Apartments are often built in fixed shapes with little to no difference in between units and when space becomes a limiting factor, it can be difficult to find a design that not only suits your style but also provides enough room for everything you need. This limitation can be felt even more when designing for small apartments. Despite the ubiquity of spatial limitation amongst apartment owners, there are several design and furnishing options that can help maximize capacity and utility of small spaces. In fact, by having to innovate and compromise personalized ideas, designing a small space can be quite fun and rewarding!
Whether it’s for a small 2 bedroom apartment or a soho, the following modern space ideas can definitely make a relatively small space feel so much larger, while still maintaining style and maximizing functionality.
Investing in Dual or Multi-Purpose Furniture
The biggest challenge when designing a small apartment is space. When dealing with limited amounts of space, every inch counts and often that makes designing difficult to fit furniture of your preference. Rather than going through the long painful process of deciding what to keep and what to give up, start by investing in dual or multi-purpose furniture. These handy and advanced home pieces are not only built with unique designs but also with a great solution and a great fit to your convenience. Consider a couch that can be converted into a bed when you need to sleep, a drop leaf console table that can become a dining table or a storage stool that doubles as an additional storage area.
Whichever dual or multi-purpose furniture you choose, make sure that the pieces are size-appropriate for your space as overstuffed models will make your living space even smaller.
Convenience in Vertical
If you think you’ve already maximized every inch of living space on ground and built-in ready surface counters, that’s where you’re wrong. More often than not, most of the un-utilized and forgotten spaces are located at open, bare walls. This is where you can utilize and extend a lot of creativity here.
Using furniture that extends to the ceiling like a dual-purpose mirror that can be pulled down to become a table or a wall-high bookcase with lights can not only “visually” open up the space, but also gives you additional storage or convenience to your needs. Moreover, you can also utilize dual-purpose furniture for space-efficiency such as a murphy bed that doubles as a couch and shelves, allowing you to save a lot of space while keeping in style. You can also install decorative shelves around your door for extra storage space and create an innovative decorative wall around it.
Create Your Own Zone/Divider
In some apartment designs, the kitchen and the living room might be included in one wide area without any zoning. This is also common in the case of a studio apartment, where everything from the bedroom to kitchen to living area would share the same space. In such cases, it can be difficult to have a private, comfortable space for yourself and the apartment can feel very cluttered. A common solution to this is to define different spaces through zone creation.
Something as simple as installing ceiling-high curtains between your bed and your living room makes a lot of difference and easily gives you an added sense of privacy. Other methods like including dividers or suspending a floating painting are also effective in dividing your living areas and giving each space their own identity. This helpful little trick allows you to host guests without having to worry about visitors unintentionally invading your privacy at home.
Versatility in Colour and Textures
Most small apartments would usually come with plain and mundane white walls with little colour scheme and minimal décor. Where it’s possible, supplement your apartment with a little more character and personality by adding colour schemes to different areas or rooms. The great thing about colours is that their individuality can also compliment one another through creative contrast, zone and texture differentiation and more. From using light neutral palettes to make a living room more open and spacious, to using the plain black and white concept for a more bold, modern look, your choices are endless.
Moreover, using textures not only enhances the characters of colours, it also makes the room more unique and aesthetic. For example, a wooden panel wall on one side of your home office can contribute to a more “Zen” ambience when paired with matching colour schemes on adjacent walls, such as forest greens, or sky blues.
Optical Illusion Strategy with Bigger Furniture
A decorative apartment isn’t without including decorative items, and having a certain amount of decorations is a standard for all homes. More often than not however, too much decor can backfire and make a small living space look and feel cluttered. As counterintuitive as it may sound, fitting a small space with lesser but bigger furniture or decorations can not only make the room feel bigger but also grander.
The great news is this concept is not only limited to big furniture. Large decorative items such as a potted plant, a photo collage or a large painting can also be used to fill up empty areas and indirectly make a living space feel more layered. Using mirrors is one of the oldest tricks in the book, giving an optical look that makes a small room appear larger than normal. Just like decorative items and furnishing, mirrors come in versatile shapes and sizes with designs and patterns.
In conclusion, there is no limit to turning and decorating your small apartment into the home of your dreams. Be it a small studio apartment or a small two-bedroom apartment, no space is too big or small for design creativity. At the end of the day, it is about being flexible and smart with your design ideas, and finding the right facilitators (interior designers) to execute your ideas into reality. The way we see it, a new home is a blank canvas, so get creative!