Furniture for small spaces

kathy68_ogJanuary 17, 2007

We have lived in a small home for 25 years. I love our place even with all it's idiocyncrocies. We have a fairly open floorplan but that makes both the dining room and living room "wide hallways". I've been looking for new furniture for a few years without luck. Most stuff we see is made for huge homes and if we find a nice smaller piece the cost is prohibitive. In our case furniture depth is as important as length - the room is very narrow. Does anyone have suggestions on a manufacturer or company who sells small scale furniture. (not too modern and definitely not real traditional)

Thanks for any help.


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I bought my couch from World Market and am not disappointed. They have quite a few options for "smaller" couches, chairs. Also, the large warehouse type furniture stores have a lot of selections.

What I have found with couches and chairs in a small space is the arms tend to make a big difference in how they look/take up space in a room. Going from a larger rolled arm to a simple straight arm made the pieces fit better. Depths are all different too for seating and sometimes too short for comfort...I took a tape measure with me.

Here is a site with small couches/chairs. I ordered a couple of slipcovers from them which fit my couch/chair from World Market. The covers are great quality fabric and really well made....would guess the furniture is too.

Link below is a thread here on the subject a while back. Good feedback for your question. There is also a site called Apartment Therapy which lists companies/manufacturers. Other sites are cropping up too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smaller Homes furnishings

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:22AM
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I agree with imagineer about the sofa arms. We went from a sofa with large, rolled arms to one with simple, low, straight arms, and it is much less of a "presence" in the room.

We bought our sofa from Room & Board, which offers several of its sofa styles in smaller sizes. We have a narrow living room, so depth was an issue for us, too.

If you go to the site, mouse over the Sofas link and then choose "Small-Scale" from the pop-up menu. They have a mix of modern and traditional styles (4 pages worth!).

I've found their pieces to be well made.

Here is a link that might be useful: Room and Board small-scale sofas

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:54AM
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We have had the same problem...dreaded sofa shopping, then ran across a sofa at World Market (the slipcover one..probably the same one mentioned) and bought it that day. Other than that happy event, furniture shopping is hard. Ikea has some smaller pieces, but they are usually modern style, which doesn't fit with my style. We did buy a sofabed at LaZBoy, but it was discontinued -- everything else there was definitely too deep. I have bought several things at consignment/antique/used furniture stores. Older pieces were made for older (smaller) homes and often fit perfectly. If you can find a sofa/armchair in decent condition, it may be worth it to buy it and reupholster or slipcover it--money spent on upholstery may be less than total cost of a new piece and will definitely be worth the time involved in shopping all over the place to find the right size. For tables, drop-leaf or gateleg tables were used often in older homes. I have my grandparents' table and often see the identical one in antique/consignment shops. It is great because you can use it in the small size then open it up when needed (without having to find space to store an extra table leaf).

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 1:46PM
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I just got a new (to me) sofa, armchair, and rug from and estate sale. I'm not sure when they were made - I think probably 1950s. Anyhow, very comfortable and appropriately scaled for my 60-year-old house. And at $60 for everything, a real deal!

I was also looking at the stuff at World market and thought it quite nice (but the quality of my new-old set is much better.)

I would check craigslist and estate sales.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:06PM
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Oldfashiongirl...yup, the same sofa and I am really pleased with it. By the time I bought mine it was on sale and they no longer carried the extra covers except for the off white. The URL I posted is where I bought additonal sofa covers for it. I did use cushions from another sofa to adapt the covers, but nice to have options for changing my mood.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:33PM
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I appreciate everyone's input. I know what you mean when you talk about rolled arms taking up too much space. Clean lines are a definite preference. I took a look at the suggested online sites but really need to check furniture out in person. There is a large disparity in height between my husband and I (5'2" - 6'2") so we both need to be comfortable. We also live far from cities of any size. Portland, OR is closest (80 miles) or Seattle (250 miles). I've made many fruitless day trips to Portland. A few specialty stores have sizes that work but most are in leather (we would rather have fabric) and the prices run $3,000 - $5,000. (ouch!) The furniture we have now we purchased new 30 years ago. It's been reupholstered once but we can only place it one way in our room. I would like a more updated look and the flexability to re-arrange once in a while. I once found a great 3 piece sectional that was only 93" on each side and 35" in depth but again the price was way out of range and it only came in leather. Wish me luck - any and all suggestions welcome.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:40PM
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Those were some really good tips. Living in an older bungalow style home, I have lots of issues with small spaces. If you need furniture for a guest room, I would suggest a Murphey bed. For my guest room, I wanted a functional office plus a place for my guest. However, I could only fit a twin bed in if I also used the room as an office. To solve the problem I put it a Murphey Bed, or a wallbed. I am now able to fit a queen bed in my guest room when company is over and still have my office when I'm not hosting anyone. I bought mine off of I would highly recommend them above the others because their prices were good and everyone was really nice. Just another tip from a small space dweller.

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Creek Wall Bed Factory

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 8:37PM
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I went to college in Eugene, so I feel like an honorary Oregonian :)

Most furniture companies will send upholstery swatches to your home. That might at least give you an idea of the quality offered.

Otherwise, it sounds like a weekend shopping trip to Seattle might be your best bet. At least there would be a wider selection, and perhaps you could narrow down potential stores by previewing their offerings online.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Most large cities have hotel consignment warehouses. We have bought several pieces from the LA warehouse. Most of the items come from high end hotels which remodel on a regular basis. I also noticed that most of the items are smaller scale and very high quality. You might try googling to see if there is one in Portland. You can see the furniture online and then call to see if it's still available and they'll answer just about anything you need to know about. Then make a trip on the weekend.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 4:28PM
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I just heard on Paul Harvey today that furniture manufacturers are scaling down furniture design once again. Not too soon for me!!! I'm so sick of this "monster" furniture....

The small junior rancher (built in 1952) we lived in for 23 years became impossible to purchase furniture for. Couldn't get most of it through the door, and the rest was way too large for the room. I ended up buying antique furniture from the 1920's and had it recovered. It was a much better size and scale for the small room.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:10PM
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I had a size/space issue when buying a sofa, because I have an undersized front door. I ended up getting one from Bassett Furniture Direct. If they have a showroom in Portland you should definitely check it out.

My sofa is from the "Simply Yours Loft" collection. You can customize it how you want as far as arms, legs, back, upholstery, etc. I've had it less than a year but I've found it to be very comfortable and durable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bassett Furniture Loft Collection

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 4:35PM
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I spent a long time looking for a sofa too. Eventually I got super lucky and found what I wanted locally on craigslist.
But... in the course of my exhaustive research I came across an online furniture company that really impressed me. My husband and I went to a local furniture store to try out furniture and figure out our prefences for seat depth and cushion make up, ect...
The company will customize anything, choose your fabric, ask for different feet, skirt or no skirt, different arms, length, seat depth, you name it, really great! Their sales representative was very pleasant to work with and it looks like they have added ALOT of new fabric options since I was in contact with them a couple of years ago. No, they are not the least expensive, but it looked to me like their prices were competetive and no cost (or built in cost) for shipping.
Yup, I was pretty impressed...

Here is a link that might be useful: carolina chair

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 12:35PM
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I purchased my furniture from Lee Industries. I ordered from NC and saved close to $2000. They have a line called 'Aprtment Sofas' which are smaller. They have many styles of sofas and according to many in the furniture forum, are well made (8 way hand tied springs, hardwood frames etc). I included a link below if you want to check them out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Industries website

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 10:15PM
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