Living in a small space or apartment can present a decorating challenge, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. Just think big, but on a small scale! Here are 8 tips to help you live large on a small footprint!
1. Multi-task your furniture.
Look for pieces that can do double-duty—a coffee table with drawers, a cushioned bench with a storage stash, and an ottoman that can act as a table or additional seating. Use a daybed that can convert from a sofa during the day to a bed at night—and if you choose one with drawers or a pull-out trundle, you get extra points for being a space-saving decorating genius.
2. Go naked.
Well, your windows, anyway. Letting your windows go without dressing opens up a space. Curtains, valances, cornices, and—oh no!—heavy draperies, not only close in the space but these window treatments can block much-needed light.
3. Amputate your sofa.
A sofa without arms adds an open look to a room. It also gives you a little bit more seating room, which you’ll appreciate when entertaining.
4. Curb your enthusiasm
Don’t overstuff your small room with too much or too large furniture—like a sectional sofa and massive media center. Big pieces dominate a small space. Instead of a full-size sofa, go for a loveseat. Choose low-profile chairs. And limit your accessories. Choose a few special ones and highlight them. Stash the others and just rotate your cherished treasures once in awhile.
Most of all, de-clutter so you can see more of your room or apartment rather than creating a maze that is destined to trip you up in the middle of the night when you’re heading for a guilty pleasure from the fridge.
5. Lighten up.
Light and soft colors give a small space a little more breathing room—and don’t freak out your landlord. Paint the ceiling the same as the wall color also prevents that jarring contrast from a colored wall to a white ceiling, which adds a little grandeur to your spatially challenged room. Decorating with a monochromatic color scheme will also help your room look larger. Tone on tone patterns, pillows and other accessories in varying hues of the same color, and picture frames in the same color pull the room together and prevent the jarring interruption that a spectrum of color creates.
6. Go vertical.
When decorating a small apartment, use your vertical space to add dimension. Look for tall, narrow accents, particularly to fill a lonely corner, like a bouquet of long branches or a painted ladder mounted to the wall that doubles as a shelf (see Tip #1). Hang artwork in a decorative pattern that reaches upward or create a feature piece using a couple of strips of carefully horizontally-aligned wallpaper. Add crown molding at the top of the walls to draw the eye upward.
7. Mirror, mirror.
Yes, you’ve probably heard that mirrors are great to create the illusion of more space—because they do. But don’t just stick a little mirror on a wall and call it a day. Do a collage of interesting framed mirrors or go big and bold by hanging or standing a huge mirror that reflects both your unique style and your home. Having the mirrors face a window also draws the outside world in.
8. Get Smart on Storage
Finding attractive storage solutions in clean lines, for all the little things – notepads, handcreams, loose change etc. Without taking the time to find good storage these end up taking much needed surface area.
Decorating a small apartment can be a fun, creative challenge as you find ways to make things work together well.
What have you done to make the most of a small space or apartment? Please share your best ideas here.