Are you moving into an apartment that is big on charm but short on square footage? A great sofa is the one piece of furniture that will really make it feel like home, so choose yours wisely to maximize style and function while playing to the strengths of your space.

#1: Consider an apartment sofa.

If you are planning to rent for the foreseeable future and may even move a few times over the years, a sofa built to live in smaller spaces will serve you well for several reasons. These apartment sofas are typically designed with a shorter length and depth measurements than most standard sofas, which comes in handy when you need to fit the sofa into a moving truck or an apartment buildings elevator or carry it through narrow entryways or hallways. Once in your living room, an apartment sofa will not overwhelm the scale of the space and will leave you with more room to add additional furniture and accessories such as side tables, shelving or plants.

#2: Use an ottoman rather than a coffee table.

When paired with an apartment sofa, an upholstered ottoman provides a way for two people to get comfortable during a great night of binge-watching TV. At other times, like when you are having a meal in the living room or entertaining a group of friends, you can use trays for stability so the ottoman becomes a surface for drinks and plates, just as a coffee table would.

#3: Choose a sectional.

A petite sectional is a surprisingly good idea in many small living rooms since you can use it to completely fill a corner, getting the most possible use out of your available square footage. Sectionals provide flexible seating when you are entertaining it is easier to squeeze one more friend onto a sofa than into a chair and because they are not one long continuous piece, they are easy to move. Plus, when you are home by yourself, you can not beat the comfort of stretching out on the chaise part of your sectional.

#4: Go for quality.

Sofas are an important purchase. When choosing one for your small-scale, right-now living room, think ahead to where it might live in the future: Would this piece work in a home office? How about a kids playroom? Do your research on furniture retailers and buy from one with good reviews for materials and construction. Look for phrases like benchmade in the USA and sofas with kiln-dried hardwood frames, which resist warping. Consider choosing genuine leather upholstery which only gets better with age or a fabric marked family friendly or high traffic to ensure your sofa is up to the challenge of your lifestyle for years to come.

#5: Try a chaise.

If your apartment is primarily your personal domain, a chaise could be your perfect space-saving solution. The half-sofa, half-chair combo lends a certain air of glamour to a room, and while it is just enough livingroom seating for one person today, you will be surprised at how versatile a chaise can be if, down the road, you decide to use it in a bedroom, office or sunroom.

#6: Opt for a clean look.

In a small space, simple is usually best. Clean, modern lines look fresh and uncluttered, and they stand the test of time better than ornate or traditional styling. Neutrals and fun, statement-making colors both look great on modern sofas, and if you are in the mood to show off a bold print, try it with decorative pillows. They are easy to swap in and out as your style evolves.

By Amalie Drury Sept. 21, 2017