How to Decorate a Small Apartment

Small Apartment
Most of us who live in cities have had to adapt to smaller apartments, especially if we live alone. It’s often said that small living spaces should be kept minimal and no-nonsense – a functional space with zero clutter. Well, apart from the clutter rule, nothing could be further from the truth. Decorating a small apartment is an art – and one that many people haven’t even considered, let alone mastered. With some simple guidelines, your place can be beautifully designed, with feature areas and different zones. A modicum of restraint is needed, and perhaps, if you like oversized wardrobes, some concessions need to be made. But small is beautiful, and if you want to make your little corner of the world something to be proud of, check out some of these tips.

Wall colour

OK, there are a few different views on this. One is that white is the only colour to paint. To some extent this is correct – white reflects all the colours around it and has an innate ability to expand a space. Ceilings and floors can also be painted white. However, most of us prefer something less austere. The best approach is to use two or three tones, depending on your wall space. Two lighter shades, slightly different, and one darker, accent shade. Bright bold colours will make your apartment feel like the inside of a jewellery box, so if you must use them, take it out on the furniture.

Furniture

Speaking of which, space is at a premium in small apartments, so choosing furniture is imperative. And just because your apartment is small, it doesn’t mean your life is any less busy. For that reason, try to choose furniture that is multipurpose, with a filing cabinet built into your coffee table, or other such ingenious solutions. Floor standing furniture with legs means you can put things underneath. Do you really need a coffee table? Or will a flat surface mounted on your sofa’s arm suffice? Get creative.

Storage

You may live in a small apartment, but that doesn’t stop the flotsam and jetsam of life building up. Storage space can be found in any nook and cranny, and furniture with built in shelves, cupboards or drawers is easy to find. Floating shelves make more sense than book cases, and when you do have cabinets, go vertical. Make the most of the height of your apartment.

Lighting

This is a crucial part of decorating your small apartment. Small apartments often lack natural light, so you’ll need to illuminate as much as you can. Ceiling or wall mounted lights are a much better alternative space-wise than floor standing lamps. You can find all kinds of styles in small sizes, to suit any design concept. Make sure you have workspaces such as desks and kitchen counters illuminated with task lighting – although this can be versatile with the use of dimmers and variable colour temperatures.

Defined spaces

You may think that a small apartment lends itself better to a kind of open-plan uniform-design aesthetic. But actually, when you have less space it is important to delineate separate areas. Try to assign different areas for different functions, sleeping, working, even where you come in and take off your shoes and coat. Separating the kitchen from the dining space is also a good way to maximise the different zones you have in your space. This will make the place seem less visually overwhelming – remember, part of the point of decorating is to not feel like you’re living in a box. 


Mirrors

We mentioned the fact that smaller apartments sometimes lack natural light. Well, mirrors come to the rescue! They make the most of the light you do have, bouncing it around the room, and also serve to make the place seem bigger. Placing a large mirror on one wall works best for visual expansion, but many people like to place a selection of decorative mirrors around the apartment.

Declutter

You can decorate all you like, but if you leave your possessions, clothes, work papers, dishes or anything else all over the place, your apartment will immediately seem claustrophobic again. Train yourself to continually declutter, and your living space will seem much bigger.

Small apartments are a reality, but with a few of these tips they can be just as comfortable and enjoyable to live in.