APARTMENT DECOR – THINKING BIG IN A SMALL SPACE
A shortage of space in an apartment is only a challenge, not a problem
Many, maybe even all of us, often struggle with space in our home. This is certainly always the case with those of us living in an apartment. No matter how hard we try, or how much clutter we clean out, there’s always a sense of just not having enough space to store all that you want to keep or display.
With a little thought and a lot of creativity, even the smallest of apartments can accommodate the biggest of ideas. Most of them, as those on a tight budget will be pleased to hear, involve simply adjusting the existing outlay of your apartment:
How to use the walls and floor space
Convert furniture to storage space
Tricks with lights and mirrors
Let’s have a look at how you can make the most of the space you have
Using The Walls
It’s too easy to say “just put some shelves up” as a solution to storage. Our thinking on this subject is often to simply stack a vertical line of shelves up on a wall wherever they will fit, and leave any wall with immovable objects (light switches, windows) shelf-free. This just wastes valuable space.
Why do we need geometrically correct, vertical lines of shelves? Having stacked, flowing shelves often allows you to not only put more on them, but lets you work around things like light switches.
Creating a wave like effect with the shelves also looks incredibly stylish, something enhanced by some careful consideration of what you store on them.
On the subject of walls, if your TV is currently not attached to the wall, I have to ask why not? The era of big, clunky televisions has gone. The LCD, Plasma or LED TV you have in your home was designed to be placed on a wall, not stood on a cumbersome stand. Mount your set on the wall, put up shelves for the DVD player and the cable box, get rid of the TV stand and look at that – a whole lot of space under the TV for a more practical cupboard or set of drawers.
Small floor area can be problematic when it comes to carpets. To this I say don’t look at carpets, look at rugs. Many stores specialise in over-sized rugs. These are designed for huge homes, but you will find they perfectly fit a smaller apartment room. A rug you can just lay down over the existing carpet, and when it needs cleaning or replacing it’s a lot easier to take out – indeed as it is to take with you if you move.
Changing Furniture Use
Let me ask you this – do you have an eReader or a tablet computer at home? Do you also have bookcases full of novels you have read and will not read again? If you answer yes on both, right after you have read this you need to get a box, clear your books out into it, take them down to a trade in store and start using your bookcase for something more practical.
Bookcases are fantastic for storing things other than books in. Getting some desk buddies from an office supply store and putting them in it gives you a large amount of drawer space. For the more adventurous, how about removing the top half of shelves from the case? Do that, place a pole at the top of the case and there you have it, hanging space for your clothes.
Not all changes of use require some Do It Yourself skills. If you have a look at the lounge, are your couches and chairs flush against the wall? If so, there goes another potential use for them to help with storage. If you angle the chairs in the corners of your apartment, you not only increase the floor space, but also create a small cubby to store things behind them.
Tables and drawers in your apartment can also be converted with minimal effort. Simply cover them with a large, attractive looking piece of cloth or blanket. All of a sudden your drawers are now also a table to put things on; your table is now a place under which you can store things without them being visible.
Lighting, Glass and Mirrors
It’s with good reason that magic tricks are often referred to as being all “lights and mirrors”. That’s because, more often than not, they are.
Lighting is of importance in an apartment, in particular the more modest sized one. Tradition has us always assuming that the ceiling is the place for the main source of light in a room. It certainly does not have to be. Having a series of lights on the walls of your apartment not only looks better (how many times have you walked into an apartment and the way the light hangs from the ceiling has made you feel you are in an interrogation room?), but creates an effect of making the room look bigger than it is.
Mirrors, other than their intended use, are great to have in an apartment. Positioned correctly, they help spread natural sunlight through the rooms of your apartment, making them look more spacious and lighter.
If your budget allows it, always go for a glass surfaced coffee table and a glass dining table. Sure, you have to be more careful with it than regular wooden ones, but the benefits are worth it. If I took you into identical rooms, only one featuring a wooden table and one featuring a glass one, you would swear that the glass tabled room was the larger of the two. This great trick on the eye will give you a great dining table and the appearance of a more spacious home.
As promised, most of what has been said here relates to things you can go and do right now to make the most of the space in your apartment. One or two ideas will cost, certainly, but this is your home we are talking about. There are few better investments for your money in this world than being comfortable in the place that you live.
If this article has inspired you to make changes to your apartment, or you have thought of another way to make the most of limited space, then why not share and discuss what you did with all of us here? The internet is the greatest communication tool we have; why not use it to share thoughts and ideas that will truly help others with their home and apartment design?
Adam Prattler, with his wide range of knowledge on a number of popular subjects and his dazzling writing skills make for compelling reading, composed this article after a number of conversations withRental Apartment professionals in Liberty MO.