The term “spacious apartment” is an oxymoron many apartment dwellers have frequently heard. Unless you’re extremely lucky or willing to pay through the nose, chances are you’re not living in an apartment that offers as much space as the average-sized house. But a small apartment can be cozy instead of cramped, if you make some smart decisions while decorating.
The following are some tips for making even the tiniest of apartments feel spacious and homey.
- Use furniture for storage. If you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years or recently downsized from a house to an apartment, you may need to part with a few pieces of furniture. You can make the most of your space by finding pieces of furniture that double as storage areas. Hollow, flip-top ottomans, for example, give you a place to stash extra blankets. An armoire with doors can hide your TV when it’s not in use, as well as your DVD collection and other miscellaneous items.
- Use a light color palette. Dark colors can easily overwhelm a small space and make it seem cramped. If your landlord allows you to paint, you can create a feeling of spaciousness by choosing a light color for walls. When painting isn’t an option, light-colored upholstery can help create a sense of spaciousness. Go with pastels, pale neutrals or keep your color scheme monochromatic, to create an airy feel.
- Create room to breathe. You might feel proud of your ability to fit all your furnishings in one small space, but you’ll end up with a cramped apartment. Leave space around furniture, and sell or store what can’t fit comfortably into your apartment. Depending on where you live and how agreeable your landlord is, you could ask for permission to remove carpeting. Hard floors will make your living space feel roomier.
- Take advantage of natural light. Without adequate lighting, a tiny apartment can feel like a cave. Use ample lighting to brighten your interior and replace curtains or blinds with sheers.
- Create the illusion of space. Short of knocking out a wall, there’s not much you can do to make your living space bigger, but you can create the illusion of size by using mirrors. Although a wall that’s covered entirely by mirrors can give your apartment a retro disco club look, a few carefully positioned mirrors will reflect light and give your humble abode the illusion of more space.
Putting it all together
Employing one or two of these ideas might be enough to make your tiny walk-up feel more spacious. Sometimes, creating space – or the illusion of it – is just a matter of rearranging, eliminating unnecessary clutter or choosing different furnishings. Even though you may enjoy spending most of your time out enjoying Baltimore, when you come home, you want a place to relax that doesn’t feel stuffy or cramped.
You don’t need to pay for a bigger apartment when you can make the most of the space you have.