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.

Small Apartment Decorating Tips
Separate a big space into small apartment areas

Although each of us has their own unique style and each home is different, there are generally a few things that apply universally when decorating a small apartment. For instance, trying to figure out what the different functional areas in it should be. Since the space is small, you might not want to separate these areas with walls but you should still find a way to delineate them. You can do that with area rugs, furniture pieces and by making each area look special by using different colors and finishes.

Take advantage of multifunctional furniture

When you’re limited on space a clever idea is to create multi-purpose spaces like a living room that can also turn into a guest bedroom for example or a dining table that can also be a desk. Multifunctional furniture is your friend when decorating and furnishing a small apartment.


Another good idea when decorating a small apartment is to take advantage of the height. In other words, don’t waste the space above you when you can add vertical storage and hanging features to your home. You could have shelves built above doors and windows, storage units that go all the way up to the ceiling, hanging planters and also folding beds and other similar features.

Be organized

One of the most difficult things when decorating a small apartment is finding a way to include sufficient storage for all the things that you want to keep in there. Having a proper storage and organization system in place helps a lot and it’s worth taking some time to come up with a design plan for each main area of the apartment like the kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and of course the living room as well.

Don’t let any space go to waste

When you’re not constrained about a lack of space you don’t really realize when you’re inefficient about the way you’re decorating a space. A lot of spaces like corners go to waste and when you have a small apartment every little bit of space matters. So be clever and don’t allow unused spaces to become a part of your design.

Use a light color scheme

Color theory is very important when decorating any space and in the case of a small apartment it’s best to go for light nuances. White, light grey, beige, light wood and certain pastels can help a lot to make small areas look bigger, brighter and more airy. You can still use darker nuances as accent colors to create focal points around the apartment.

Add depth to your design

Depth is also very important when decorating because nobody really likes a flat wall or a space where everything lines up perfectly and there’s nothing to break the monotony of the décor. You should really find ways to add layers to your décor and you can do that in a lot of different ways depending on what room you’re focusing on. You can add details like floating shelves, shadow boxes, area rugs, decorative pillows, wall decorations and so on to bring a room to life.

Don’t let things pile up

It’s a great feeling to finally be done decorating your home, to take a step back and to admire just how clean and beautiful everything look. However, if you want to keep that look you should regularly take some time to declutter your home. This is especially important when you have a small apartment because things can pile up quickly and your clean and tidy home and start looking messy as you accumulate more things over time. Look around and see what needs to stay and what you can get rid of every once in a while.

Take advantage of a tall ceiling.

Even though you might have a house or an apartment with a small footprint, if the ceiling is tall you can take advantage of that and build a second floor, a mezzanine or a loft area. That way you can maximize the interior space and use it vertically. A basement could be a similarly great addition. This small apartment designed by studio Nitzan Horovitz Architectural has two multifunctional floors and a very nice interior as well.

Divide the interior into modules.

This small apartment is organized into a series of large boxes. They each incorporate a different function. The yellow box at the center of the apartment is where all the kitchen cabinetry is situated and on the other side of it is another box which contains the sleeping area. It’s an unusual but also clever way of introducing separate spaces inside a small home.

Rearrange the layout.

It’s very important for a small apartment to have a well-organized and practical layout. If you’re not happy with the way your interior is structured it might be a good idea to change that. This apartment for example had the bedroom placed along the street-facing side of the building which didn’t give it a lot of privacy. It was later moved by studio Vão to the side that’s facing the garden which also meant in this particular case that it was separated from the rest of the apartment.

Introduce floating furniture.

Floating furniture is really great for small spaces because it makes the space appear more open and airy. It also looks more lightweight which is always great for keeping a room feel less cluttered and heavy with furniture. Of course, in the case of this particular apartment, there was another advantage to lifting the furniture off the ground. The floor has this really cool turquoise nuance and it would have been a shame to cover it up.

Add a cozy attic.

If at all possible, building a small attic room can help to really transform a small apartment. Even if the ceiling is not that tall, you don’t need a lot of space up top if you plan to turn the attic into a cozy sleeping area for example. That allows you to get this room out of the way and to have more space for a large living room or a bigger kitchen for example.

Give yourself a little home office.

This might not seem like the best use of space when you have a small apartment but if you’re working from home or if you’re using your computer a lot throughout the day it would really help to have a little separate area for this, like a home office. It doesn’t need to be big and you could try to squeeze it into your living room. This apartment has it hidden behind the living room entertainment center, framed by glass and metal walls.

Get rid of the interior walls.

A small apartment can feel even smaller when you have interior walls and partitions diving it into tiny areas. You could really open it up by removing these walls and creating one big open space instead of several tiny ones. The kitchen and living room can be seamlessly combined and you can also squeeze in a small dining area in here as well now that the walls are out of the way.

Build a loft bedroom.

This is something we’ve mentioned before actually and this time we have a really cool design to show you. This loft bedroom is small and has this metal mesh screen which lets you see it from below and that also lets the light in. What we really like in this case is the custom spiral staircase that leads up to here. It goes around a beam and it’s a really nice design feature for the entire apartment.

A flexible design.

If you’re a huge fan of eliminating all the partitions inside your small apartment and turning it into a single large space, perhaps an in-between design would be more to your liking. This gorgeous apartment has three distinct areas: a living room, kitchen and a bedroom. As you can see, instead of a solid wall between them, we have a glass and metal partitions. This offers more flexibility and allows the rooms to be visually connected but also to enjoy their own privacy whenever needed.

Focus on functionality.

Given that the space is limited, focusing on functionality seems like a good strategy when designing a small apartment. That however shouldn’t mean you should ignore the aesthetic or that the apartment shouldn’t be customized. Taking a more practical approach just means you have to adapt your vision and to work around the functional elements. A style that’s perfect for such a plan is the industrial one.

Have fun with color.

Color is a really important factor in any interior design. We mentioned before that small apartments should use light colors in order to look bigger and brighter. That however doesn’t mean you can’t also introduce accent colors into the mix. Use these to visually delineate the different areas within a large open floor plan and to add character to each individual space.

Small Kitchen

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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}.

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

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