Our first apartment was only about 460 square feet one bedroom apartment. I loved that it was tiny and homey. There are a lot of plus sides to a small apartment: less to clean, it’s cozy, and as newlyweds it was (usually) nice to always be in the same room. But small apartments do create decorating and storage problems. If not decorated or set up well, the space can feel crowded and dark. Here are some things I learned:
- Let in as much natural light as possible. I left my blinds up as much as possible. Being able to see outside makes the room feel larger. For this reason I also didn’t have big bulky curtains-even though I love how they look! (I do have curtains now but my windows and rooms are a little bigger.)
- Keep larger pieces of furniture in neutral colors. My couch took up a full wall (the longest wall) in our living room space, the cream color makes it blend with the wall a little bit and allows the eye to travel further without being weighted down by a large dark object. I also painted my book shelf and dining table chairs white. Keeping larger pieces neutral also allows for more ease in redecorating. It’s like having a clean slate to decorate with pillows, pictures and all those things that you really want to focus on- grandma’s vase or a favorite figurine.
- Keep your surfaces clean. With small spaces we inevitably have to use a lot of counter space just for appliances but by keeping the unnecessary things stowed away, and dirty dishes out of sight, things feel much more open. Also, try stacking what you can to open up more space- I stack my toaster oven on top of my microwave using a board cut down to the right size. I would like to eventually paint that board white or black to make it blend in better.
- Hide things! I LOVE BASKETS and other such storage containers!You can see some of them in this picture on my shelves. They corral food, movies and other things we use frequently and need in easy to get to places but that we don’t want to see. I also hung a curtain over the lower shelves to hide cans and boxes.
- Mirrors reflect light, making the space brighter and feel bigger! I would like to make a bigger mirror like this Pottery Barn knock off for behind the couch in our current apartment. I’m thinking of using a vintage window I have and replacing the panes with mirrors.
I loved the gallery wall style but didn’t want my small space to feel cluttered so I used all white frames to make them blend with the wall and although I used colored pictures the frames all matched and created flow.
- Bring the eye UP. If you do want to hang curtains (like I did here in our new apartment) hang them as high and wide as you can in order to let in as much light as possible, fool the eye into thinking the window is larger and to draw your eye up (making the ceiling seem higher.) I hung ours as high as I could but they are shorter than I’d like, then I saw this picture on Pinterest- Add length to your curtains so you can hang them higher. This is happening! …eventually. My To-Do list keeps getting longer! 🙂
These examples from our first apartment, our current apartment is still in the works! Tomorrow I’ll show you some of my wall decor- and I DIDN’T USE PAINT!
Check out more ideas and tips for your Decorating Dilemmas here or above in the 31 Days menu tab!