For those with large homes, an 8×8 room might comprise a walk-in closet. For those living in cramped urban apartments, though, it might be something a realtor tried to pass off as “actually pretty spacious, for the neighborhood.” If you are one of those lucky few with what basically amounts to a hallway to use as a living room: we see you. We hear you. And we’re going to throw you a bone. With a few clever hacks and space-saving pieces that can perform double-duty, putting a living room (and even a home office!) in an 8×8 space is a snap.

west elm - Small Space Living Room


The first key to maximizing your space is using furniture that can serve more than one function. We love our Mid-Century Wall Desk + Shelf Set for this reason—it has ample shelving, cabinetry, and surfaces, so it can act as everything from a bar to a media console.


Our Upholstered Storage Base Ottomans are a triple threat—they can act as a stool (hello, extra seating!), a coffee or side table, and an ottoman for kicking back. Bonus points: the top comes off to reveal a hidden storage space.


With space at a premium, don’t put anything on the floor that doesn’t need to be—that includes lighting! A wall-mounted sconce like this one from Pelle saves floorspace without sacrificing light or functionality.


Want to make a small space seem bigger? One word: mirrors.


A great way to liven up any space, especially a tiny one, is with plants. We placed plexiglass shelves (purchased and cut to size at a hardware store) in our window frame to create space-saving shelves to hold a large number of succulents and houseplants.

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ruel nicholas

August 10, 2018

how do I get help with ideas in how to finish my apartment. I am kind of stuck with what to do next.

Maxwell Tielman

August 10, 2018

Hey, Ruel! You’ve come to the right place! Check out the Front + Main archives for tons of apartment inspiration + tips! You can also head on over to your local west elm store and talk to a member of our Design Crew for a one-on-one consultation.

Cecile Hamermesh

October 11, 2018

How do you decorate a round coffee table in front of a television? I once saw a faux lily pad garden in a round glass bowl on an old Sherlock Holmes movie, and I’ve pined for one ever since. Seems no one sells them so I have to make one, but is that the best wow factor for the coffee table?

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