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Design Ideas for Small Apartments Header

Blue Hamster House

A new trend of extremely small, or micro, apartments is growing across the U.S. and in many places around the world. While small apartments are not a new occurrence, cities such as New York are planning apartments 300 square feet or smaller to meet the growing population needs. These micro apartments are being built with seniors and professionals in mind, however they are also meant to be an option for people in need of cheaper rent. These spaces, which are often smaller than college dormitories, present a challenge when it comes to decorating and creating a place that is livable and not overly cluttered. With the right items and decorating know-how, a person can make their home appear larger and store their belongings without compromising style, neatness, or comfort.


Furniture Choices

When buying furniture look for smaller, functional pieces versus large items when choosing a new sofa, chairs, or other piece of furniture in the living areas of the apartment. If furniture is too large it chews up valuable space and makes a small apartment look even smaller. The opposite is true for the bedroom, however. Selecting a larger bed will impact the room in a way that gives the impression that it is actually bigger than it is. If buying a dining table, purchase one that is either collapsible or expandable. Furniture with wheels makes it easy for people to rearrange their furniture as needed. For example, a coffee table on wheels is an option for people with pull-out sofas. Choose furniture pieces that are tall versus items that are wide. Not only does this conserve space, but the height can help the room appear taller.

Hidden Storage

A lack of space can easily make a small apartment a cluttered one. For this reason, people are often looking for storage ideas for small apartments that they can easily put to use. This is fortunately a simple problem to resolve with a few well thought out decorating and furniture choices. When it comes to furniture, choose pieces that serve more than one purpose. Ottoman's, coffee tables, and even sofas and beds are available with hidden storage areas that make it easy to stash one's belongings and keep the apartment space neat.

Bookcases, Baskets, and Other Storage Ideas

One of the best storage ideas for small apartments is to use bookcases to their fullest potential. Bookcases offer a significant amount of space that is often underutilized. In addition to holding books they may also be used for holding storage bins, decorative storage boxes, or wicker baskets. For beds without a headboard, let a wide bookcase serve as both headboard and additional storage room for books and other items. This eliminates the need for a side table. Purchase wicker or any type of box or bin that complements the decor. These baskets are ideal for use beneath one's living room coffee table. Baskets, drawers or bins may also be used beneath beds that have enough height to store items not in use such as winter blankets or comforters.

Curtains

Curtains and drapes are not something that most people tend to think about when considering home decorating ideas for small apartments. For small apartments that have no, or limited walls, a strategically placed ceiling to floor curtain can be used as a room divide. Choose a curtain that is sheer enough to let natural light through for an airy and open feel. Ceiling to floor drapes are also suitable at windows and can make a room feel taller by drawing the eyes upward. Curtains are also a way to bring color into an apartment when painting the walls is restricted.

Luxury Micro Apartment Interior

Mirrors

The use of mirrors falls under the category of some of the most valuable home decorating ideas for small apartments. Well placed mirrors give the illusion of space and add dimension to a room. To accomplish this a person can use several mirrors or a single one. A large mirror that takes up a generous portion of a wall is one option to make the room feel larger. Another option is to purchase smaller size mirrors and group them together on a single wall. Mirrored furniture, such as a mirrored desk or chest, can make a room look larger by giving the illusion that there is more floor space. This works best if the mirrored item is placed next to a wall in the room.

Paint

Empty White Attic Loft

When living in an apartment, painting the walls may or may not be an option. People who do have the opportunity will need to tread carefully as paint has the power to make a small space even smaller. There are a number of fantastic paint ideas for small apartments, some of which are even suitable for people who are restricted in what they can paint. When choosing paint, it is generally a smart idea to stay away from colors that are dark or drab. Dark colors tend to close things in and make them seem smaller than what they are. For people who prefer dark colors, add bright or complemenary lighter colors on accents and trims. A common way to make a small space look larger is to use lighter colors in general. Bright or sharp colors are also a good choice for apartment spaces, especially when mixed with more muted tones. For people who want paint ideas for small apartments but are restricted in painting the walls, there are other options that will create visual depth. Interesting examples include painting the headboard of one's bed, a bookshelf, or a side table.

More Resources

  • Ten Smart Design Ideas for Small Spaces ��� This is a HGTV article that gives ideas for decorating small spaces. Examples of decorating ideas include the use of curtains, utilizing small corners and nooks, and creating multi-purposes spaces with shelving.
  • Put Furniture to Work ��� This article provides the reader with twenty-seven organization tips for small spaces. It reviews how to use furniture in a way that it serves a dual purpose by providing additional storage.
  • Decorating Ideas for Apartments and Small Spaces ��� Click this link to open a page on the Art Institute. Here readers will find an article that provides ideas and tips on decorating a small apartment.
  • Decorating Your College Apartment ��� Clicking on this link will open up a page to an article that discusses decorating college apartments. Although the article is directed toward college students, the tips are valuable to anyone living in a small apartment space.
  • Color for Small Spaces ��� This is a BHG article in slide-show format that features solutions for small spaces. This link opens up a page regarding the use of darker colors in small spaces.
  • Statement Pieces ��� This is an article is entitled "Five Tips for Designing Small Spaces" and it appears on the website for House Beautiful magazine. The link opens up to the page on statement pieces which discusses using larger furniture in the bedroom.
  • How to Make a Small Space look Bigger ��� This is an article that appears on the website for The Nest magazine. Clicking on the link opens up a slide-show that gives storage and other ideas to help make small spaces seem larger. Ideas include hidden storage in furniture, the addition of mirrors and paint.
  • Decorating Tips for Small Spaces ��� This is a video from Fox News that discusses how viewers can decorate studio apartment. The video reviews color, furniture and accents.

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