Living in a small apartment can be an excellent way to save money on monthly expenses, as well as being much simpler to maintain than a larger space. However, small apartments can be difficult to decorate, as they can seem crowded and cluttered after the addition of just a few items. Fortunately, there are many ways to create the appearance of a much larger space.
These do not require any remodeling, but just a few changes to your decorations and furniture.
Some methods are as simple as shifting a piece of furniture from one place to another or removing an unnecessary window treatment. A few projects may require purchasing new items of furniture or buying paint and fabrics, but these additions can be made gradually and under the control of a budget. By following these tips, color, light and space can each play a part in helping your home look as airy and open as possible.
Rearrange the Room
Before you consider purchasing new items to help change the appearance of your apartment, try rearranging the furniture and decorations you already have. Use the following tips to change the look of your room:
- Clutter can make any room seem overcrowded, no matter how big the space is. In a small apartment, it will have a much bigger impact. Some items can simply be stacked for the appearance of neatness, such as a selection of books on a table. Others may need to be put away in drawers or cupboards. If necessary, consider buying some low-cost shelving, baskets or bins that match the rest of your décor. Some storage options can double as a functional piece of furniture to help you save space in small living spaces.
- Clearing the center of your rooms will make them seem larger. Move large or tall pieces of furniture to the sides of the space, leaving the middle of the room for lower and smaller pieces. If possible, try to create an easy walkway that flows through the room from the door.
- Balancing large pieces of furniture and décor by placing them evenly around the room can also help make the room seem airier. If you have limited options, concentrate on making the view of a room from the doorway nice and open, as this will create an immediate effect when you enter each space.
Expansive Color Schemes
The colors you choose to decorate a room, either through painted walls or through decorative items, can have a huge impact on the appearance of its size. Generally, the rules to follow are using light and cool colors to make the walls seem as though they are receding from view. Another important rule is that the more visual breaks there are, the smaller a room will seem.
One of the oldest rules is to choose white, as this brings light into the space while still keeping it cool. However, pale neutral tones can have a similar effect while allowing more color options. Dark colors are also a possibility when used correctly. A deep, cool color, possibly in a jewel tone, can help stretch the appearance of a small space.
Using the same color on all the walls of a room can also be important to maintaining the appearance of spaciousness. You can continue this effect by keeping the trims of the room in the same color as the wall, to lessen the visual breaks. If purchasing furniture, consider buying a few of the large pieces in similar shades or tones to the wall color.
Choose the Right Furniture
Although it may seem as though large pieces of furniture will crowd out your small rooms, the truth is very much the opposite. A few large focus pieces can help to create the illusion of space, while many smaller pieces will make a space look busy and full.
Buying new furniture when you do not need it will not be the best approach to a cost effective project. If you have the opportunity to repaint or reupholster your furniture, however, consider doing so in either the same color or a similar color to your walls. Neutral tones can also help expand the space, as can plain colored fabric. Patterns and prints can make a room seem too cluttered. If you are after visual interest, try varied textures instead.
Bringing extra light into a space can be a quick and easy way to make it seem more expansive. One of the oldest tricks to expand your space is to use a large mirror, as this creates the illusion of a bigger room as well as reflecting light back into the space. Additional light fixtures can be a relatively inexpensive way to achieve an expanded look. If it fits into your budget, a focal light fixture on the ceiling such as a chandelier can help draw visual attention upward, making the room seem taller.
Natural light should not be neglected, and taking any excessive or heavy window treatments away can have an immediate impact on a room. If you still need to keep some type of blinds or curtains, try using lighter, airier fabrics. Sheer fabrics can also be an excellent idea. Alternatively, you might consider window treatments in the same color or tone as your walls, to maintain the visual flow of the space.
Transparency can also be utilized, especially if you are planning to purchase a new piece of furniture for any room in your apartment. When purchasing an item such as a table, consider one made of glass or Plexiglas.
Open the Floor
Provided you have arranged your furniture carefully, your floors should be open and clear, adding to the overall appearance of a larger space. However, there are additional measures you can take to make the most of your floor space. For example, if you need to cover the floor, use one large rug that can be tucked under various pieces of furniture rather than several smaller ones.
If possible, try to keep the same type of flooring in all rooms of your home, or at least the same color of flooring. In the same manner as a cohesive color scheme, this prevents visual breaks that can make the space seem smaller. If choosing a flooring color, lighter shades can also help expand the appearance of your space.