by: Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
April 14, 2016
April 14, 2016
When you’re living in a small space, sometimes so many of your decor choices feel inevitable: you’ll likely opt for a double bed instead of a queen size in your studio apartment, or to quickly decide that a massive wardrobe and dresser combo isn’t the best use of your limited square footage. Seating, however, can be a bit trickier. You need to be able to relax, eat, and enjoy your apartment, and having the right sofas and chairs for your living room and dining room will help maximize your floor plan and shape your lifestyle. Below, our experts outline their go-to tips for selecting small space seating and offer suggestions that are both high-style and space-saving.
Chances are, unless you are truly short on space, that you want a sofa that is at least long enough for you to sprawl out on or to share with a friends or significant other when it comes time for your next Netflix binge. Sofas with clean, simple shapes will make the most of your living room, and anything that looks puffy or overstuffed or has large, unwieldy armrests is going to overwhelm a small apartment or tiny room. Sofas that have higher legs and no skirt are going to give the impression of more room and light, since you can seen underneath them. We’ve been seeing the Karlstad sofa from Ikea all over our favorite blogs, and with good reason. The sleek lines and low back of this sofa make it easy to accommodate in most spaces and the tweed texture adds subtle visual interest. If you’re up for more of an investment, the Finn sofa from West Elm is sophisticated, refined, and comes in three sizes, ranging from 60.5 inches to 83.5 inches. Etsy can also be an amazing source for sofas the truly feel like the centerpiece of a room. Look for dramatic Hollywood Regency pieces vintage Midcentury modern styles that will totally influence the mood of your space and define your style.
As far as kitchen and dining seating go, we recommend metal stackable stools, like these elegant silver ones from Overstock, for everyday use at high cafe tables or bars. If you’re looking for a lower option to use with a standard table, the shorter version clocks in at 24 inches. Buy an extra set if you plan on hosting dinner parties and you’ll be able to keep them stashed out of sight until you need them. If you can’t live with backless stools and chairs, a pair of ghost chairs like this Anywhere Chair from Dot and Bo can be really great for smaller spaces. Because they are clear, they also give an impression of airiness—something you may be desperate for in tight quarters. If you’re the type to entertain a lot and want to max out the number of chairs you can store in your place, consider folding chairs. Before you panic, folding chairs are experiencing something of a renaissance and there are plenty of attractive options that will complement your decor. We love the rustic look of the Bamboo folding chair from Wayfair, and the neutral color means you can keep it around even if you decide to switch up your decor. The Spare Folding Chair from Crate and Barrel is also an easy, understated option and is available in black, dove gray, and white.
Unless you are living in a micro-apartment, don’t rule out the possibility of fitting a statement piece like an armchair or wing chair in your home. As with sofas, as long as you avoid the overstuffed, bulkier options, it’s definitely doable to find an elegant and comfortable place to sit when you want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. One example of a cushy, comfortable chair that won’t dominate your space is that Frankie Chair from Urban Outfitters—the pintuck details and tapered wooden legs are stylish elements and add some serious panache. If the classic look of a leather armchair calls to you, we recommend a more compact version of this timeless piece, like the Irving Leather Armchair from Pottery Barn, which offers the same look and feel as a standard-size club chair but is scaled for a tinier place. Look for richly-hued leather and the stately club-chair shape at a smaller size to pack the most punch for a small-scale apartment. And last but not least, if you’ve got a more modern style, keep an eye out for pieces like the Velda Modern Accent Chair from Target, which has wooden legs that again, create an impression of openness and space, while still looking solid enough to hold some weight in terms of aesthetics.
If you’re unsure about how to style your small space, get support from the expert design team at InteriorCrowd. Our interior designers will work with your taste and budget to make design suggestions that feel right for you and your home. For more information, visit our website to find out how to get started.
Caitlin is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is a life-long flea market junkie and you can find her vintage shop, Save Me Vintage, on Etsy. She is also a regular seller at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene and Franklin Flea in Philadelphia. Follow her on Instagram @SaveMeVintage as she searches high and low for forgotten treasures and design inspiration.