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After seeing my own penny-pinching parents trade in their hefty-sized home for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-the-living-room-sized apartment, it’s a given that many of us will be gearing up to live in tighter, more economical spaces at some point. Whether you’re moving into your first apartment, buying your first condo or retiring to a townhouse, you need my help. (If not, then congratulations to you and please send me a check for a third bedroom addition.)

Even after nearly 10 years working on home makeover shows, both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, I still break into a sweat every time I see a moving van or delivery truck pull up to a condo or apartment building and out comes a sofa. Why? No matter how much measuring is done beforehand, it’s almost guaranteed that a sofa will not make it into its intended room because of (a) tricky corners to turn, (b) way-too-tight hallways to pass through, or (c) rooms with sharp angles. Keeping in mind that most newer homes have 36 inch wide doorways is definitely a good rule of thumb to go by; however, it’s not the end all/be all for choosing a sofa sure to fit. ENTER the apartment sofa.

When I’m designing or decorating apartments or condos, I usually limit my sofa selection solely to those labeled “apartment size”. This often suggests a width between 68 and 72 inches versus the standard which is 84. Nine times out of ten, these will work. Their scale is more fit for smaller spaces, plus they are easier to lug up and down stairs. If you’ve never before heard of this magical sitting-pretty creation, allow me to introduce you to six superb apartment-sized sofas you can find online or through popular retail stores. And if there’s one thing Mr. Brian taught you about design, it’s to always measure doorway and hallway widths before shopping for sofas, right? Very good then.
Landon Macy
Available in two uber neutral tones, granite and ivory, the Landon from Macy’s has a streamlined, transitional look that can easily be jazzed up with punchy orange, green or blue accents. Its loose back cushions are excellent for turning the comfy sofa into an overnight spot for guests to snuggle up. But if you’re like me and prefer guests not to stay the night, especially if they snore, just keep the cushions on and tell them there is a Motel 6 up the road.
Baldwin Ballard
The rolled-arm, slipcovered Baldwin sofa from Ballard Designs is ideal for the most traditional apartment or condo dweller. Control freaks like me will especially enjoy that it can be made with custom fabrics; this simply involves mailing them the bolt. If you happen to be known for spilling cocktails as much as feelings, keep in mind that its slipcover will be your new best friend.
Crate And Barrel Vaughn
Crate and Barrel’s Vaughn Apartment Sofa is my personal favorite. Its sleek, modern lines fit perfectly into minimally-decorated spaces. Available in neutral brown and grey tones, the Vaughn is an excellent choice for masculine spaces. So ladies, if your boyfriend opts for the Vaughn, you have creative license to pull out your girl card and pair it with hot pink Jackie O. pop art.
West Elm
The Elton settee from West Elm is the perfect choice for girly spaces due to its tufted upholstery and dainty frame. Its diminutive stature at only 60 inches wide makes it certain to fit into just about any living room. Those interested in making it a little less of a girl thing will love the slate blue tone of the Marled Microfiber option.

Ceilo CB2
A designer trick for making living rooms seem a bit larger is to stick with armless sofas whenever possible. The Cielo sofa from CB2 is armless, its brushed aluminum legs give it that modern CB2 touch and its back and seat cushions are reversible. What’s not to like?

Klobo Ikea

The Klobo Loveseat from IKEA is the smallest apartment-sized sofa out there at only 57.5 inches wide. It’s also the most affordable at only $179.

Anyone else find any great condo or apartment-sized furniture that makes moving easy breezy?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

245 Responses

  1. Kristin says:

    My solution to finding a sofa for my apartment was simple. Buy a loveseat, not a sofa.

  2. Mika Webb says:

    I love the Baldwin, just my style! We don't live in an apartment, but our living room is long and the fireplace and TV are on one end, as well as the front door that enters right into the living room, and doorways on each end… Couch/Sofa/Sectional shopping was a nightmare! Every one we found was too big for one side… once we found a sectional that fit, we bought it on the spot. We'd been to every store in town at that point. Great options!

  3. Briana@HGTV says:

    I'm Team Vaughn all the way, but would settle for an Elton. I am working with that Macy's Corona sofa that every modestly-budgeted mid-century modern fan I know has, too. Not sure how it compares space-wise to the Vaughn, but I'm Brooklyn not Manhattan, so I can go a bit bigger. :)

  4. CplusE says:

    This contemporary 72-inch purple Paolo sofa by Sitcom Furniture just makes me smile:


    I figure by the time I need to downsize, I will no longer feel obligated to stick to neutral colors, so bring on the purple! xD

  5. MaryPA says:

    That made me laugh. Moved the youngest back to college,first time in her own apartment.Tight corners….. yep! have the black and blue marks to prove that, ouch! The sofa is simular to the landon, took a piece off the one legs,went with a microfiber,very nice. Oh well, we got her there and she's set.:D

  6. Sarah Wise says:

    I love all of these, but particularly the Baldwin for comfort, and the Eleton for chic style. I rather like a combination of both: http://www.sofastreet.com/IVG2/N/ProductID-367200

  7. Rita Haring says:

    A smaller sofa helps give the appearance the room is larger and not over crowded. We have had one for years and ready for another.

  8. Brian Patrick Flynn says:

    Loveseats are definitely an option as well; however, they are not scaled specifically for smaller spaces. Believe me, I learned this the hard way and the situation involved a saw and a few broken dreams. Ha!

  9. Kent Schneider says:

    Don't forget about Gus* Modern Loft Sectionals.

  10. Just recommended the Vaughan sofa to a client living in a small space. It's masculine form is what I love about this piece. I hope to play of the feminine side with accent pillows and side chairs.

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