If you’re an owner of a small apartment, I’m sure you’re already well aware of all the ups and downs of it – while being a very modern and at the same cozy space, it surely is a more demanding interior to properly decorate and equip.
Whether you’re just thinking whether or not to rent an apartment like that, or already have on and are looking for tips regarding decorating your space, in this article you’ll learn all there is to know about it, which will help you make up your mind.
It’s not uncommon for people to think that just because they are working on an interior which might be a bit lacking in terms of free space, they should focus solely on the practical aspects of the apartment. However, there is no need to completely forgo the visual side – you will just have to be smart about it, and sometimes strike certain compromises. Let’s take a look at ways of improving both the amount of free space in your apartment, as well as its design.
The dangers of open concept design
One of the cardinal mistakes that people do, when arranging their small apartments, is making it all an open concept space. While, certainly, opening interiors onto other ones is a modern way of getting more space in a kitchen, for example, going overboard with it can be even worse of a choice.
If you apartment is small, making it a one, big room will give you just that – a one room apartment. Doesn’t sound very appealing, when you realize that all you have is basically one room, right?
Such a solution not only makes your interior appear smaller but also makes it easier to get cluttered or messy – it’s not like you can just shut the door behind you when you exit your messy bedroom. You have to keep everything absolutely tidy or else the mess will affect the entire apartment at once.
Another problem is the lack of privacy – if the entire apartment is designed in an open concept, then your guests sitting in what’s supposed to be a living room, and in fact is just a sofa or a few armchairs in the middle of your flat will constantly feel as if they were right in the open, visible from all sides. That’s not a very intimate and homey atmosphere, is it?
Okay, enough with the downsides – I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now. It’s not a very good choice to make the entirety of it open, but there is no need of installing new doors to separate different areas.
What to do?
Naturally, as a base for our remodel we’ll use the standard layout of a house – define the areas for your kitchen, dining room, bedroom and other kinds of rooms you’d like to designate.
I advise using shoe racks or sliding doors to divide your apartments and allow each of the aforementioned sections some intimacy. These are better than standard doors, because while they can be used to separate the sections of your house, you can easily remove them and return to your open concept if you’re not entirely satisfied with the effects.
You won’t even have to remove them, all it takes for the previous design of your apartment to return is leaving them open. Plus, they are fairly cheap.
By the way, it’s not only the sliding panels or shoe racks that can be used to divide your space – you can also use your furniture. Using a wide countertop is all you need to separate your kitchen space.
Similarly, you can place your sofa with its back turned at the door or the entrance to create a sort of intimate space, for people occupying said sofa and the armchairs next to it.
Whatever you do, just focus on making it obvious for anyone inside the apartment, that there are specific, theme-oriented sections in your flat.
Not enough space for your furniture?
One of the most notable problems which people with scarce space encounter is the inability of fitting all they would like to have inside their apartments.
Certainly, when we’re dealing with small apartments, this can happen – but there is no reason to look for smaller, often worse furniture, just so that it can be installed inside. Instead of all the hassle, you should focus on being creative.
What to do?
How about looking for furniture that can play more than one role? For example, if you’re having real troubles living on the space you have, maybe it’s a good idea of moving your TV to the bedroom, and getting yourself a sofa that can make for your bed at night, and can be folded into a sofa during the day?
There are plenty more examples of such creative furniture, and it’s pretty easy to look it up online. Just think outside the box, and stay creative. There are always ways of using the space available in a more efficient, ergonomic way.
By the way, don’t go overboard with the multi-purpose furniture. If you pick an element like that, that’s very big because it has to accommodate all the extra functions, chances are it can be bigger than a normal one and overwhelm the rest of your interior this way.
The bottom line is: while trying to find the best furniture for your apartment, remember about the scale. Don’t make some elements of your furniture outstandingly big.
No inch of space should be left behind
Believe it or not, but most of the houses or apartments, no matter how small, still have unused space just laying around and begging to be used. I’m sure you might not believe me at first, but I’m quite sure your small apartment is no exception.
What to do?
Take a tour around your apartment, and stay entirely focused on figuring out where did you leave unused space around, which could be put to better use.
