Multipurpose Furniture for Small House Living

Some of our community on our Living Large Facebook page asked me to share some of my favorite multi-function furniture here on the blog.

I wrote about some of this furniture in posts back in 2010, but it is worth revisiting the subject, since making furniture multi-functional is very important in a small home.

First, here is some of our small space furniture that serves multi-functions in Our Little House:

In both Our Little House and The Belle Writer’s Studio, we have futons with upgraded mattresses. This allows us a place to sit while watching television and serves a dual purpose in that it allows guests a place to sleep when they visit. Before we moved to Our Little House full time, we used the futon in the bedroom, where I could fold it up when it was not being used as a bed and the bedroom doubled as office space.

Our kitchen table is a small round table that normally seats two people, but can seat up to four when the drop leaves are extended.

Since I don’t have room next to the futon for a side table, this sofa table works perfectly to hold my drinks, television remote, phone and reading material while I’m sitting on the sofa (futon). When not in use, it conveniently slides under the sofa out of the way. I’ve also found another use for it – I put my house shoes and athletic shoes on the base, so they are also out of the way, but convenient to get to when I need them!

This little writing desk is great because it has plenty of storage for our bills, stamps and other papers and it makes them handy to get to, but also keeps them out of the way. It also has storage in the bottom, which allows me to store my purse, the corded phone (needed when we lose power), flashlights and other necessary emergency items.

These combination side table/lamps are great in our small space. This one is in The Belle Writer’s Studio and was once a Christmas gift to my mother. We also have one that’s just a little different next to Dale’s chair in Our Little House. Both of them have storage below for magazines or books.


Here are some other links I found that may give you some ideas for multi-purpose furniture in a small space:

  • A toy box repurposed as a bench where a person could change or take off shoes. Inside is a laundry hamper.
  • Repurposed wine barrels: These stools could be used if you have a breakfast bar in a small kitchen and double as extra seating in the living room for extra guests. I like this repurposed furniture and the coat rack, too.
  • Roll top desk: I couldn’t find a desk like ours, but did find this one, which looks big enough to hold important papers, as well as doubling as a computer desk where you might sit with a laptop.

For urban dwellers, or for people who have homes with more of a modern edge, here are some sites that might offer some ideas:

Do you have a favorite multifunctional piece of furniture that would work in a small home?



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12 Responses

  1. I love the idea of furniture doing double duty. We bought these wooden crates years ago that we still use in all sorts of ways–shelves, tables, we even stacked them to make a tall lamp.

  2. HeatherL says:

    I like all your multipurpose furniture. I guess my best one is the recliner I can also sleep all night in if need be.

  3. Alisa Bowman says:

    It’s so neat to see photos of your house.

  4. ginmar says:

    I’ma big fan of Moroccan/Egyptian poufs. You fill them up with off-season bedding or clothes, then use them as comfy seating. Put one long one against the wall, put another flat in front of it and you have an informal sofa; put them end to end, you have a bed.

  5. My daughter has a footstool in her room that has storage inside it. We have a hope chest in our front hall that we use to store beach towels, but also works as seating. Our kitchen table has a leaf inside it which is a very handy way to store it.

  6. Kerri says:

    Hi, Kerry! Since the ice storm 4 years ago, which forced us to purchase a generator, I feel we’re actually in much more of a better position now if we lose power than we even were in the city. We have a smaller space to heat or keep cool for one thing. We have a woodstove that warms the house completely without anything helping. In our larger house in the city, our fireplace never would have completely heated the entire house, even if we closed off bedrooms. We also have a medium sized generator, which allows us to run several things at once, like having the fridge on at the same time as the living room lights and television, or the well pump and the stove. It’s the bigger appliances that pulls your power and most generators will not allow you to have it all on at once, or even one big appliance with something smaller. It’s a challenge, but we can live off the grid, for awhile anyway.

  7. Kerry Dexter says:

    like your furniture ideas, Kerri. also like that toybox/bench/hamper combination in your added suggestions.

    your comment about losing power made me wonder: what are the challenges for losing/living for a while without power in a small house?