What to Splurge on in a Small Space

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Moving into a smaller space?

…Here’s What to Splurge on

You’ve just signed the lease on a new apartment and it’s time to furnish, decorate, and make it feel like a home. The only problem is that your bank account doesn’t match your dream apartment Pinterest board. When space in your new apartment is limited, as well as your budget, you have to make smart decisions when it comes to allocating furnishing expenses. There are certain items worth biting the bullet on the price tag because they’ll last for years– or decades. 

Decorating is often an overwhelming task for the average person, and it’s hard to decide what’s worth spending the extra money when there are so many decisions to make. Feeling stressed? We’ve narrowed it down to four things you won’t regret saving up for when you live in a small space. 

1/ Sofa 

A good sofa is one of the most important elements of a small space because it’s most likely the biggest piece of furniture and will get the most use, especially if you live in a studio. Your checklist for a killer sofa should consider comfort, aesthetic, and durability. It’s also not a bad idea to go with a neutral color since you can change up the look with affordable throws and pillows. 

When you’re living in small quarters, like a studio apartment, your couch should serve multiple functions like lounging, dining, a guest bed option, and much-needed storage. 

One of our studio-dwelling residents could not emphasize enough how important it was to invest in a sofa that was L-shaped, folded out into a double bed, and had storage below the seats. This way, she’s able to relax, work from home, entertain guests, enjoy meals, and maximize storage in the studio apartment. 


Photo by FLATS

2/ Antiques

Quality antique items are not only investments that may offer a return but they add sophistication that mass-produced items cannot. When you live in a small space, it’s important to limit the number of items that serve a sole purpose. For example, something like a vintage trunk can be used as a console table with extra storage or a bench at the end of your bed that can be used as a coffee table. One single excellent vintage find can take the rest of your more budget-friendly furniture to a whole new level of sophistication. Another benefit of a great antique is that they hold their value if you’re looking to sell one day. Side note– you should love whatever you’re buying not just because it was expensive. 


Photo by FLATS

3/ Large statement pieces 

Bold decor focal points help draw the eye to what you want people to see and away from what you don’t want them to see. One small space tactic is investing in a couple of bold statement pieces you love like an oversized graphic print or colorful area rug to act as a centerpiece for the room. It’s the first thing someone walking in will see and elevates everything else in the room. You can find great deals on beautiful pieces from up and coming local designers and artists. Etsy is a great place to start looking if you can’t find local art shows or studios IRL. 


Photo by FLATS

4/ Sheets and Towels

An easy way to make every day feel luxurious is to invest in better linens, time to upgrade from the Ikea sheets you threw in your cart last minute and graduate to the next tier. These are fabrics you sleep and wrap yourself up in every day, making them the gift that keeps on giving. There are even lines at Target that are worth an extra $5 to $15 dollars per piece that will instantly up your cozy game. Sheets and towels are an easy thing to skimp on without feeling like you’re missing out on much but when you take a leap to the softer side, you won’t look back. Have fun with your color scheme, everything doesn’t have to match in one set as long as you stick to the color palette of your choice. Mix and match, and wait for sales to build your own hotel-feeling set of linens. 


Photo by FLATS


The takeaway is that longevity, uniqueness, and quality should be the deciding factors when making a big purchase, not impulse. You can buy your more trendy decor items for cheap or even DIY your own, but it’s much harder to hack making a cheap sofa feel luxurious. 

Don’t feel pressured to spend tons of money to make your space more comfortable. Focus on the parts of your space that are most important to you. Some people don’t spend a lot of time on their couch and might find that investing in high-quality kitchenware is what suits their lifestyle best. If you’re lacking in square footage, maybe your money is best spent in installing great floating shelves to utilize your vertical space? The key to making the most of your small space is not following a traditional rulebook of interior design. 


FLATS Chicago

FLATS Chicago

FLATS® Chicago’s mission is to bring big style in smart spaces by delivering high quality, amenity-rich, and authentic environments at approachable rents.

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