Compact homes admittedly pose a few problems, but embracing small-scale living, whether that's a smaller apartment or a micro-home, can be an effective way to downsize and simplify one's living arrangements for the better. With some compact furniture and clever storage hacks up your sleeve, you can create an efficient and cosy home with everything you really need.


Practically speaking, small spaces are more energy-efficient too with a smaller carbon footprint, so if you're currently grappling with a dinky space, it might help to think of the bigger picture - you are ultimately playing a part in creating a greener, happier planet!

Compact living essentials at a glance...

Best interior style for small spaces?

Japandi style and the Scandi aesthetic work a treat in compact homes. Both styles take a stripped-back, 'less-is-more' approach with a focus on good craftsmanship, natural light and clutter-free spaces. 

Of course though, you can have any style you like! If you have effective storage solutions and compact furniture, your home will look and feel calm and welcoming whatever your vibe. From a dinky cottage with a shabby chic style to a period flat decked out in an authentic Edwardian fashion!

Storage ideas for small spaces

Storage bed

Storage Bed

Although many storage beds are designed to be enclosed to act as invisible storage, the Bali bed above, available from Amazon has opted for a mix of open and closed storage. The open shelves are a great way to show off some of your favourite items, such as cherished photos, books, or keepsakes. The design includes six drawers, four shelves and two compartments, as well as two pull-out shelves - providing ample space both for out-of-sight storage and display items.

Plus, the leather-like drawer handles are a particularly nice detail, lending a touch of vintage appeal to this design.

See all of our favourite storage beds here

Divan bed

Emma Divan Bed

Thanks to the handy drawers that are built into the bed's base, divan beds are the ultimate space-saving storage solution. If you're one of the many to have jumped on the Emma mattress hype, you can now get yourself a matching Emma divan bed. This chic divan bed base comes with a matching headboard, and can be purchased in either dark or pale grey.

See all our favourite divan bed styles here

Underbed storage

Habitat Jericho Under Storage Bag - Grey and White

If a new divan bed or storage bed is off the cards, don't worry, as the area under your existing bed still holds valuable storage potential.

A large fabric bag is ideal for storing bulky spare bedding or out-of-season clothing. You'll find plenty of stylish designs on the market, such as this striped bag from Habitat at Argos.

See more under bed storage ideas here

Compact furniture

Small sofa

Eddie Sherpa 2 Seater Sofa

Dunelm’s Eddie two seater sofa is top-rated online and is perfect for cosy corners. It's covered in a light, greige-coloured boucle fabric that’ll give your living room a laid-back Japandi style.

See all our top-rated small sofas here

Sofa in a box

The Rebel sofa in a box by Snug

The Snug Rebel 2-seater sofa review

'Snug is aimed at a new generation of sofa shoppers who value 'quality, comfort and convenience at once.' Each sofa is delivered in parts, with boxes designed to fit through even the dinkiest of spaces.

What we really love about Snug is their sofas are modular and configurable, so our compact 2-seater Rebel can also become a spacious 4-seater, or a cosy corner sofa, evolving with you and your home's needs.' - Katie Dutton, Staff Writer 

Read Katie's full review of the Snug sofa in a box

Sofa bed

MODEL 08 2 Seat Sofa Bed in Vine

Swyft offers an array of gorgeous sofa designs, and we're huge fans of their vine green velvet sofa bed. It would work perfectly in a living room as it's very much a sofa in its own right. Like Snug, their sofas also arrive in a box - ideal if you have a narrow door or tricky hallway space.

See more sofa bed designs here

Foldable desk

Habitat Compact Folding Office Desk - Black & Oak

We rate this space-saving foldable desk from Habitat, which folds up completely flat for easy storage. There's no assembly required, simply fold it out once you've got it out the box, easy!

See more foldable desk ideas here

Shoe storage

Habitat Kent Shoe Bench in Grey, Argos

A shoe bench is a great multifunctional storage option for a compact hallway, porch or boot room, as it not only holds many pairs of shoes, but also provides a sturdy flat surface to sit on while you put on and take off your footwear.

