In a space of 300 square feet, every inch matters.

By furnishing an ADU, you’re fitting all of the amenities of a 3,000 square foot home into a space that’s sometimes a tenth of that size.

Here’s the beauty, though: if you can plan it right and furnish it properly, then nothing is sacrificed – it’s simply condensed. Your ideal outcome is that people walk in and forget they’re in a space that’s smaller-than-average, but rather somewhere that’s completely comfortable and functional (which it is). We’ll explain how.

Interior small studio apartment1. Light strategically

Your biggest priority is making your space feel open and light; not like a shoebox.

That first means finding lighting that will spread amongst the room – so don’t just invest in a single overhead source, but rather multiple table lamps and floor lamps (this will also help you create and set a mood).

2. Amplify with mirrors

Mirrors are an interior designer’s best friend when it comes to creating more space. An ideal placement for a mirror is in front of a window, as it’ll bounce natural light throughout the ADU. If that’s not possible—or preferred—then we recommend placing a mirror opposite a wall light.

3. Storage is everywhere

Perhaps your most creative feat when furnishing your ADU is identifying all the storage opportunities. Here are a few we suggest:

  • Incorporating built-in shelves, especially underneath stairs
  • Storage loft above door frames and closets (which can double as sleeping spaces for guests)
  • Two-sided storage wall – like a wardrobe on one side and bookcase on the other – which is especially great if your bedroom is adjacent to the living room
  • Multifunctional furniture – such as futons or wallbeds
  • Custom-built pieces, such as cabinet-stairs and such (more examples of creative space-saving designs)

4. Incorporate double-duty furniture

The most common examples of these are dressers that can double as nightstands, storage benches, etc. Ideally, these pieces serve multiple functions in your space.

(for more ideas, check out our post about best double-duty furniture ideas)

5. Add pops of color

Though it’s not a furnishing tip, it’s proven that light colors for your wall paint will convey more spaciousness. That said, if you have white or lighter walls, you’ll want to add color where you can.

You also don’t want to overdo it. Our best suggestions would be using the rugs, blankets and drapes as opportunities to include color.

We’re happy to see the rise in ADUs in Portland – it provides great relief for the housing market. From a furnishing perspective, it requires the decorator to get especially creative in order to conserve space.

At Broadway Furniture, we can steer you to the pieces that are best suited for an ADU. You can visit our store, or give us a call first to hear if we have what you’re looking for.

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