10 Essential IKEA Pieces for Small Living Rooms


From the time I discovered the store, those tiny-apartment vignettes (how three people live in 181 square feet!) were my favorite part of going to IKEA. (Okay, maybe besides the hot dogs at the exit cafe. Don’t judge me.) So it’s no particular surprise to me that IKEA excels at making products that are perfect for small spaces. Some are designed to solve specific small-space woes: others just happen to be very versatile, and have been pressed into service in tiny apartments by some very clever folks. With that in mind, here are our favorite IKEA products for making the most of a small living room.

The Vallentuna gets my vote for a small-space sofa, because it’s just so darned versatile. It comes in sections, so you can configure it exactly to your liking, and the sections are available as sleepers, as a traditional sofa, or with storage in the seat.

This playful, colorful table has three compartments for storage, and the top can lift off to serve as a tray, too. It’s a great catch-all for those random items that just don’t seem to have a home, keeping them out of sight but within easy reach.

The versatility of rolling furniture is always appreciated in small spaces. You can treat this as a bar cart and use the bottom shelf for booze, or use it to stack books or storage boxes.

An integrated lamp/end table is a smart space saver—and this one has a wireless charging station where you can juice up your phone simply by placing it on the table.

It’s just a basket, you may say. Sure, yes, but baskets can be tremendously useful for storing things that are floating around and just can’t seem to find a place—indispensable for cutting clutter in a small space.

This armchair is stylish, comfy (according to reviewers), and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. Plus its streamlined design means it won’t visually clutter up the room.

Designed as a closet system, Elvarli, which sits on the floor or mounts to the ceiling, can also make a very elegant room divider, as seen here.

Extra storage and extra seating all in one—tuck it under a console table (or under the lowest level of Elvarli shelves, as seen above), and you’ll hardly even know it’s there.

I like the idea of using this bench as a coffee table: you can put a tray on top of it to hold drinks, and store stuff inside. Plus, when friends come over, you have a little extra seating.

A coffee table with a shelf below is particularly handy for concealing clutter. The top of this one reverses from white to black, to suit your decor (or your mood).

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