Apartment living is practically required at some point in our lives. Whether we are living on our own fresh out of college or are living it up in the big city and taking in the nightlife, we’ve all spent time in an apartment building that is affordable (hopefully) yet cramped. But, as most of us know, the cookie-cutter apartment style is, shall we say, lacking. So how do you make it your own without overcrowding it? Here are seven style tips to improve your small apartment, making it appear larger and more inviting.
The first style tip to remember in creating an apartment that feels more welcoming and homey is to ignite the senses with a relaxing aroma. In a shared apartment building, you might smell anything from the city outside to the dinner your neighbor is cooking up down the hall. So make your apartment feel more homey and exclusively yours by lighting candles that remind you of what home should smell like. Astrology candles, in particular, can instantly transform a dull space and lend an extension of your personality and character.
Want your apartment to smell amazing as soon as you step foot into the threshold? Then check out the Pura Smart home diffuser, customizable and programmable through an app to tweak it whenever you are away.
When it comes to small spaces, light neutral colors are the way to go. And an apartment is no different. With light-colored walls all around, your apartment will look brighter, cheerier and roomier than ever before. Try to resist the temptation of painting a focal wall in another bold color, as this will only shrink a room and bring that wall forward.
What kind of colors constitutes a light neutral? Consider leaning into creamy whites, pale greens and even an ever-so-subtle orange or blush if you wish a bit of warmth. White will always give a small apartment a clean and crisp look — you can never go wrong with it!
If you rent, be sure to ask your landlord if you can, indeed, paint the walls; they may even want to approve the color. But when you pick out and present them with a lovely, subtle tan or greige, they might even be relieved.
#3 Use Floating Shelves and Open Bookcases
Cabinets essentially fill a room with boxes and do no favors for tight spaces and small apartments. So, whenever you are presented with an opportunity to use open shelving — do it! Whether it’s standing bookshelves for a home office or living room or extra wall-mounted floating shelves in the bathroom, make sure they lack doors. This way, you can see straight through to the wall behind it, which will make the room appear larger. Don’t forget to style your open shelves well too!
As a renter, removing any pre-installed and wall-mounted cabinets proves tricky. But if you are handy enough, you might be able to remove the doors to achieve the same effect. Take caution to not harm the hardware and hinges and place your kitchen or bathroom doors neatly together in a closet. Then, when you decide to move, you can place them back on. Speaking of kitchens, make use of the backsplash areas by adding magnetic strips to secure knives and spice jars, freeing up the counter space.
Mirrors and glass are two materials that will become your best friend in a small apartment. Mirrors do double duty, reflecting light and brightening a space and providing the illusion that a room is more spacious than it truly is. You can hang a decorative mirror along a wall to make a room appear twice the size or simply add a reflective metallic tray to a table to add a bit of depth.
Glass also comes in handy by opening up a space that would otherwise be concealed. Take, for example, a glass-top coffee table or end table. Instead of a table with a solid top, a clear and transparent glass top allows you to see the space below without blocking your view. In turn, this can make anything from a living room to a cabinet appear larger and less cramped.
In a small apartment with little wall space, mirrors are always recommended. But when you have neutral walls, a splash of color is needed. That’s where artwork comes into play! However, if there’s one style tip we can give to renters, it’s to think minimal — especially when it comes to art.
A wall covered in pieces of art can appear overcrowded and busy. Instead, aim for a few carefully chosen pieces of art. Although we discourage using a focal wall in a contrasting color, your art is quite the opposite. If you only choose one or two pieces of art per room, go big and bold! Choose an art piece that really grabs your attention and have a little fun with it.
If you have lots of artwork to showcase, don’t fret! You can still show off your favorites. Just make sure to give each piece some breathing room and scatter them throughout the apartment appropriately.
#6 Go with Minimal Window Treatments Too
For a small apartment, you want to take advantage of as much natural lighting as possible. So hanging heavy curtains and ornate window treatments is a big no-no. Instead, opt for breezy sheers or even fabric blinds that fit perfectly inside each window frame. If your apartment also lacks tall ceilings, be sure to hang any curtains right at the top edge and choose curtains long enough to reach the floor. This will make any small space feel grander.
Another trick with window treatments is to choose them in a fabric that closely matches your wall’s paint color, allowing them to blend into their surroundings instead of framing an area. Finally, if you are a renter who lives in a city apartment, make sure to get yourself some blackout curtains to sleep better at night too.
Placing large, weighty furniture into a small apartment is one way to make it look even more cramped. So when choosing furniture for your space, think light and airy. In other words, seek out furniture with a streamlined look that has thin legs instead of something that rests on the floor.
A few examples of this are glass top-end tables with sleek hairpin legs or a raised platform bed. Skinnier legs and a shorter frame also allow you to easily move items around when you entertain. An armless sofa or accent chair also lends a roomy look without overstuffing the floor space.