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Tips for Decorating Small Spaces

The modern-day apartment dweller has one major problem: lack of space. Anyone who’s lived in New York, London, Hong Kong, or similar knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Sure, it’s cool to live in a bustling metropolis, but once you get home, the world suddenly feels very small. It even makes decorating frustrating, with the tiny floor plan limiting your creative options.

image - Tips for Decorating Small Spaces
Tips for Decorating Small Spaces

You know where I’m going with this: There are a few things you can do to make decorating your “everything is en suite” apartment into an exciting project.

Note: these tips will also work if you’re looking to turn a small room into something more than just a ‘dump everything I don’t know what to do with’ room!

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Be Minimalist with That Floor Space

Try and keep as much of that floor space clear, otherwise, the room is going to feel cramped and stifling. That sense of claustrophobia isn’t pretty, let me tell you that from personal experience (Confession: I went a little overboard decorating my first apartment).

If you have a little walking room, you need to think vertically. Think floating shelves and nightstands, or hanging plant pots, for example. If you want a statement floor lamp, consider going for a cool hanging pendant light instead.

Think Swiss Army Knife

Small spaces are perfect for what I like to call the “Swiss Army Knife Approach”. You need to think about multi-purpose when buying furniture. Example: use a sofa bed.

Most people are still stuck in a time warp, thinking that sofa beds are uncomfortable at best and back killers at worst.

But the modern sofa bed can be just as comfortable as your average Simba Sleep Mattress (or equivalent, that’s just an example).

And I can talk, as that’s exactly what I use at home. It frees up loads of space in my bedroom, allowing me to exercise and chill during the day with loads of room to spread out.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I’m not the biggest fan of my reflection, but using a mirror is an excellent hack to amplify perceived space and expand natural light. It’s a very inexpensive way to make you feel like you’re in a bright, large room.

What I’ve done in my apartment is invest in a bunch of little mirrors I’ve picked up in thrift shops, dotting them around a single wall to create a statement piece. This also works well in the bathroom, as it gives the room a little bit of vintage personality.

Avoid Over-Accessorizing

Over-accessorizing is a small apartment sin I am still not 100% over. I just love visiting antique stores and thrift shops, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve left without purchasing something.

But if you have a small apartment, that cute little accessory can soon feel like a claustrophobia torture device. Instead of going for a million accessories, opt for a handful of statement pieces.

If you’re worried about the cost factor of a single piece, just think of how much those small purchases actually add up to.

Maximize Storage Space

Experienced apartment dwellers know one simple rule: you must maximize your storage space. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Bed with built-in drawers. If you do decide to go the bed route, choose one that has in-built storage drawers. They’re perfect for towels and bedding.
  • Ottomans with storage. I love They’re not only stylish, but they’re also a perfect storage solution.
  • Closets that reach the ceiling. Don’t go for a small, cute closet. Again, think vertically and use that space.
  • Hooks are your friends. Behind doors, on open walls, on cupboard doors. Hooks are super handy and cheap.

Add Marie Kondo to Your Watch List

I’ll leave you with not so much a decorating tip, but rather a new way of life. Watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and I dare you not to feel inspired to declutter your space from top to bottom.

If you live in a small space, going minimalist has the potential of revolutionizing your life. While I haven’t been able to go full minimalist (yet), I have found that getting rid of the clutter not only makes decorating easier, but it also has a reinvigorating effect on your day-to-day life.

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