We have a lot of personal staples---great lighting, a mirror, pillows, a variety of textures...but if you have a small space, there are certain pieces of furniture that work best to create the finished space you want without taking up too much space of their own.
Obviously, everyone needs to have somewhere to eat in their home so when you're picking a table for a space that's smaller, you need to be smart with your selection. Have you ever noticed that most kitchen nooks are round? So round tables sit in them...and yet they can still seat 4or 5 people... This is what you need for a small space. Round tables on a single stand take up a lot less space and can still seat a good number of people...not to mention, it keeps the flow of a small space--square or rectangular tables have sharp edges and straight lines that end a space visually. So go for that when selecting a dining table for a smaller home!
Small spaces can always use some sort of illusion to make them feel larger--for this, we recommend a large mirror. We're not sure how many posts we have where we've discussed large mirrors but we know it's a lot! And that's because they work! Not only do they open up a space and reflect the light but they are decorative too so they almost feel like artwork. If you've got a small space you absolutely need a large mirror. Lean it, hang it, turn it horizontal, whatever you need to do, but get it in your house to make it feel bigger.
Of course everybody needs furniture in their home but with a smaller home, you have to make that furniture work hard for you. When selecting seating, make sure to go with smaller scale--if you need an arm chair, get 2 smaller ones rather than one giant one. Make sure they have arms too so you get a more finished look. If you need side tables (which you do!), get a set of nesting tables that can be stored stacked or separated and used in different parts of the room. If you need more seating and the space just won't hold anymore chairs or sofas, try incorporating a bench. Visually, it doesn't take up a lot of room but it can add at least two more seats to your family room! Small ottomans work the same way--they're great moveable seating AND they're versatile. They can be used as a footrest or additional seating plus they store easily!
Overall, you have to be smart with your furniture selections in a small space. You don't want to sacrifice style but you definitely need to consider scale and function!