New York is the home of the studio apartment, and in this city as in no other, home design has to be spare, smart, and multi-functional. Fortunately, there are plenty of clever design ideas to give even the smallest studio a big style makeover. You don’t have to have a Manhattan rooftop apartment to have stylish digs. You just have to know how to make every inch of space count. Take a look at these design ideas – some of them may be just what you need to get the most out of your pied á terre.

Small apartments like these just need a bit of creativity in furniture design
Small apartments like these just need a bit of creativity in furniture design

Right-Size Your Furniture

If you have a tiny apartment, it makes no sense to keep large pieces of furniture. Store or sell pieces you don’t use. If you have a piece that you just can’t bear to part with, you can have it redesigned to better fit your space. For example, a furniture professional can redesign your sofa, making it smaller and more proportional to your living space.  You can even commission a custom sofa, such as a corner unit, to better utilize the available space.  Tables and even chairs can also be reduced in size.

Back to Back Design

If your apartment is essentially one large room, you can break up the space into several living areas with the use of dividers like screens, curtains, or plants. Alternatively, you can push furniture back to back to designate different areas. For example, you might push the back of your bed against the back of your sideboard, to mark the dividing line between your bedroom, and your dining area. It’s also a good idea to use stackable chairs and tables wherever possible, so that after mealtime, they can be moved to free that space for other uses. Choose square tables with shelves that utilize all the space within their footprint, or drape a cloth over a traditional table and store items underneath the skirt. A Murphy, or wall bed, that folds up into its own cabinet when not in use, is also a good idea.

Use Wall Space

When space is tight, it makes sense to use all available square footage – including vertical space. Use shelving all the way up to the ceiling, and if you can, hang items like pots, pans and other kitchen utensils from the ceiling to free up counter space. Sometimes, sports equipment such as paddles, rackets, or sticks can be stored on the wall and do double duty as pop art.

Moving Ideas for Small Spaces

Furniture can be problematic if you’re moving to or from a small space. If your old furniture is too big for your new space, it might not fit through the doorway. Most times, the best solution in such a case is simply to discard it, rather than pay to have it moved. But if you have a sentimental attachment, such as a family heirloom, you can solve the problem  by having the furniture disassembled by a professional, moved in pieces, and then reassembled in your new home. Small furniture moves in NYC are a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about getting your stuff through the front door!