Most New Yorkers have to make do with small apartments. By small I mean minuscule studio apartments more like the size of a nice closet. This can be less than comfortable, but you would be surprised what a difference the right décor can make. Check out these clever tips on how to make the most of every inch of space.
- Declutter: This is the cornerstone of downsized living. When you don’t have extra space, you can’t have unnecessary things. Routinely declutter your space to get rid of anything other than the bare essentials. Donate, toss or sell whatever you don’t need, and put items you can’t part with in a storage facility. Not only will you have less stuff to fit into your small space, you will also feel much lighter.
- Go crazy: Those four walls may not be much, but they are ALL YOURS. Who says you have to have a sofa and coffee table? Maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers a hammock, or a bean bag, or a couple of rocking chairs. When your space is constricted, your imagination is called on. Figure out what you really need and want in your apartment, and work around those essentials to create a cozy space you can call home.
- The right white: Colors play a huge part in the decorating process, and when decorating a small space they are even more important. Stick with white or pale hues for the walls. Anything darker will make a small room feel stifled. With your walls in uniform white (or eggshell or snowflake…) you can choose whether to add some color splashes or keep your space a toned down monochrome. If you’re the type of person who needs a touch of color, try sticking to one main color and use its different shades. If you like lighter tones use light greys or blues for the details in your room to create a light and airy feel.
- Darker ceiling, lighter floors: Choose a darker tone for the ceiling to create the illusion of depth and add some eye catching fixtures like lamps or a mobile to draw attention upwards. A light colored floor will also help your place feel more airy. If you can’t make any changes to your floor (like most renters), a nice pale colored rug can do the trick.
- Multifunctional pieces: A small space calls for creative solutions. From a bed that doubles as a storage unit, to a desk that doubles as a dining table, today’s designers have come up with so many clever pieces of furniture – you need only take your pick.
- Storage solutions: Once the moving service dropped off all boxes and furniture, many new-to-towners ask themselves where the heck all their stuff is supposed to fit. The truth is even the tiniest room has more storage space than meets the eye. First of all, make the most out of your walls. Floating wall shelves allow you to maximize your storage without cluttering the floor, and placing them as high as possible will also make the room look taller. Special boxes and baskets are also a great way to keep counters and end tables clutter free, and can be tucked under bigger pieces of furniture like your bed or sofa.
- Mirrors: Well-placed mirrors are a great way to create an illusion of space. If you can place your mirror across from the window it will give the room more light as well as a feeling of spaciousness.
- Less is more: Contrary to what you may believe, small items are not the way to go when decorating a small space. One large sofa is better than several small chairs and armchairs. A large vase gives a better focal point than an array of trinkets. The reason is that small items create a feeling of clutter and make the room feel even smaller.
- To drape or not to drape: Uncovered windows are the best way to go with a small room, but if you need curtains for privacy, try using sheer gauzy fabric in a light color that will allow light in and keep prying eyes out. If you need drapes for keeping the sun out, opt for full length curtains that start at the ceiling. They will make the room look taller.
- Clear furniture: Many pieces of furniture, like desks and coffee tables, come in clear materials such as glass and Plexiglas. These useful items blend in with every color scheme and keep your space feeling airy and spacious.
Have any space saving tips of your own? Tell me in the comments, below!
About the Author: Angela Gonzalez is the Operations and Quality Manager for Unpakt, an NYC-based startup focused on revolutionizing the moving industry. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing.