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8 Tips on Furnishing Small Apartments

Furnishing a small apartment is often like playing Tetris. You sweat and you struggle to arrange a number of large and oddly shaped furniture into a very limited area.

But don’t panic! Here are a few tricks that might help you fit everything in. After all, the right furniture can totally spark joy.

1. Transformer Furniture

To meet the needs of small apartment owners, designers use tricks to create furniture that performs several functions at once. For example, there is a bench which can be turned into a large table and a few soft stools if necessary. In case of the arrival of guests, how convenient would it be to make several seats from one sofa? Other options include an armchair with built-in bookshelves, tables, and even built-in lamps. Such multifunctional pieces can be perfect for furnishing small apartments, not to mention blowing your guests’ minds.

furnishing a small apartment with big prints and transformer furniture

2. Built-in Cabinets

In a small space, you don’t want to waste an entire wall for a cabinet. If you’re furnishing a small apartment, let’s think outside the box! For example, if you can use a wall with a window on it, you get an excellent storage system and a cozy reading corner. If you don’t want to occupy the entire surface, you can place roomy lockers under the window. This helps make the room appear visually wider. Additionally, you can save space by using a storage system with your bed or sofa, either under the bed or in the headboard, or in shelving behind or beneath your sofa.

3. Folding Furniture

The problem of small space becomes especially problematic when planning a kitchen. To solve this, replace your chairs with folding ones or those that can be easily stacked on top of each other. If there still isn’t enough space, act radically and install a folding countertop. Furnishing a small apartment with folding furniture doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Check out some of these great examples of folding furniture.

4. Mirrors

The use of mirrors is an effective method of expanding the interior of a small room. With the help of a mirror for the entire wall, you can make a small space look bigger. Use a swing mirror instead of a normal swing door. Mirrors are one of the best ways to save space and visually expand the room when furnishing a small apartment. Or you can look for small mirrors in beautiful frames and place them where they catch the light from the windows.

furnishing a small apartment with built in storage

5. Minimalism in Everything

When furnishing a small apartment, you can make a room look as open as possible by freeing it from unnecessary objects. No bulky sofas and armchairs, numerous bedside tables and consoles. Remove massive wardrobes and replace them with built-in models with a large number of closing cabinets which can hide the items inside. In the kitchen, try to hide all your appliances inside cabinets or furniture. The same applies to our utensils: no matter how stylish and elegant your ladles are, for the sake of clutter, it’s better to put most of them away.

furnishing a small apartment with a small desk with a desktop computer in a white bedroom

6. Mobile Furniture

A great idea for a small apartment is mobile furniture. For the kitchen, choose tables with locking wheels that can be moved to a convenient location while cooking. A mobile nightstand can be used in different rooms: in the bedroom, it can serve as a bedside table, and in the living room it can become a convenient stand for books and a cup of coffee. Furnishing a small apartment with this approach allows you to easily change your interior without major renovations. Plus, it saves you money on buying additional furniture.

7. Corner Furniture

Use all the corners of your apartment. For example, you can have a corner coffee table or an armchair with comfortable armrests. A corner sofa is perfect for a small living room. Despite its massive appearance, it can be very functional, especially if you choose a model with storage. This strategy is helpful when equipping a small bathroom, too. Corner cabinets in bathrooms can help you use every free inch wisely. If you’re furnishing a small apartment, please don’t overlook the corners!

 furnishing a small apartment with a small white armchair in the corner of a room

8. Utilize Windowsills & Tabletops

Usually, window sills are occupied by indoor plants at best, and at worst, by all those other items that don’t fit anywhere else. But furnishing a small apartment presents the opportunity to be creative. It’s easy to change this problem into a solution: use the windowsills as a table! In the living room or bedroom, set up a wide wooden worktop atop the windowsill, add a desk lamp, and a comfortable chair, and voila! A full workstation is ready. You can add an extra work surface in the kitchen by using a marble or stone windowsill.

This piece was contributed by Roy Emerson. Roy is a literary enthusiast, a loving father of twins, a programmer in a custom software company, editor in chief of ReclinerFAQ, a greedy reader, and a gardener.

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Moving with cats? Here are 5 tips to help them feel right at home

Kitties are actually quite sensitive little creatures, despite their fierce fangs and claws. Heck, plenty of cats get freaked out when you just move a piece of furniture! So if you’re moving with cats, there will be a lot of new sounds, sensations, smells, and routine changes that can bring out the worst in your kitties. This is especially true if you’re furnishing a new place from scratch.

Here are five tips to help your cats feel right at home, throughout your moving process.

1. Create a Kitty Safe Space

Start this before any of your moving activities even begin. First, figure out which part of your home will be the quietest and most secluded once all the packing begins. Many cats like to camp out in closets or under the couch. Next, create a safe spot for them, using a carrier or a cardboard box with a blanket on top. Cats tend to feel safer when they’re near a wall and when they have a small space to hide in. Remember to face their box towards a corner and seal up one end. If your cat is in a room with a door, tape a sign to the door so that movers know not to disturb them. Then, slowly begin migrating their food, toys, and water to that area. Don’t disturb them inside. It’s important that they associate their new spot with safety!

a cat sits inside a cardboard box with a cutout window safe during moving from cats

2. Use Pheromone Spray

This is a tried and true solution for calming anxious kitties. Feliway is a popular brand, and you can opt for a misting spray version or use a diffuser. It works by mimicking a chemical that kitties emit when they’re feeling calm. Use this to introduce some relaxing vibes if you’re moving with cats. If your cat is especially anxious, you can also talk with your vet about anti-anxiety medication or other temporary calming aids, like a mild sedative for the car ride.

Living with cats

3. Build in Kitty Recovery Time

If you can, try to batch your moving activities! This helps give your cats’ nervous systems a chance to recuperate from all the stimulation. While packing (or unpacking in your new place), try to do it one room at a time. Then, do something quiet like read a book while you let the cats out to explore the changes. Another great way to minimize the scary sounds when moving with cats is to fill all your boxes up first, and then do all the taping at the same time. The ripping of tape and shuffling of boxes can be startling to cats, but confining it to just a couple hours can help your cats manage better. And don’t forget to offer affection! You and your cat can help each other stay balanced and grounded during your moving process.

furry cat in woman's arm

4. Make a Kitty Transition Plan, Door-to-Door

You’ve probably already figured out where the litter box will go in your new place. But have you thought about where the litter box will be in your old place? It needs to be available for your cat until the very last minute of your move. Moving with cats is complicated! Here’s a secret tip: when moving day actually comes around, feed your cats a smaller meal (it’s easier on anxious tummies). If your cat is microchipped, definitely make sure that your contact information is up to date, just in case they escape. If you are relocating across the country and your cat will be flying, make sure to talk with the airlines about their animal policies and what to expect.

One good option is to send your cats away to a friend’s house for a week or two. You know your cats best, so try to imagine which option they would they find more stressful. Scenario one is the babysitter, where the kitties have to endure two car rides (to their babysitter, and then to your new place) and a whole week away from you. But the benefit is that your cats get to avoid the noise and stress of moving, like the tape ripping, the loud movers, and the noisy cleaning machines. You simply bring them home once you’re all settled in your new place. Alternately, if they stay at home with you, your cats get to keep their routines and familiar spaces. However, they have to deal with the stresses of packing, cleaning, and unpacking in two separate places.

a black and white cat with yellow eyes sits inside a carrier moving with cats

Upon arrival in their new home, apply classic tips for moving with cats like confining them to a small room in your new place (like a bedroom or bathroom) with their litter and food. Then you can slowly introduce them to the rest of the house by hiding treats around the house. It can also be helpful to gently rub a cloth on your cat’s cheeks, and then rub that cloth on low places around the house. This helps spread their scent and encourages calm exploration. Try to supervise their explorations at first. Lots of kitties will try to squeeze into too-small spaces, like the gap behind the oven, or spaces with electrical wires. Anxious kitties might even try to push through a window screen. When moving with cats, keep an extra close eye on your feline friends for the first couple weeks.

cat with woman

Another #adulting pro tip? Make sure you have insurance that covers your pet. Renters have an additional responsibility to ensure they have adequate liability coverage for their pet. But here’s the catch — Did you know that renters insurance (which sometimes covers pets) is different from pet healthcare insurance? Here’s a guide that breaks down the difference, and tells you what to do if you have a specific breed or situation that’s not covered.

5. Manage Your Body Language

Finally, your anxiety can magnify your cats’ anxiety. So try to speak in low soothing tones, and breathe deeply and calmly. Stay physically relaxed throughout the moving and unpacking process. Your cats look to you to know if it’s safe or not, so your body language can actually help them feel more comfortable! This tip can have a bigger impact than you might think. So don’t set down their food bowls like you’re in a rush. Move slowly and gently, and continue to offer fun, low-stress playtime activities with you. If you’re moving with cats, the sooner you yourself settle in, the sooner your kitties will start to feel right at home.

We know you and your kitties will be just fine. Relocating can be stressful on nervous systems and mental health, especially if you’re moving with cats. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting step forward. You’ve got this!

If you’re ready to start looking at furniture, submit a design request or chat with one of our designers for free. We promise to look out for your feline friends.

Best of luck with your upcoming move!