Small Space Living

"Beauty Is Fleeting, But A Rent-Controlled Apartment Overlooking The Park Is Forever." - Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City


As a fellow condo & apartment dweller I know the struggle of finding furniture to fit those smaller spaces and sometimes awkward layouts. Moving out for the first time or buying a new condo or whatever it may be should be an exciting moment! The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed trying to find furniture that will fit the space but also through the doors (seriously, be sure to see how big the entrance doors are, make sure that brand new sofa fits through the entrance). That being said, I'm here to give you some helpful tools & tips when it comes to furnishing your condo to make the most of the space while still creating a home that is stylish & you.

apartment floor plan with two different furniture layouts

left image: dinner entertainer & party host

right image: work from home & comfort

furniture in layout is scaled to size of actual furnishings in images below


Deciding the purpose of the space or room is the first step. Let's look at the living room first. Defining what the living room will mostly be used for whether it's watching some chick flicks with a bottle of wine or an extra place someone can sleep when visiting. Once you know what the area will be used for it will help in picking furniture. Sundays has designed a condo sized movie night modular sofa that works well in small spaces. As we know condos & apartments are small so fitting side tables on both sides of the couch may not be practical. Instead try something with dual purpose like West Elm Charley C-Side Table it can be used as a side table or if you are working from home it can be used as a laptop desk (especially if you don't have a designated office area). Items that can be used for multiple purposes is key for small spaces! Another great design element of the West Elm Charley C-Side Table is the slim base it can easily be tucked under couches or chairs thus taking up less space.



Will you be hosting dinner parties? Or are you the kinda folk that eats every meal at the counter/island? Remember to always envision what you intend to use the space for. If space is limited for a dining table we recommend going with a circular or bistro table with a smaller radius it allows you to move more freely around it. Okay so you are an entertainer & host dinner gettogethers because you are adulting and that is the thing to do. Tables with a leaf or are expandable are going to be your best bet for entertaining & still not overtaking your whole apartment with a dining table. Good news, that stylish & comfy home office chair you invested in serves another purpose. Extra guests at dinner no biggie slide over that office chair. Or just use the same dining room chair as the home office chair instead of having to find a place to store extra chairs. Dual purpose! I will keep repeating it for these small spaces it is essential.


With the pandemic working from home has become the norm for a lot of folks. Ladder Shelf Desks are a great way to create a designated office area without taking up a lot of space. Pair the desk with a comfy, cozy & stylish chair that can be used both for the desk but extra seating in the living room or dining room.


The bedroom is tricky they have been getting smaller & smaller. I suggest investing in a bedframe that is simple, clean & does NOT have a headboard. Headboards actually take up quite a bit of space which causes you to lose room for other furniture pieces. Without the headboard it might give you some extra space for that queen sized frame. Going with a taller frame with leeway underneath will make the room look bigger and airy. Not to mention you can add decorative baskets to store underneath with extra blankets & linens. Talk about using each and every little area!


Remember to always measure the space to ensure the furniture will fit but so you also have room to walk around and move freely throughout the apartment. Here are a few dimensions you should keep in mind!

  1. Minimum 18 inches on each side of bed, best practice at least one side 24-36 inches

  2. Distance between sofa & coffee table should be around 18 inches

  3. Try to keep 24-36 inches for walkways & between furniture

  4. For a home office 30 inches of desk space is sufficient for most individuals (depending on type of work)

  5. 36 inches of space around dining table/chairs so guests can easily get in and out


We have linked some of the furniture pieces below that we used in the two furniture layouts above. Let us know what you think of the layouts & furniture options we have curated.



Newer apartments and condos in larger cities are getting smaller in scale, "regular" sized furniture is nearly impossible to fit into these spaces. Luckily, furniture brands have curated lines specifically for these smaller spaces. Check out our favourite furniture brands that carry apartment & condo sized selections below!

1. West Elm

2. Pottery Barn

3. CB2

4. Anthropologie

5. Urban Outfitters

6. Crate&Barrel

7. Sundays (Vancouver Pop Up)

8. The Cross (Located in Vancouver)

9. All Modern

10. Urban Barn


Let us know what other tips & tricks you have when it comes to styling your apartment. If you need a little extra help space planning & picking furniture for your apartment or condo drop us a line at info@135oak.com. We would love to curate an individualized furniture floor plan & selection package for you!


135 OAK


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