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In a compact space, choosing just-right furnishings can make all the difference between your home feeling cramped or comfortable. From practically invisible acrylic chairs to shelving that flexes with the needs of your space, these 10 furniture pieces should be on any ’s must-have list.

1. Pedestal table. A round table with a slender pedestal base tucks into small spaces with ease. The round edge means no bumping into sharp corners, and the (nearly) leg-free base makes it easier to squeeze one more friend around the table.

2. Shelving that can go vertical or horizontal. Instead of choosing the largest possible shelving unit that will fit your space, consider picking up a few versatile cubby-like shelves that can stand upright or lie flat. A pair can stand side by side on a big wall; be separated for use in different rooms; or flank a sofa, as shown here. Positioned horizontally, a sturdy shelf can even do double duty as a bench.

3. Stack of stools. Just because you don’t have room for bulky armchairs and a giant sofa doesn’t mean you won’t have a need for ample seating. One solution is to tuck a stack of stools in a corner— when extra guests pop by, you can simply unstack the stools.

4. Big mirror. If you’re going to buy only a few items to make the most of your small space, a great, big should definitely top the list. Hanging a large mirror instantly makes a small room feel bigger and brighter. Position it across from a window for maximum light-boosting power.

5. Small-scale armchairs. Bulky armchairs may be cozy, but they also take up a ton of floor space. In a compact living room, you can pack more seating into the available space by choosing armless chairs, or armchairs with an upright profile like the barrel chairs shown here. And if you move into a larger space in the future, a pair of small-scale armchairs can round out a larger seating arrangement, or flank a console table in a spacious entry hall.

6. Settee. A petite love seat or settee makes for cozy seating and gives you a place to stretch out when on your own, without the bulk of a full-size sofa. In a larger space, a settee can also work at the foot of a bed, in the entry or even pulled up to a dining table.

7. Mini Parsons desk. It can be a desk, but it also works as an oversize bedside table, bar, buffet or kitchen table. In fact, there’s not much this versatile table can’t do. The sleek shape makes it an especially good choice for studio apartments, where you need your table to pull double (or triple) duty.

8. Bench. A backless bench is a smart choice in a

small dining area

since it can be tucked under the table, as it is here, when not in use. A low bench also works well as a coffee table, and it can be called into service as extra seating when guests outnumber the chairs.

9. Acrylic chair. Like an invisibility cloak for your furniture, anything made of clear acrylic is an excellent choice for small spaces. An acrylic armchair is an especially useful piece to have, since it can tuck in just about anywhere, from the living room to the desk.

10. PoufsWhether you choose Moroccan-style leather, rustic burlap or seagrass, poufs are a must for any small home. Use them as footstools, extra seats or side tables (just top with a tray).

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