My memories of living in the few big cities that I have graced with my presence are of small apartments or shared houses where space is often at a premium.
It is interesting to see the psychological effects that a person’s living space can have on them. As an interior designer I am often amazed by how having lots of space tends to make some people obsessed with filling every nook and cranny of it! On the other hand, small apartments have the opposite effect, often leading people to eschew things that they need because they simply don’t have the space.
Well, in this post I am going to try and show you that a perceived lack of space does not necessarily mean that you have to deprive yourself, and that your situation just calls for a little creative thinking…
One of the most prevalent ‘small space myths’
The idea that unless you populate a smaller space with less stuff it will always look cluttered often leads people to try and pursue home design schemes that are supposed to look minimalistic, but just look bare. If you fill a space with less of your own touches and personality, the less it will feel like your home.
This myth mixes with a few others (namely the idea that small space dictates that you can’t have large furniture pieces, that you can only use neutral colours and that you must never use patterns) to dampen people’s creativity when it comes to creating functional and beautiful living quarters from small spaces.
Here are a few tips on how to optimise space and kit out a small apartment:
The “skyscraper principle”
To get the most from your space you are going to have to start thinking vertically, not only by stacking things on shelves but also by utilizing your wall space to its full extent.
If your ceilings are high enough, why not raise all your bookshelves and dressers off the floor (either by attaching them to the wall or adding some legs) by a foot or so? This will create a huge amount of new storage space underneath! Rafters make an excellent impromptu set of shelves for those fancy ornaments too, leaving your other surfaces free for books and the like.
Many designers have already been designing ‘vertical systems’ such as this one for bathrooms. Look to conquer that vast hinterland of unused space: your ceilings. Why not hang all of your plants and pots from the ceiling, thereby freeing up loads of new storage space at ground level?
The “multipurpose principle”
One great way to maximise and optimise the space in a small apartment is to focus on furniture that is multipurpose.
This can range from making sure that all your tables have shelves underneath the main surface, right up to transforming your bedroom or spare room with the quite frankly magnificent “bookcase bed” or the fold up table that doubles as a picture frame.
The key here is to see objects as not simply having a singular purpose and as the multifaceted beauties that they can be.
Innovative shelving and drawers
These kinds of creations are a fairly inexpensive way of being able to take advantage of the space you already have, but also allow you breathe new utility into corners and other nooks and crannies you might not be making the most of at present.
Better organisation on your part
Finally, you may need to get more organised with the way that you are storing your items. You should always pack clothes drawers from front to back rather than bottom to top and take a quick course in effective, space saving folding.
So there you have it friends, if you think about some of this stuff you should have a small apartment
Do you have any other great space saving tips for people living in small apartments?
Estelle Page is an interior designer who loves to try and find the perfect balance between beauty and functionality, and there is no bigger challenge then a small apartment! When not at work or enjoying time with her family, Estelle likes to write blogs for KDCUK.