It’s a topic that never gets old; how do you cram your whole life into a tiny apartment and make sure it still looks good. The last thing you want is wardrobes busting at the hinges overflowing with your worldly possessions!
Here are my thoughts on how you can avoid living in clutter and still create “a home” in a small space.
- Work with height; even if you don’t have high ceilings you can still take advantage of the “above head” space. Think of your space in elevation and not just a floor plate then suddenly you have double the space you thought you had! Try fixing shelving about 700mm from the ceiling; this can be used for books or simply to display your accessories. Another great idea to add life and a freshness to the space is to add a creeper plants suspended from the ceiling or on your high shelf. This also comes into play when thinking about your TV, instead of a low level TV unit, why not use a dresser and hang the TV on the wall which gives you extra height to have additional storage but takes the same amount of space as a TV unit.
- Create an illusion; Choose case goods and sofas with legs to see as much floor space as possible, this will make your space appear larger than it actually is.
- Frame doors; another space often forgotten is the space around and behind your doors. I featured a great image on my Instagram last week of book shelving that had been installed around a door frame. Don’t forget the door itself! There are so many great hanging racks available now that you can use either on the inside or the outside of your doors (depending on which door, I mean you wouldn’t want to hang things outside your front entrance door now would you!) If your door opens to a wall you will have about 100mm of space between the wall and the door when the door is open to allow for your handle, utilize this space. I know that 100mm isn’t much but you will be amazing at what you can fit there and the best part is that when the door is open its hidden.
- Dual purpose furniture; Think about your furniture pieces wisely before you make that purchase, can they also be used for another function or can you utilize them for additional storage. Think of using a chest for a coffee table, this can be a great space to store extra linen sets. Stacked nesting tables so that you have extra tables available if you need or have guests over. A console can double up as a desk to provide some working space. A Bed with storage built in or the lift up function to hide under the bed. If you aren’t looking to buy a new bed but don’t have space to fit things underneath then try looking at fitting new legs to the base; or bed raisers they are like high heels for your bed! Now granted they don’t look great but its nothing a bed skirt can’t fix, simply lift your bed up so that you can utilize the space underneath! Nifty hey!
- Use every nook and cranny; Yes even the space underneath your sink, add a shelf and some storage containers, there are so many smart storage solutions available now; just head to your nearest Ikea and your sorted! When placing furniture in the corners of rooms try making it at a slight angle, and use the space behind to stash baskets of extra linens, toys, or whatever else you need to store. Select baskets that coordinate with the room’s style, this way very functional storage will read as decor. Use small corners to install shelves for shoe storage and if you have a deep corner look at shelves on a sliding bracket. If you have space under your coffee table, then add a storage basket. There are hiding places all around your small apartment!
- Embrace open storage; Not everything has to be hidden away, become comfortable with this concept and this will force you to be creative with your displays.
- Utilize wall space; Don’t have space for a dining table, no problem! There are clever solutions out there that fold flat to the wall so you don’t have to dine on your lap! If you have large items that you struggle to store, why not try incorporating them into your design like the image with the guitar; I think this is a great idea as it will add a conversation started and shows your personality and interests in your design. Every thought of using your walls for storage? Find some gorgeous storage baskets and hang them up creating a functional yet stylish element.
- If you don’t have space you don’t have to compromise; No space for a side table, then look at sofa arm wraps so that you still have a solid surface to place drinks etc. Bed up against the wall so no room for a side table, why not add a small shallow self so that you can at least keep your alarm and your bedtime reading! Or try adding a bed organizer to the open side. Small limited closet space; try hangers that hang stacked vertically so you are using the height rather than the width, you will find that you have much more space than you initially thought and might be able to go on a little shopping trip…go on treat yourself!