Small apartments have many upsides to them--they are often more cost-effective and located in lively downtown areas. However--they are, well, small. And having a small space can provide some challenges when it comes to decorating. It’s often a struggle to find the fine line between functionality and style when decorating tight spaces, but we are here to help you get the best of both worlds. Take a look at some of our tips below to get the most out of your apartment:
1. Find multi-use furnishings
Furnishings that have multiple purposes can go a long way in a small space. Instead of trying to work a bunch of furniture into your space, find some furnishings that will work with you. For one, consider looking into a sofa that doubles as a bed. This could be perfect for a studio space or double as a guest bed if you’re limited to one bedroom. Another great idea is to find a hollow ottoman that doubles as your coffee table and storage space. Shelf floor lamps provide some nice lighting for your apartment while also offering even more storage space. Check out this article for more multifunctional furniture ideas.
2. Vertical! Vertical! Vertical!
Continuing from the shelf floor lamp idea, ensure that you are thinking of your vertical space. Tall and narrow storage systems are the best for making the most out of your space. Short, wide storage units just take up too much unnecessary space and can make your living areas feel more cramped.
3. Look for the unused spaces
Going off the idea of using all of the space given to you, be sure to look around for all of the unused space. There may be more than what meets the eye. Putting unused items underneath your bed essentially creates another closet. Buy a basket to put on top of your refrigerator. Hang a wall shelf on a wall that looks too bare. Look for unused corners and get creative with them. The possibilities are endless when you think outside of the box.
4. Out with the dark, in with the light
Be sure to keep things bright when thinking about the color palette for your decorations. Darker, richer colors will make your apartment seem smaller to the eye. Lighter shades will open up your space and create an illusion that it is bigger than it really is. If you must have bold colors in your home, choose just one per room and use it minimally as an accent color to complement the brighter, more neutral colors everywhere else.
5. Divide and conquer
While keeping your small space open is very important, it is also important to also create distinct micro divisions within your open concept. If everything is meshed together, it can be a bit chaotic to the eye. Define each different area in your space and give it a purpose. Stick a shoe rack by your door to define the entranceway. Utilize area rugs to create the illusion of separate rooms within one big room. If your kitchen, dining, and living areas are all together, use different styles of decorations, houseplants, and color pallets to create division.
6. Play around with your layout
Take a second to go and look at the layout of your furniture--you may not have gotten it right the first time you put everything in its place. Move things around in your head and see if you can create a more open layout. Position furniture in places that aren’t blocking walkways or disrupting visual pathways. Don’t be afraid to change things around and try it out for a couple of days, it may take multiple attempts to get to the most ideal layout for your home!
7. Add some mirrors
Mirrors need to be your best friend if you’re living in a small space. Will mirrors, floor mirrors...embrace them all! Not only do they bounce light from the windows into your space (which we previously learned makes things feel more open), mirrors also trick the eye into thinking a space is much bigger than it really is. For best results, positions mirrors where the room may feel like it “ends” and near windows.
8. Keep it low
Opt for furniture that is a bit lower to the ground when you are doing your shopping. (Unless it’s the previously mentioned vertical storage) Tall, large furniture takes up way too much open space that can overcrowd your space. Couches, coffee tables, and side tables that are on the shorter side will help make your space feel a lot bigger.
9. Embrace minimalism
It is very easy to overcrowd your space with way too much junk. Go through your items and do your best to think about if you ACTUALLY need them. While going through your stuff, focus on each item and ask yourself some questions. Have you even used the item in the past year? Does the item bring you any joy? Is the item something you could simply take a picture of and then throw away (cards, trophies, other items that don’t serve a functional purpose)? Is the item something you will need within the next year? If not, simply get rid of it. This will both declutter your small space AND your mind.
10. Stay clean and organized!
For the last tip, just be sure to regularly clean up! Push yourself to regularly put things away when you are done with them. When things are scattered throughout your apartment and not in place, this can make your apartment feel a lot more chaotic and cramped. When dishes aren’t sitting out and everything else back where it should be, your apartment will feel open again.