Photo Courtesy: Mazzali
Anyone who’s ever lived in an apartment knows that apartment living has its challenges: limited space, limited decorating options, limited opportunities for improvement, limits, limits, and more limits!
However, with the right techniques, the sky really can be the limit. If your living space is stuck in the apartment doldrums, try freshening up your home – and your perspective – with some of these simplifying, space-saving ideas.
Look Up, Not Just Around
As Kathryn Lurie at Marie Claire puts it, “think vertically.” In smaller apartments, floor space can be scarce, and a collection of shorter furniture pieces can make a room look squashed. Consider using taller pieces of furniture such as floor lamps or tall book shelves.
Find ways to draw the eye up with hanging light fixtures or wall art that has been placed a bit higher than normal. Don’t let the temptation to place everything at or below eye level ensnare you — look up, and let your creativity soar.
Right: Inessa lights up her Moscow apartment with this beautiful tall floor lamp – Photo Courtesy: Inessa Akhmedova
Fit Your Furniture to Your Space
It may seem intuitive, but it bears repeating – purchase furniture according to the amount of space you have, not according to the amount of space you wish you had. In other words, fit your furniture to the apartment rather than taking on the impossible task of doing the reverse. Finding space-saving furniture can be a lot of fun – compact versions of basic items are often more creative and eye-catching than their more traditional counterparts. Check out these space-saving desks, for example.
A space saving desk.
Make use of the corners in your apartment with corner-shaped pieces of furniture such as a corner bookcase. Try out some cute little nesting tables, or use a chest coffee table that can double as storage space. And if you’re looking for a quaint, little accent piece that can also function as place to hang miscellaneous items, check out some unique ideas for using ladders as home decor and organization.
Make the Most of Your Closet
Maximizing storage space is essential in an apartment — both for keeping items organized and for saving space. Fortunately, even the smallest closet most likely has untapped potential for greater efficiency. Use all of the available space — tension rods or wire stretched at intervals a few inches below the ceiling can create more storage space in otherwise hard-to-reach places.
Organize your space carefully. Keep sheet sets inside pillow cases to make sure they stay tidy, compact, and properly sorted according to pattern. Take a look at some of these great organizing tips and space savers from The Container Store. A simpler, cleaner lifestyle is within reach no matter how small your apartment may be.
The dreaded “d” word may not inspire warm fuzzies, but it gets the job done. If your space just isn’t big enough for the amount of “stuff” in your life, consider downsizing.
Left: Typical entryway to a Japanese apartment. There is a cabinet to store footwear (right). Photo Courtesy: Bert Kimura
Take a box through your apartment and fill it. If you haven’t used an item in several months, perhaps you won’t notice if it’s gone altogether. But you will notice how much extra space you have!
Paul Moore has close ties to the housing market, working both in real estate and in corporate housing with Bakken Residence Suites.