Of course, it’s not like I’m telling you to clutter your apartment with storage containers and boxes, wherever there is a spot of free space on your floor. Just use common sense – if you really have trouble with space in your house, then it’s time to fight for it.
You can buy special, very efficient and ergonomic furniture to get the most out of the space available to you – for example, corner shelves which can work both as a place to store your items, as well as a workplace if you have no other choice.
Investing in a multipurpose, wide kitchen island with a spacious countertop might also be a good idea – not only it allows you to prepare your food on it, but you could also work on it if you absolutely have to. While I know these aren’t exactly the greatest options, but beggars can’t be choosers.
There are plenty of places where you could install inventive storage, just look for them and stay open minded.
What about your vertical space?
Plenty of times, people think that their apartments are too small, but they do not see the vast amount of space that’s wasted because they didn’t install their storage containers all the way to the ceiling. That’s a huge mistake.
I’m sure there are parts of your apartments where you don’t really need the walls to be visible, without any paintings hanging on them or anything like that. Such walls just beg to be used in a more efficient way.
What to do?
When installing storage, do it all the way to the ceiling. Using the maximum of your vertical space will not only allow you to store all your stuff with almost no horizontal space used but also will grant you more free space around your house – everything that you store in your vertical storage is what would otherwise have to be stored somewhere else around your apartment.
Wherever you can, use all the vertical space available, all the way to the ceiling.
How to make your apartment visually larger?
Now that we’ve covered the practical side of your house, it’s time to work on the aesthetics – space can be gained not only through using it more efficiently. If you design your apartment in a proper way, your apartment can get vastly larger, at least in the eyes of your guests.
What to do?
First of all, you have to choose three colors – two of these should be bright shades, used as the main colors in your interior, and as such will cover most of your space. The remaining, third colors, should an accent color, and as such be darker.
Now, with the colors chosen, remember to not put the accent color on your floor. Ideally, it’s best if the accent color is on your furniture or appliances, with the two light shades used for your floor, ceiling and walls. One of them can also be used on your pillows or things like that.
Coloring your interiors with this scheme of colors works great for adding depth and character, as well as adding some dramatic effect.
If you’d, for whatever reason, try out something different, it’s best you check the guides to coloring schemes and the wheel of colors.
As we’ve just said when talking about colors, in the case of smaller spaces, it’s very important to create the feeling of depth. This can be acquired through various methods, one of them, but not the only one, being adding color. What are the remaining ones?
- Windows – it’s best if you leave your windows bare and clean. Not only will that invite more daylight into your apartment, and there is nothing better for making your interior visually larger, than daylight, the windows will also add depth to your interior when the outside is clearly visible.
- Floating shelves – how about installing floating shelves on your walls, in certain strategic points? Not only will they serve as an additional storage place, but also create the feeling of depth, when the eye notices there is more space behind them, all the way to the wall.
- Interesting textures – breaking the monotony of your walls and furniture with some interesting textures, covering your walls or in the form of your textiles, is just awesome for creating the deep feeling in your interiors. Remember, that if you make it all the same, the eyes and the brain get bored really fast, and a boring interior is not really what we’re trying to achieve.
- Mirror – the only thing that comes close to the window, in terms of adding depth and making an interior lighter, is the mirror. The light reflexes that a mirror is casting upon your interior are enough to make it way more spacious, visually. Pick one cohesive with the rest of your apartments design, but it’s always best to bet on minimalism and simplicity when talking about mirrors.
- Illumination – as I’ve said before, light is very important when trying to enlarge a small apartment. Under ceiling illumination systems are great for making your apartment lighter, while standing lamps add intimate, cozy atmosphere to it. When talking about small interiors, however, it’s best to make it lit and not cozy. If you don’t know how to install such illumination system optimally, then best ask a professional for help.
Keep it clean
As my final advice, I’d like to inform you that all the previous solutions of making your small apartment both practical and stylish at the same time, won’t work if you keep it messy.
That’s right, the most important thing to remember is keeping your interiors free of any kind of clutter and mess, and clean it regularly. It’s best if you maintain a habit of regular cleaning the entire apartment, as well as just keeping it that way throughout the week.
That sums up my guide to arranging your small apartment to be both a gorgeous place to live in, as well as gaining more free space for your everyday activities. I’m sure at least a few of these tips will work in your house, so good luck!