As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. With Homepolish designer Ariel Okin's shoppable guide, learn how to optimize your tiny but mighty space.
Anyone who lives in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the like can attest to the frustrations of outfitting a studio or 1-bedroom apartment with the most functional furniture, all while trying not to overwhelm or crowd the space. Fortunately, furniture companies have caught on, and there are tons of “petite” sized pieces available that are perfect for organizing your tiny, yet mighty, abode. Check out our favorite picks and tricks for design when you’re lacking in the size department.
Storage Is Key
One of the biggest problems when designing for a small space is the lack of storage. Let’s just say, tiny apartment units don’t typically come with walk-in closets. Invest in pieces that have closed doors, where you can fold, hang, and store your precious items away in peace (and out of sight). Smaller than an armoire and more accommodating than a dresser, West Elm’s Midcentury Chifforobe is an all-in-one closet for smaller spaces. It’s crafted of FSC®-certified wood, adding modern-day sustainability to its timeless 1950s and ’60s style. Anthropologie’s Lacquered Regency Armoire is not only show-stoppingly beautiful, but boasts hanging and folding space, so you have room for both winter sweaters and summer linens (very important). Lastly, Jonathan Adler’s Turner Pagoda Side Table offers a place for all your bedside needs, but it also has substantial drawer space, for those *unmentionables* you might want to keep out of sight.
When configuring a small space, multipurpose pieces are paramount to ensuring success. (I know, that sounds serious, BUT IT IS!) Kate Spade’s Ebony Bookcase combines book storage with deep drawers for more folding space, while Anthropologie’s Brass Key Secretary Desk melds an office space with storage for clothes or office supplies. Let’s face it… even in a small space, you need space to 1) take care of business and 2) show off your books and how smart you are. CB2’s genius Stowaway Bed also offers pull-out drawers built right into the bottom of the frame, perfect for housing those trinkets you just can’t get rid of. Or, if you’re like me, more clothes.
Marie Kondo Your Life
Piggy-backing off “those trinkets you just can’t get rid of” – get rid of them. (Sorry, not sorry.) As Madame Marie Kondo suggests, toss anything that doesn’t bring you joy. If that methodology sounds unrealistic, mostly because you may or may not despise your entire wardrobe and can’t risk showing up to work naked, at least try to edit your collection to be functional. Curate a capsule wardrobe and display it proudly on a double clothing rack, like these open space options from CB2 and Urban Outfitters. (There’s something oddly gorgeous about “merchandising” your own stuff.) If you work from home and it’s your office space that’s got you frazzled, consider a piece like West Elm’s Linden Midcentury Wide Storage Shelf Unit to create a #shelfie moment that everyone will envy. Color coordinate your books or switch to an all neutral palette like white, and you’ll fast become the organization guru of your friend group.
Whether it’s closet space, general clutter, or office build up… whatever the storage issue, there’s a solution. Small spaces don’t have to feel cramped, and editing your “things” down to a collection of beautiful objects is a really liberating process. So get those cleaning gloves on and the wallet out. With these tiny space tips, you’re prepared for whatever your urban jungle throws your way. To see how one of our designers actually tackled her own New York apartment, check out Megan Hopp’s West Village space.