There are plenty of good things to be said about a small apartment. Sacrificing on space allows you to stretch your money and move into your dream location. It is also easier to keep clean and cheaper to heat and cool.
While living in a cup-sized home can be comfortable, it also requires extra organisation. In our opinion, oversized mansions are often overrated. But, they do come with plenty of storage to play with and hide anything you’d rather keep away from prying eyes. It’s harder to achieve the same result in a one-room apartment or a studio where you eat, sleep, work and entertain in a single space.
Adapt your furniture to your floor plan
Moving into a small space often requires getting extra creative when setting up a room. Tiny apartments usually come with awkward areas that make full-sized furniture look bulky and make the space feel even smaller than it is. While your hand-me-down couch might be comfortable, it may be time to swap it out for a smaller one.
If you must share your living area with another space – like dining or sleeping – create a set-up that fits your floor plan. A stylish two-seater sofa and a matching armchair and ottoman is a combo that’s flexible to work with while looking good. Our Phoebe and Lorne collections combine high style with a small footprint, a perfect duo for small spaces.
Add style you can transport
Not every apartment’s blessed with stylish built-in features and it’s unlikely your landlord will be keen on some extreme DIY. While you can always ask if it is ok to repaint a room or add moulding on your dime, you do not need to live in a beige box if the property owner declines.
Assert your style by switching some elements you can replace with the originals once it is time to move on. For example, window treatments, door handles, and lighting can give character to your small abode. Go bold wherever you can: if you can’t paint an accent wall, then paint your furniture and match accessories, so it catches the eye.
Finally, you can also express your style with art. Removable wallpaper and murals can vanish without damaging walls and losing your bond. Beautiful mirrors can also add style and function while making your space appear bigger by reflecting the light.
Turn your belongings into design statements
You do not need to invest a lot of money to make a statement. In fact, you may already have everything you need on hand. Instead of hiding your favourite possessions, display them to create a conversation piece. Whether you are proud of your jewellery, pretty stationery, or funky plate collection, find a way to show it off to the world.
Open shelves – as long as you make the effort of keeping them organised – offer the perfect background. In tight spaces, opt for backless pieces that will not take away from the light. Spread out your favourite books, souvenirs, and family mementos that will bring a smile to your face whenever you see them!
Find double-duty furniture
When you live in a small space, you learn to make do with whatever is available. Often, it means that each area can have two or even three functions throughout the day. For example, your living room may also serve as your guest bedroom, or your dining area turns into a workspace when needed.
To make the transition as easy as possible, invest in furniture that can adapt to whatever you need at the moment. Sofa beds are an excellent addition to any small apartment, and your guests will be forever grateful for a comfortable night. A storage ottoman can be both extra seating and storage for magazines and plaids when needed.
Keep any necessities to transition from one function to another stored nearby – ideally in the same room – so you can move from one to the next. For example, if your dining area is your home office, your laptop and printer should have a dedicated spot hidden at mealtime. Put the extra pillows and blankets your guests need in your coffee table or in a trunk that disguises as extra seating.
Create storage wherever you can
Your small apartment may have limited wardrobe space. This often adds to the clutter since finding a room for all your belongings can feel like an endless Tetris game. Thankfully, storage furniture may be the solution you have been looking for. Slim sideboards are the perfect addition to any room, from the bedroom to the living room, to create extra hidden space if built-ins are lacking. You can style the top as a display area for some of your favourite things. Choose minimalist styles that will blend in easily with your other furniture, such as our Muzi, Coco, Kona or Tate sideboards.
Since living rooms are often the heart of the home, make sure that every piece of furniture can be used for storage. Coffee tables and TV units are great ways to sneak some extra storage without adding the bulk of more furniture. Check out our Cuppa, Pam and Sorrento lines for some great options to match your tastes and your needs.
Use rugs to define your space
Open concept can help small apartments feel bigger, but it also makes it trickier to define your space. You want to keep the “flow” of your apartment going while establishing boundaries between the different areas of your home. A good way to achieve this delicate balance is to use the same furniture line throughout the apartment while defining areas using rugs.
A unified colour scheme also helps the eye transition from one location to another. But don’t be afraid to add colour accents, such as kitchen appliances or decor, throughout the space.
You can also use room dividers to create privacy because no one wants to see their partner relaxing on the couch while you’re still working. They can easily be folded and tucked away when not in use. Other dividers can be floor-length curtains to create a makeshift room (if your landlord allows it). Plus, bookshelves can make excellent room dividers if you are looking for something more permanent – without building a wall.