Janet Ramin - Small spaces are challenging to decorate, not just for homeowners, but also for designers as well. But I’ve always found that you can come up with the most interesting solutions without sacrificing style or comfort. It just requires an adjustment in scale and how you shop for furniture.
First, eliminate those visions of sectionals and oversized couches. While they’re great to lounge around on, they’re really meant for lofts or large houses. Instead, envision settees, loveseats, or sofas that are smaller in scale. Above is the Bacall settee which I found on One Kings Lane; it's only 50” wide, great for those small living rooms.
Second, you should find furniture that does double duty or even triple duty. For instance, the Prescott coffee table above, which I found at The Foundary, has pull-out seating that also hides storage. When not in use, the ottomans hide under the coffee table to become one compact piece. The Avery bed (below) from Room and Board is a lovely platform bed with a hideaway drawer underneath to store away those thick comforters and extra sheets.
Another way to furnish a tight space is to lift the furniture off the floor and have them hang on the wall. If you need a desk, take a look at Prepac's floating wall desk. With the advent of flat screens or laptops, you don’t need as much desk top.
Also look out for furniture that can expand and contract to a small footprint. The Span Gateleg dining table from Crate and Barrel is a great example of expanding furniture. When folded partially, you can use it as a desk; when you unfold it, you have a dining table for four people. It also folds completely to a small case that can be stored away if you don't need it.
Janet Ramin is an Interior Design Student Advisor at the Sheffield School. Interested in learning more about space planning? Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design. At Sheffield, you'll learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.