How to Be a Pro at Small Apartment Decorating

For many people, small apartment living is an interesting, dreamy concept. For others, it’s reality. Living in a small space has its advantages and disadvantages, of course – and the fact that you’ll likely be paring down and simplifying your life fits into both of those categories with ease.

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This is a guide filled with ideas on how to decorate your tiny apartment to make it feel bright, cheerful, and dare we even say spacious? (Yes, yes we dare.) So make yourself comfortable and browse through the article below for inspiration and tips on small apartment decorating.

Paint walls white.

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As a reflector of all colors, white has an innate ability to visually expand a space. Walls and ceilings painted white (with light-colored floors) lighten and brighten a space, and they disguise the actual edges of the space, making it look and feel bigger.

Incorporate splashes of bright color.

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Where large expanses of bright or dark colors tend to overwhelm a small space, pops of bold, vivacious color throughout an otherwise white or neutral space add style, personality, and energy. Plus, the strategic placement of these splashes of color help to guide the eye through the space, providing a “visual tour” that makes the whole space seem larger.

Utilize creative, even unconventional, storage solutions.

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Creative storage solutions are the small apartment’s saving grace. You may have to approach this unconventionally – drawers under the bed eliminate the need for a dresser, and even removable floorboards are a totally invisible storage win-win.

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Another great idea for incorporating storage is to build it around your furniture – a loveseat sofa set into a cozy nook of contemporary cupboards looks great and provides useful “invisible” storage.

Think vertical.

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Always vertical. It’s no secret that a small space is small – the secret comes in making that space graciously perform almost every task you require of a home. Utilizing vertical space is key in accomplishing this. Floor-to-ceiling shelving and window treatments here create a feeling of luxury and spaciousness without increasing the floor square footage.

Incorporate multi-tasking furniture.

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This one’s a no-brainer, really. If you have less space, you must have less space-taking-up furniture. But that doesn’t mean your life is less complex. Keep a keen eye out for furniture that performs at least two functions, like this coffee table-turned-office station.

Use useful wall “art.”

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While shelves of books set above a desk may not immediately seem like “art,” you can get a lot of style miles out of useful wall mounted pieces. Take care in the placement and design of box shelves, for example, and you introduce color and storage in a beautiful one-two punch.

Embrace mounted (wall or ceiling) lighting.

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Floor lamps certainly have their place in home décor, but a small living room probably isn’t that place. Hanging or wall-mounted lighting saves floor space and provides overall better lighting for the entire space.

Turn storage into a statement.

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Instead of adding an aesthetically heavy armoire in the corner of your studio apartment, consider making your clothes part of the décor by hanging them on an exposed rod. A storage bin for a coffee table is ideal for housing odds and ends out-of-sight.

This is another example of turning storage into a statement.

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Obviously, pots and pans are a necessity for a cook’s kitchen. Display them on the wall for an artistic statement and easy accessibility!

Opt for visual lightweight-ness.

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Glass, acrylic, Lucite, plexiglass…these are just a few tools you can use to lighten up the visual load of your furnishings. This bar cart serves double-duty, even triple-duty, as a bedside table, coffee table, bookshelf, and rolling kitchen island, but it disappears (in a beautiful, ethereal kind of way) into the aesthetic of this bright space.

Look for alternatives to traditional furniture.

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A coffee table might seem like a necessity for many, but in some small apartments, there just might not be enough room. Determine what purpose the coffee table serves in your life and find alternatives to meet those needs. Do you just need a flat surface to set a drink and/or a book, for example? Done.

What if you have no room for a traditional dining table?

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This hand-crafted shelf-table not only provides a functional dining space, but it also has a killer view. Best one in the house, maybe.{found on offbeatandinspired}.

Keep window treatments minimal…or nonexistent.

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Natural light does wonders in creating an airy, spacious feel in almost any space. Your small apartment will benefit from having as much of your window(s) exposed as possible!

Design hard-working walls.

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In a small space, walls may be scarce. You can incorporate your own “walls” (think bookshelves) do provide definition and division without closing the sections off entirely. Make sure these “walls” pull their weight, though – they should also store, be accessible, and be pretty all while they’re on space-dividing-duty.

Use moveable room dividers.

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Curtains, sliding doors, or even taller furniture set on casters are beneficial in a small space because of their flexible positioning. Want the studio to feel larger? Open everything up. Need a minute to yourself away from the guest(s)? Close them up. Décor versatility is liberating.{found on axismundi}.

Scale furniture to fit the space.

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An overstuffed sofa in a tiny apartment will dwarf the space and make it feel cramped and smaller than it actually is. Choose furniture with care – keep it on a smaller scale while still being comfortable and stylish, like this contemporary armless sofa. The good news is, there are lots of small-space furniture options out there these days!{found on allen}.

Look to the Murphy bed.

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Let’s face it – a bed is hard to make smaller and still be comfortable in the long run. But that doesn’t mean the bed has to take up the bulk of your square footage. Murphy beds (a bed that folds up “into” the wall) are an excellent solution to maintain a nice sized bed while not sacrificing space during the non-sleeping hours.

Don’t overlook the floors.

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Sure, the space is small, but the floors play an important role in communicating the overall ease and style of your tiny apartment. Continuous, beautiful flooring will help to expand your space psychologically if not physically.{found on mkca}.

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Did we miss anything? Tell us your favorite tip, trick, or strategy for decorating a small apartment.