Shopping for Small Cabinets – The New York Times

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When you’re furnishing a small space, finding cabinets that are just the right size can be a challenge.

There’s no shortage of expansive credenzas or towering chests of drawers, but smaller-scale cabinets that can be squeezed into an tiny entry hall, placed between a pair of twin beds or positioned on either side of a fireplace can be harder to find.

“There aren’t that many options on the market,” said Beata Heuman, an interior designer based in London, who designed her own pint-size, 35-inch-wide Lyre cabinet after failing to find suitable pieces for her living room. “That was something I made for my house because I really couldn’t find what I wanted.”

Small cabinets are helpful for holding lamps, speakers and decorative objects that might otherwise sit on a table. But they come with an added benefit: extra storage.

“It works as both a table and a place to store things,” Ms. Heuman said. “And that is quite useful when space is at a premium.”

  • How high should a small cabinet be? “Around 32 inches — and not taller than 36,” Ms. Heuman said. “It always feels a bit more elegant to have it slightly lower than a workbench would be.”

  • Should it have doors or drawers? “It depends on what you want to store,” Ms. Heuman said, but a cabinet with doors and shelves is often better in a living or dining room, and drawers are well suited to a bedroom.

  • Is adjustability important? It’s not uncommon for your needs to change over time, so cabinets with adjustable shelves and cutouts for cords are often a good idea.

Cabinet with wood-slat doors and marble top

About $1,500 at Arhaus: 866-427-4287 or

Cabinet with ridged-steel front and oak top

$2,495 at Knoll: 888-343-0009 or

Acacia-and-oak cabinet with faceted doors

$899 at Crate & Barrel: 800-967-6696 or

Low three-drawer chest

From $3,500 at Nickey Kehoe: 323-954-9300 or

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