In many cities, small apartments are the norm; maximising space in a small apartment can be very challenging but not impossible.
Small spaces need lots of light: Allow plenty of sunlight into the apartment through open windows, skylights, open doors, etc. Use light and airy curtains that provide privacy without inhibiting the sunlight from the room. This will make the apartment feel airy and even appear larger. Nothing is worse than a small, cramped, dark space!
Create separation of space. Use screens, curtains, furniture, or anything else that can separate the area without cutting off light and making the room feel weighty and overwhelming.
Get rid of clutter and put things away. Clutter is the easiest way to cramp a room and make it dysfunctional. Use baskets, boxes, door-covered shelves, etc., to hide away collections, books, papers, and anything else that might be out in the open. Closet shelves or even bookcase shelves are best to hold baskets and boxes.
Create traffic patterns around conversation areas. Author Kimberley Seldon suggests residents be aware of traffic patterns through the apartment in her book, 500 Ideas for Small Spaces. Seldon points out that guests should walk around conversation areas and not walk through them. Instead, Seldon suggests that furniture in the main seating area be arranged in the center of the room to create a more flexible traffic pattern. An alternative is to create a U-shape pattern with the furniture around the television as another conversation area.
Finding Storage In Small Spaces
Storage is necessary to keep things organized and get rid of clutter in a small space. Get creative to find space to hide things while making them functional and unique. Use built-in shelving and closets. Create storage in every available space: on walls, tucked within the doors of end-tables, in colorful and sturdy boxes, wicker baskets, door covered and open shelving, footstools, etc. Use every space available to maximize storage space.
Organize wardrobes using a closet system to maximize space. You can work with an organizer or go to a site like Kalusto Furniture for wardrobes with plenty of storage.
Hide the unusual or funky extras with something creative, unique, colorful or unusual, and distracting. For example, some old apartments have a bathtub in the kitchen. In these instances, residents should use colorful shower curtains that match the window curtains, dishes, and kitchen appliances. Similarly, unsightly ductwork or piping can be masked with paintings, curtains, or slide-away shelving.
Use Furniture and Spaces for Multiple Functions
Maximizing space in a small apartment means purchasing and using furniture that is efficient and matches the apartments’ size. The furniture should fit the space well and should not be too small or too large and overwhelming. However, this does not mean that the furniture has to be small; a large piece can make the room feel inviting and provide comfort.
Use modular furniture for extra space and multiple functions. Any furniture piece that can move, separate and hide is great and offer multiple functions that you should consider to maximize space and style, such as beds with storage. These pieces can also be used for guests when they sleep over or save space. .
Use furniture for more than one purpose. A table can function as a table, desk, or buffet. A dining room buffet can hold dishes, serve food, and act as extra storage. Footstools and end tables can also act double as storage.
Create functional spaces for work, studying, or those exciting hobbies. Transform a closet or wardrobe into a work or hobby space. A closet painted the same color as the room can seamlessly transform into a workspace without taking from the room’s decor. Add in a small table and shelving that can function as workspace and storage for
Having a small apartment may not be ideal, but it does not have to reduce its residents’ lifestyle. With proper furniture placement and easy decorative ideas, a small apartment can have maximum space and storage. Getting rid of clutter and using proper storage systems can add square footage where it matters most. Being mindful of traffic patterns and the use and size of furniture are also ways to maximize space in even the smallest apartment.