, you’d have extra space for workouts, hobbies, or repairs.
However, it’s essential to note that gate leg tables can be a bit heavy, depending on their construction materials, and may require some effort to lift and unfold. Additionally, some versions may have an uncomfortable placement of the gate leg, potentially causing discomfort while sitting. Despite these considerations, gate leg tables are a smart space-saving solution.
Folding and Stacking Chairs: Compact Seating Options
At number 8, we have folding and stacking chairs, a must-have for small spaces. While these chairs may seem conventional, they offer versatile solutions. Stacking stools, in particular, are remarkable because they lack backs and have a flat seat base, making them ideal as side tables in tight spaces. They can be easily pulled out when guests arrive.
The Alvar Aalto-designed stools, though pricey, are a classic option. However, affordable alternatives like IKEA’s Udmund and Teodora chairs also provide stylish and comfortable seating options. Folding chairs are great for storage but might compromise on stability and comfort over extended periods. In contrast, stacking chairs offer stability and comfort while taking up minimal space, making them a preferable choice when hosting larger gatherings.
Coffee to Dining Tables: Versatility in a Table
Coming in at number 7, coffee to dining tables provide an ingenious solution for homes that lack space for both a coffee table and a dining table. These tables can be adjusted to different heights, offering the flexibility to serve as both a coffee table and a dining table. There are two main types: those that extend outward and those that rise vertically.
The outward-extending tables are budget-friendly and offer comfortable dining experiences, especially when used next to a sofa. However, they are limited to extending in one direction. On the other hand, the vertically rising tables are excellent for hosting as they can accommodate more guests. Nevertheless, they can be heavy and may pose some challenges when lifting them up and down, particularly on carpeted surfaces.
Storage Sofas: Conceal Clutter in Comfort
At number 6, we have storage sofas, a boon for those who wish to declutter their living spaces. These sofas come equipped with hidden storage compartments that are perfect for storing less frequently used items like tools, spare bedding, sports gear, or winter clothing. While they may require a bit of effort to lift their lids, once open, everything stored within is easily accessible and neatly organized.
However, storage sofas tend to have a bulkier appearance due to the absence of legs, limiting style options. To maintain a sleeker look, consider using storage boxes underneath sofas with legs. With the right size and color, these boxes can blend seamlessly into your decor while offering additional storage space.
Ottoman Beds: Space-Saving Sleep Solutions
In 5 place, we have ottoman beds, which, while practical, may not be the most efficient space-saving option due to their size and weight. These beds feature mechanisms that allow the mattress to be raised, revealing hidden storage space underneath. Although ottoman beds are pricier than typical bed frames, they are excellent for bedrooms with limited floor space.
For a more budget-friendly alternative, consider placing storage boxes under regular bed frames, elevating them with furniture risers for added space underneath. This DIY approach can effectively replace the need for extra wardrobe furniture.
Toe Kick Drawers: Unleash Hidden Kitchen Storage
Moving to the kitchen, we have toe kick drawers at number 4. Often overlooked, these drawers utilize the wasted space beneath kitchen cabinetry. Traditionally, this area accommodates adjustable legs to level the cabinets and provide space for your feet when working at countertops. However, toe kick drawers transform this underutilized space into valuable storage.
While not readily available as off-the-shelf products, a DIY solution involves removing toe kick cover panels and installing boxes with drawer fronts underneath your cabinets. This hack can significantly increase your kitchen’s storage capacity and is a cost-effective alternative to custom toe kick drawers.
Murphy Beds: The Disappearing Sleep Solution
Taking the top three slots are some of the most innovative space-saving furniture items. At number 3, we have Murphy Beds, also known as wall beds or disappearing beds. These beds fold up vertically against the wall when not in use, making them perfect for studio apartments and small spaces. They can be seamlessly integrated with other furniture, such as sofas or coffee tables, and provide additional living space during the day.
However, Murphy Beds tend to be expensive due to their complex mechanisms, and they often require wall and floor mounting, making them less suitable for renters. Despite these limitations, Murphy Beds are a genius space-saving solution that can revolutionize the way you use your living space.
Extending Dining Tables: Hosting Made Easy
At number 2, we have extending dining tables that take dining flexibility to the next level. These tables can expand from a console size to accommodate up to 10 people. They typically come with telescopic rails that support concealed leaves, allowing you to adapt your dining space to your needs.
Extending dining tables are versatile and require no permanent installation, making them suitable for any home. They can be an excellent investment, especially if you enjoy hosting dinner parties. Some models even offer coffee table extensions, making them even more adaptable to various living situations.
Daybeds: The Ultimate Space Saver
Topping our list at number 1 are daybeds, the ultimate space-saving furniture item. Daybeds extend along their sides and serve as both a bed and a sofa. This dual-purpose functionality makes them incredibly efficient and cost-effective. When used as a bed, daybeds can accommodate two twin mattresses stacked on top of each other, with hidden storage drawers beneath for bedding and pillows.
Daybeds are perfect for creating multifunctional spaces. In the author’s personal experience, they transformed a redundant bedroom into a productive workspace and recording studio. The value of daybeds is evident not only in their financial savings but also in the newfound versatility they bring to small homes.
Small living spaces can be optimized with the right furniture choices. From gate leg tables to daybeds, these top 10 space-saving furniture items offer innovative solutions for maximizing space and functionality in compact homes. Whether you’re looking to dine comfortably, sleep efficiently, or simply declutter, these furniture pieces have you covered. Embrace the power of intelligent design and make your small home feel bigger and more inviting than ever before.