How to Furnish a Small House

Furnishing a small house or a small apartment is a demanding and exciting challenge because you have to try to fit everything into a limited space.

How to furnish a tiny home
How to furnish a tiny home

When we talk about a small house, however, it is taken for granted that the rooms are, at least, rationally distributed, i.e. that there is not a huge bedroom and a very tiny living room, or vice versa.

In this case it will be necessary to operate a more rational division of space, where possible.

It is clear that demolishing walls and building new ones goes far beyond the furnishing of a small room, it is masonry work that requires design and specialized craftsmen.

What's different is when we want to subdivide the interior spaces, which can be done even without the intervention of skilled labor because sometimes just plasterboard walls or even bricks like Lego.

When we go to divide a space, however, is to shrink something too large, in the case of a small apartment there will be very little to divide.

To furnish a small house, therefore, we must make the most of the space available by maximizing the result.

Often we are convinced that a house is too small for our needs but perhaps it is our needs that are too big.

Living in a small house also means learning to choose functional furniture even if we would prefer others, it means being able to understand what is really important and what is superfluous.

In a way it is like a Zen exercise, if we are not willing to commit ourselves maybe it is better to pack up and move (if we have the economic possibility).

When we think that it is really impossible to organize a tiny space such as a small studio apartment we can look at some articles on small mobile homes and realize how they can contain in a small space all the essentials to live there.

In a small house the spaces are obviously restricted and the risk is to accumulate traditional furniture that, in the end, will make everything even more congested and will also make cleaning work more uncomfortable.

Let me tell you something: during my university years I lived in a 12 square meter studio apartment in Milan, bathroom included.

For me, who came from a large country house, finding myself locked inside that cramped space was like feeling like a dog inside its kennel.

The example is somewhat fitting because the kennel is for the dog its small, and in its own way welcoming, refuge but also a small prison, especially if tied to a chain.

It is up to us to choose whether to make a virtue of necessity, and therefore want to live the best of the small space we have, or complain and suffer dreaming of something larger and more comfortable.

Before furnishing our room, let's take stock of what its strengths may be: perhaps it is very small but has a high ceiling and we can take advantage of the height rather than the width.

Let's see what can be the interventions to make our small apartment more comfortable, taking into account that the interventions can act in two areas:

  1. Psychological
  2. Physical

There may be obvious mixes between these areas but, in general, we speak of physical areas for all furniture and furnishings that improve the functionality of spaces, while we speak of psychological areas for those interventions aimed at making us perceive the environment as larger than it really is.

The ideal would be to exploit both physical and psychological factors to achieve an optimal result.

But let's start with the elements that modify our perception of space.

The power of color

Color can dramatically alter our perception of space, making it appear larger (or smaller) depending on the color we choose.

I think everyone knows how the color white contributes to making a room visually brighter and more airy, which dark colors do not.

If you think that the "total white" is not the best solution for you, you can choose another color, always remaining on light shades.

To experiment directly online with the possible variants of color for your apartment I recommend to use some App or a programmes you can find on the Internet to choose the color of the walls directly online.

The magical effects of mirrors

A room appears larger by using mirrors in a clever way.

A wise use of mirrors can duplicate (at least virtually) the size of a room.

If we cover an entire wall with mirrors, the room will magically enlarge, even though we have not made any intervention on the furniture.

Obviously such large mirrors have a fairly high cost and to get the maximum effect it is necessary that the walls are not subsequently covered by large pieces of furniture such as bookshelves or cabinets.

The alternative to glass mirrors consists of acrylic mirrors, definitely less expensive and safer.

Wallpaper murals that break down walls

wallpaper mural

We all know the trompe l'oeil technique, which is the technique of painting false structures on the wall or ceiling that open onto illusory views.

This technique, although beautiful, requires great skill and a considerable investment.

What many people don't know is that today the market offers photographic solutions through which it is possible to cover an entire wall with blow-ups that open the eyes to fantastic views.

If you feel your home is cramped to the limit of claustrophobic, installing one of these murals will be like taking a breath of oxygen after a breathlessness.

The above solutions change the perspective and perception of space, let's now come to the furniture solutions for small spaces.

Sliding Doors

A folding door does not take up as much space, but even that space, in a cramped environment, is essential.

A door that slides on tracks takes up less space and it is not certain that the part of the wall it occupies, with the door open, cannot also be used for a piece of furniture.

What is certain is that it will be necessary to distance the furniture of a few centimeters from the wall to allow the opening of the door, but the saving of space is still assured.

Door storage

Whether you decide on a sliding door or a folding door, know that the door itself can be exploited to place objects in it that would otherwise clutter the floor or closet.

To take advantage of the door space as well, special solutions have been created, ranging from shoe racks to magazine holders, from clothes hangers to ironing boards.

Smart furniture for small spaces

Here we enter a really fascinating world because in recent years smart furniture has been developed precisely to meet the needs of those who live in a small house.

There are pieces of furniture that unpack in unthinkable ways to achieve maximum efficiency in relation to the space they occupy.

We have super-equipped walls that incorporate, in a single piece of furniture, the bed, the desk, the dining table and all the chairs.

All of this furniture is based on really clever closing and opening mechanisms and allows us to have everything in a small space.

Of course, you have to consider that you can only use one part of the furniture at a time and therefore we need to put our habits in order as well to avoid having to constantly open and close these special furniture pieces.

The latest and most developed furniture solutions, however, also allow you to open these pieces of furniture without having to move and remove everything from another space, for example you can go to bed leaving all the dishes on the table because, thanks to the opening and closing mechanism, the table does not tip over but slides elegantly under the bed.

Here are a couple of videos that show you how some of these furniture solutions work.

The loft

Where the height of the room allows it is always desirable to consider the solution of the loft to recover space.

In the loft, generally, is obtained the sleeping area since lying down occupy less space.

Below the loft bed we can place both the desk and the dining table that a walk-in closet equipped with everything.

Does the staircase that allows you to go up to the loft area take up space and get in the way? Well, it is possible to install a side folding stairs that, once closed, takes up only a few centimeters of space!

One last piece of advice that does not directly concern furniture but is very important for the livability of a small house that often does not contemplate separation between the different areas of the house, as happens in a studio apartment.

In a small environment different smells get mixed up and it is very easy for the air to become stale.

In this case it is highly advisable to provide for a constant recycling of the air, perhaps by adopting a heat recovery unit.

DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.