Small Space Living: 10 Pieces of Double-Duty Furniture

Here’s a roundup of décor ideas for small spaces.

1. Sleeper sofa

The classic sofa bed is ideal for converting a living area into a bedroom for yourself or an overnight guest. Today’s pull-out beds are more comfortable than in past years, although the mattress is still pretty thin as it has to fold up into the couch when not in use.

2. Murphy bed

A Murphy bed is perfect for a small space because it can be stored in the wall when it’s not being used. Most Murphy beds can hold a traditional mattress, so the comfort factor is taken up a notch, too.

Hot tip: You can get a Murphy bed that combines the bed with a sofa, bookcase or even a desk. Those can be pretty pricey but they’re extremely versatile.

3. Convertible tables

If you don’t have room for a full-sized dining space, consider getting a multi-functional table. Many tables come with an extra leaf (or two) to expand or decrease the size of the table.

Tables that convert from a coffee table to a dining table are magical space savers. They serve as a traditional coffee table in your living room and then you can lift, fold or extend into a full dining table for you and your guests.

4. Bookshelf room divider

bookshelf used for storage and as a room divider

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

To maximize a small space, you may want to divide your living area into functional spaces. A bookshelf can be used as a divider and provide storage space for all kinds of daily use items.

Placing two bookshelves back-to-back can double your storage utility and look cool in the right space.

5. TV stand bookcase

While many people today attach their flat screen TV directly to the wall, an entertainment center can be a great way to store books and display decorative items. And by using a freestanding piece of furniture, you can save yourself from having to repair the holes a TV mount would cause.

6. Storage ottoman

An ottoman can serve as a footstool, an extra seat and a storage container all at once. Most storage ottomans have a removable top or one on hinges that can open and close. This is the perfect place to store your blankets, pillows, games and toys.

Hot tip: Some storage ottoman’s might also have a reversible top so they can do triple duty as a cocktail table or a side table next to a chair.

7. Storage bench

A storage bench is an especially useful piece of double-duty furniture that can be used to tuck away bulky items – or just a lot of them. It can be placed at the foot of your bed to provide a seat while dressing or in the living room where you may occasionally need an additional seat for guests.

8. Hall tree

hallway storage with coat rack and storage bins

A hall tree is not the coat rack your grandparents used to have. Hall trees now have hooks for your hats, coats and bags and a bench seat that may have storage underneath for shoes, hats and gloves. Most are kept in the front hall or a mudroom, but if there’s space, you can also keep one in the laundry room or living room.

9. Armoire

An armoire or wardrobe can provide loads of added storage space for clothes, shoes, bags and much more. This double-duty piece of furniture can function as a closet, a dresser and sometimes even serve triple-duty as a desk.

10. Fire pit table

If you have outdoor space, a fire pit table can serve double duty as a dining table, game table, marshmallow roaster and all-around creator of fun atmospheres. Just be sure to ask your landlord if one is allowed and remember – safety first.

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Rachel CooperRachel Cooper is a freelance writer and author with more than a decade of online journalism and content creation experience. She has written for, Washingtonian, Federal City Council, Montgomery Parks, Destination Maryland, Conde Nast Traveler, Payscale, Valpak,, Washington Parent and more. Her books include Quiet Water: Mid-Atlantic, AMC’s Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Best Ponds, Lakes and Easy Rivers; 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C. and Images of Rail: Union Station in Washington, D.C.

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