Living in a tiny apartment doesn’t have to suck. You can complain about a lack of closet space. And floor space. And probably even less kitchen space. But complaining alone will get you nowhere; you need to be crafty to make the best of a small situation. If your living room is smaller than you’d like, you just need to be smart about design choices to make the space feel homey and large.
You might want a giant TV, but a tiny living room looks silly when half the room is a screen. The same goes for a coffee table. You might want a large, glass coffee table as the focal point for your living space, but it’ll likely eat up too much space. Learn to compromise within your apartment size! Here’s some inspiration to do things right.
An Appropriately Sized Couch
Dimensions: Width 67” x Depth 38” x Height 32”
Sure, TVs and coffee tables eat up a lot of space, but the biggest space-eater is your couch. In a small room, you can’t even get away with a real couch; just can a loveseat or maybe a chair.
The VIMLE Loveseat from IKEA is a perfect size (less than 70” wide) and beautiful in design. It’s available in eight colors, so it can fit in to virtually any design scheme. Like most IKEA couches, it has covers (but ones that don’t look bad), so if you happen to spill chocolate milk on your couch like I did, you can toss the cover in the wash and no one will ever know your shame. Except when you write about it.
And if you have a small living room, but refuse to give up having a regular-sized couch, the VIMLE is available as a sofa, though it is 94” wide, just FYI.
Dimensions: Width 49.5” x Depth 31” x Height 34”
Again, we have to reiterate when it comes to space saving: You have to say goodbye to a full-sized sofa. A loveseat is a an excellent alternative, especially when it’s as pretty as this Darren Tufted Loveseat.
The Darren loveseat has pretty high legs, so you can get away with storing things underneath if you need the extra storage space. When you don’t have good closet space, you need to find somewhere to put your overflow clothing, right?
Smart Storage Options
Dimensions: Length 12” X Width 12” X Height 63.75”
You want shelves in your apartment, but a giant bookshelf will just not fit. Instead, stick a shelf right in the corner of your room. That space is often unused, or dedicated to dying house plants. Give it new life with a shelf that can store a few books, framed photos of loved ones, or fake house plants that (or real ones you hopefully won’t kill).
Dimensions: Width 41” inches x Depth 19.45” x Height 19”
Sometimes people get lost in a coffee table’s aesthetics and forget its purpose. A round marble top coffee table is pretty to look at, but bordering on useless in terms of function. If you need a table that can hold more than just a magazine and your TV remote, you want this coffee table from Target. It has three storage options underneath that fit books and all that other crap you can’t seem to part with. Additionally, the top lifts up, which is great if you work from home a lot, but also gives even more storage. It’s a great place to hide extra blankets.
Dimensions: Width 10” x Depth 10” x Height 63”
Again, you probably can’t fit a huge bookshelf in your small apartment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have shelves! Just put the shelf in your light. If you need a floor lamp and shelf space, boom, here’s a good 2-for-1 option.
Dimensions: Width 16” x Length 58” x Height 24”
If you still keep physical DVDs on hand, you probably can’t fit an entire collection in a case. This TV stand solves mutliple problems, giving you a place to put your TV (since you might not want to mount a TV in a rental) and a place to store things like DVDs, a DVD player, a gaming system, and other items related to all of your streaming entertainment.
A TV Not Meant for Ants
Dimensions: Width 38.2” x Height 23.9” x Screen Size 42.5”
Sorry, but a 60-inch screen just doesn’t make sense for your living room. However, the TV stand mentioned above can technically fit a 58-inch TV. Still, you might want to settle for a TV in the 40-inch range. This Samsung Smart 4K TV will treat you well, fits on smaller TV stands, and is under $250.
If you live in a tiny apartment, we know that your living room isn’t the only challenging space when it comes to shopping for furniture and decor. Check out our other coverage for small living spaces to get inspiration, like tiny kitchen tables and small bedroom furniture.
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Ana Suarez is the senior commerce editor for Hearst Newspapers. Email her at email@example.com.