Apartment living is very common these days, and these spaces, while small, can be extremely comfortable if designed the right way!
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The key is striking the right balance between enough decoration and too much clutter! Enjoy the benefits of a larger space with less upkeep and cost by following our handy tips to make your apartment homier. We’ll help you avoid a cluttered look while making the most of the room you have.
Tip #1: Avoid blank walls
Bare, neutral walls in an apartment can make a small space feel stale. Instead, consider your walls as an opportunity to add some personal touches, creating a warm and relaxed environment.
Use small, finishing nails or double-sided tape to hang tapestries and light artwork. Opt for larger pieces, or create a stylishly dishevelled gallery wall. Let your creativity flourish as you make your apartment your own! If you really want to change the vibe of your place, you can also try some wallpaper.
Tip #2: Opt for quality furniture
The rule of “less is more” certainly applies to apartments. Quality over quantity is a great way to make your apartment feel like home, especially when it comes to furniture. It would help if you also considered furniture that serves more than one purpose. For example, a pull-out couch creates a bed for guests, or a headboard with storage creates more space.
Tip #3: Divide and conquer
Using open shelving as a room divider offers more storage and breaks up the space to make it seem bigger. Ceiling-to-floor furniture can split the room while making use of taller areas of your apartment that would otherwise remain unused. Plus, as both sides of the shelving are open, they are accessible from two directions!
Sometimes, you simply have too much to organize for a clean look – holiday decorations, skis, family heirlooms, off-road bikes, winter coats, or the boxes of inventory you need for your side hustle. That’s when you need to move the not-necessary-every-day stuff into a storage unit that you can visit once a month. The convenience and affordability of so much extra space can make your apartment life go from “blah” to “brilliant!” Here’s a handy guide to how much storage you’ll need.
Tip #4: Be sure to fill the corners
If you have a lot of open edges in your apartment, the room can look harsh. Adding corner shelves, artwork, or a standing lamp can be a simple way to rectify this. Try this, and you’ll quickly see how much it changes the feel of the room!
Tip #5: Alter the lighting
Bright lights, while helpful, don’t make for a comfortable feel in the home. So instead, we recommend that you switch to mood lighting in areas that do not need to be particularly well-lit (basically, anywhere except for the kitchen and bathroom). White bulbs create harsh light. Switching to soft, yellow incandescent bulbs or eco-friendly “warm white” LEDs, under-the-cabinet lighting, or floor lamps can be a homey alternative. You can also install dimmer lights for when it is time to relax and unwind.
Speaking of dimmers, before you attempt to install anything requiring wiring (or transform an offbeat object into an arty floor lamp), make sure you’re familiar with the new wiring colours in the UK. When in doubt, call a qualified electrician.
Tip #6: Think about your apartment’s scent
The presence of a familiar and enjoyable scent creates a relaxing effect. Your olfactory senses are calmed by certain fragrances that you can spread throughout your apartment with air diffusers, candles, and plug-ins.
Tip #7: Fill your space with plants
Arguably, the biggest downside of an apartment is the lack of outdoor areas. Some may have a balcony or small courtyard, but many have nothing. You can offset that by bringing the outside in with plants! As a bonus, plants improve apartment air quality and have been shown to reduce stress, making them ideal “roommates.” .
It is important to choose your houseplants wisely and maybe get creative with your placements depending on your available space and how much light the particular plant type requires.
If you own your apartment…
The myth is that many of us will graduate from apartments to houses, but the reality is that many apartment dwellers eventually buy an apartment instead. In that case, these design tips still apply. However, since owning your apartment home means you’re the landlord, these home maintenance tips may also come in handy.
Always make your apartment your own
The tips above will help to make your apartment a more homey space, but above all, the more of your personality you bring into your space, the better. Displaying your favourite things helps your apartment tell the story of who you are (just be wary of going overboard with too many dust collectors).