Outsmart Your Tiny Apartment With These 17 Clever Products

Shape-shifting furniture will make life easier.
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Design by Brit Ashcraft

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Whether you’re living in a small space by choice or not, cramped habitats usually come with a very specific set of problems. Not only does the area have to serve multiple functions (hello, dining table–slash–work desk), but tiny apartments can often be awkwardly shaped. A tight space paired with an equally tight budget means that you might not be able to live out your dream home aspirations just yet, but don’t let a lack of square footage prevent you from trying. Form and function are not mutually exclusive in small spaces, and we’ve got the products to prove it. 

Between solutions for shared bathrooms and fixes for an overflowing kitchen pantry problem, these pieces will help you make the most of any space. Even if you’re not living in a truly tiny home, we’re sure you’ll find something to make your life a little easier. 

A Rolling Cart

Tower Slim Rolling Bathroom Cabinet, Yamazaki


Yamazaki’s ultra-slim rolling cart is our go-to for awkward bathroom and kitchen corners because it’s not even 6 inches wide—it can absolutely squeeze next to your toilet and hold spare rolls and cleaning supplies. 

A Wall-Mounted Nightstand

Sidekick Shelf, Blu Dot


When you have little walking clearance around your bed, it’s best to skip a traditional nightstand and screw a chic shelf near your pillow. The smaller the surface, the fewer water glasses will accumulate there, making you an automatically tidier person. 

A Ceiling Pot Rack

Chrome Ceiling Pot and Pan Rack, Etsy


It’s hard to justify dedicating multiple cabinets or drawers to pots and pans when you have very few to spare in the first place, which is what makes this restaurant-worthy solution so genius. 

A Mirror That’s Also a Shelf and a Coatrack

Quinn All-In-One Entryway Wall Storage, West Elm


This entryway piece is a key drop, coat hook, mail catchall, and mirror all in, meaning you don’t have to awkwardly scoot around bulky furniture as you’re trying to make it out the front door. 

An Island on Wheels

Förhöja Kitchen Cart, IKEA


Park this birch-wood trolley against an empty wall in your kitchen or in the center of the room as if it were an island. You can also use it as a bar cart (each shelf can hold nine wine bottles). 

A Chic Love Seat

Spruce Street Love Seat, Serena & Lily


For a sofa under 60 inches wide, look no further than this slipcovered style that’s available in a range of patterns and materials, from 100 percent linen to stain-resistant performance fabric. It also touts a sturdy kiln-dried hardwood frame and soy-based foam cushions.

A Lift-Up Storage Bed

Malm Storage Bed, IKEA


By upgrading her classic IKEA Malm bed to this storage model, our style editor, Julia Stevens, gave her towels, bedding, books, winter coats, and totes a proper home in her teeny studio

A Desk With Shelving

Pier Office by Hay, DWR


For everyone still working full-time from their living room, peep this modular storage system that stars a desktop at the base. 

An Ottoman With a Lid

Skirted Storage Ottoman, The Inside


This midsize ottoman can function as a footrest, extra seating, or a coffee table, all while holding spare blankets or board games inside its core.

A Wall Bed–Slash–Sofa

Tango Sofa, Resource Furniture (price upon request)

We’ve seen Resource Furniture’s wall beds (this one hides a queen-size mattress!) work wonders in multi-use spaces, like a San Francisco basement that can go from kids’ hangout to guest bedroom in a matter of seconds.

A Ceiling Drying Rack

Hanging Drying Rack, George and Willy


Want a minimalist laundry room? Air-dry clothes up near the ceiling with George and Willy’s beloved hanging rack, which operates on a pulley system. Because warm air rises, this arrangement actually helps speed up the process.  

An Expandable Dining Table

Linwood Expandable Dining Table (40u0022–90u0022), West Elm


Domino’s chief creative officer, Kate Berry, recently made over her mother’s assisted-living studio, sourcing this streamlined oak table that comes with two leaves that can expand it on special occasions.  

An Entry Bench for Tucking Away Shoes

Metal and Wood Bench, Zara Home


For many small-space dwellers, shoes come off and go on only by the front door. This industrial find is 14 inches deep, which makes it handy for stashing boots, but what we love most about it is that it isn’t just a pure rack. The wood bench top and mesh siding help disguise things a bit more than your typical shoe rack. 

A Basket You Can Hang Up

Jonote Wall Storage Basket, Minna Goods


This delicate basket might not be able to support the weight of, say, a toolbox, but it sure is great for miscellaneous scarves, mail, notebooks, and dish towels. 

A Flip-Down Dining Table

Wally Table, Resource Furniture (price upon request)

Resource might be known for its wall beds, but the company also carries a number of other clever items, like this dining table that releases from its upright position with a light touch and reveals integrated storage and internal USB ports and outlets. 

A Secret Vanity Within a Nightstand

Knepp Vanity, Wayfair


Still sharing a bathroom with roommates? This two-in-one piece lets you comfortably do your makeup next to your bed: A mirror pops up, a bench slides out, and there’s still a large bottom drawer for nighttime reads. 

A Coffee Table With Camouflaged Cabinets

Fortra Coffee Table, Article


Most storage coffee tables make you take everything off the top in order to access what’s inside, but not this Article gem. You can get what you need by flicking open the fluted doors on both ends without disturbing your precious arrangement of trays and taper candles.

Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.