Whether you’re downsizing or moving out on your own for the first time, small apartments are a popular choice, especially for those who live in big cities. Living in a small apartment has many benefits—like fewer surfaces to clean and less space to maintain—but it also has its challenges, like figuring out how to furnish it.
When you see that small square footage, you might panic and think you’re going to be limited in what you can have and how cozy you can make your space. But fear not, there are plenty of hacks for decorating and furnishing a small apartment so that it suits your needs and feels like home.
From getting smart with the layout to adopting a “less is more” decor style, you can create the perfect combination of personality and functionality in your small apartment.
Scale Down Your Furniture
One of the most important aspects of any home is the furnishings. While you might feel stumped on how you can get all your essentials into your small space, it’s been done many times before, and you can do it too.
Don’t get stuck on what you can’t have, instead focus on the basic essentials your living space needs:
- Couches: Think a smaller, sleeker design in order to maximize your square footage. One that turns into a fold-out bed can also help you accommodate guests without taking up unnecessary space.
- Dining tables: Step away from the large dinner party dining tables and consider a bar or counter height table for two or four.
- Beds: Of course you also need somewhere to sleep. Instead of going for a king with a large wood frame, consider a full or queen with a sleek headboard or metal frame. You could also buy an extra-comfy, fold-out couch to save even more room.
- Coffee tables: No living room is complete without a coffee table to set your drinks and kick up your feet on. When shopping for a coffee table, look for one with a simple design that doesn’t stick out too far in any one direction—usually rectangles are better for saving space than circles or ovals. If you can find one with drawers, that’s an added bonus for discreet and convenient storage.
- Dressers: Opt for a vertical bookcase-style dresser or one that will fit at the base of your closet in order to maximize your limited floor space.
Another good way to avoid overcrowding with furniture is to mount your TV instead of purchasing a TV stand.
Make the Most of Your Balcony
If you’re fortunate enough to have scored a balcony, make sure you take the opportunity to make the most of it. It’s the perfect way to extend your living space and make sure you get some fresh air.
One option is to create a small-space garden with herbs, flowers, or succulents on your balcony to bring some greenery into your life. Live in a concrete jungle? You could even throw a small patch of grass and a yoga mat out there to create a faux yard.
You could also add a chair and small patio table (think something small enough to set a book and a drink on) to make it a little outdoor escape. Throw up some string lights and it will be the perfect place to bask in the sun or stare up at the stars.
Adopt a Minimalist Decor Style
It’s understandable that you want to make your space your own, but instead of injecting your personality into every nook and cranny, take a more methodical approach to your decor. Trust me, it’ll feel much less cluttered and prevent you from feeling like the walls are closing in on you.
While a minimalist approach typically works better in small apartments, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have some fun with decorating. You can still use bold prints or colors, but have them be smaller accents instead of large pieces. This doesn’t just apply to your room or living spaces, even your child’s room should be on the more minimal side—think color blocking, light wood furniture, and toys mostly tucked away in fun but functional storage.
Another one of the main principles of optimizing small space decor is cohesiveness. For example, if you’re going to hang up art, choose a few art prints that go together—either based on their color scheme or theme—that you can display in different areas of the apartment. You can carry color schemes, prints, or concepts throughout the space to create fluidity. This can apply to virtually anything from your comforter and throw pillows to your picture frames, coasters, hand towels, and more.
With these decors and furnishing tips in mind, you’ll be able to make your small apartment a comfortable and classy living space.