See all our top-rated shoe storage buys here

Small hallway

Hiba hallway coat rack La Redoute

If you have a dinky hallway, or no hallway at all, a clever coat rack like this industrial-style design from La Redoute can help to zone your space and keep things neat and organised. Use the three shelves for storage baskets if you need to hold more shoes, then hang your coats and add a faux String of Pearls house plant to the top shelf for a tidy storage solution.

See more hallway storage ideas here

An earthy terracotta colour on the walls works perfectly against the blush metro tiles, which have been laid in a vertical formation rather than the usual brick- style pattern. A rimless loo from B&Q was chosen for its hygienic design, while the sink from BC Designs, mirror from Drench and taps from Crosswater all add a modern, sleek feel to the room. ‘I’m so pleased with how the bathroom has turned out,’ says Riannon. ‘I think the use of colours together makes a change to the standard white tiles and grey grout’

Compact home tech

Small vacuum


The ROIDMI H10 cordless vacuum is both stylish and functional, with a design particularly well-suited for small homes or apartments - the practical cordless design and space-saving wall mount make this a great choice for compact spaces. But despite the small footprint of this vacuum, its anti-tangle brush head is plenty powerful enough for fast and effortless clean-up of everyday dirt, debris, and pet hair. The quiet suction (83dB on the highest suction setting) is a plus if you're living in a communal building, too.

More like this

See all our best tried-and-tested vacuums here

Small kitchen bin

HOMCOM 50L automatic sensor bin

Tall and slimline with a roomy 50L capacity, this modern-looking bin from HOMCOM is designed to slot into even the dinkiest of kitchens and is plenty large enough for a family of 4-5.

See all our favourite tried-and-tested sensor bins here

Small microwave

Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 Litre Microwave With Grill

Coming in with the smallest dimensions but the best overall results in our microwave with grill reviews was the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ microwave. It has an external size of H25.8cm x W44.3cm x D 33cm and the range of features and settings makes it a worthwhile purchase for smaller kitchens.

See all our tried-and-tested grill microwaves here

Small dehumidifier

Silentnight 39899 Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier might feel excessive if you're already tight on space in your small home, but if dampness and condensation are a worry it is worth checking out some smaller designs - there's a range to choose from online. This dehumidifier from Silentnight is small enough to set on a desk or bedside table, for instance.

See our full round-up of the best small dehumidifiers here

Small air fryer

Tower T17023 2.2 Litre air fryer

This compact air fryer from Tower may be small but the size doesn't compromise on performance. In our review, where we whipped up a sizzling festive turkey roast, we found it easy to set up and it really doesn’t require much space on the countertop thanks to its compact size. The results spoke for themselves too - the veg, stuffing and potatoes were delicious and the chicken was juicy and flavoursome.

See our other tried and tested air fryers here

Small garden ideas

Plant ideas for small gardens

Beepot Mini Bee Hotel & Planter

Create a buzz even in the smallest of gardens! Pollinators, like bees, are in decline but you can help them by creating a welcoming habitat in your garden. This innovative, two-in-one Beepot bee house and garden planter is a great way to start and can be used in any outdoor space, even a balcony garden.

See more small garden ideas here

Small compost bin ideas

VonHaus Bokashi Bin Composter Set of 2

If you have a small outdoor space, a balcony garden, or even an indoor garden, the Bokashi Bin Composter is for you. Its sizing - and an airtight lid so no odours escape - make it ideal for a kitchen or small garden.

See our full pick of small compost bins here


After more small home solutions? Check out our guides to downsizing, ideas for small bathrooms and studio apartment ideas to make the most of your small space


Katie DuttonStaff Writer

Katie is a Staff Writer for HomeStyle magazine and She previously worked on Gardens Illustrated magazine and has written for various other lifestyle magazines and brands. She particularly enjoys writing about indie and eco homeware brands, interior styles through the ages, urban gardening, and decor hacks for small spaces. She is also responsible for HomeStyle's buyer's guides, so you'll often find her testing out the latest homeware gadgets and kitchen appliances.