You’ve got a great location, near a supermarket, a Laundromat and your favorite cafe. Public transportation is right around the corner to get you to work or school. And your friends live in the neighborhood. The only problem is your apartment is the size of a postage stamp.
If you live in a city and you’re on a budget, you may find yourself living in a very small space. But don’t worry! There are things you can do to make your studio apartment feel like a castle.
Live on the Edge
If you have a space that is essentially one room, don’t divide it up too much by trying to create a living room, dining room, etc. Instead, make sure your furniture is against the walls, creating a more open feeling.
Double Up; Don’t Crowd
Having multi-purpose furniture is a perfect way to keep your small space under control. Use a pullout couch or futon bed to maximize space usage; a couch by day becomes a bed by night. Get a coffee table that has storage inside for magazines, books, game controllers and so on. Buy a kitchen table with a base that stores kitchenware inside it or folds up onto the wall when not in use.
With a small amount of square footage, vertical space becomes that much more important. Use shelving wherever you can, especially extra shelving in built-in cabinets and other places where there is more room than you need for your plates. Hang things on your walls like hats, pots, knives, bicycles—you name it. This also looks fun and can create a sense of whimsy in efficiency.
Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors
A large mirror on the wall of a small apartment can make the room seem to double in size. Another fun style choice is to hang a multitude of different-sized mirrors with different frames around them to create a wall of reflections. This technique can also be broken up with other wall-hung items to increase its practicality.
Nothing makes a room seem more cramped than clutter. Keep your surfaces clear of unnecessary objects (going vertical will help with this); avoid knick-knacks, and be merciless with your possessions. Too many kitchen gadgets will fill your tiny kitchenette with frustration. A collection of vintage action figures will crowd a bookshelf or side table into uselessness. To the extent possible, have only things that you actually use out in your apartment. When you’re done with them, have a place where you put them away.
Find Your Light
Use light colors and light objects in your decorating to create the illusion of space. Whether it’s a light-colored area rug, a repainting or airy-looking tables and chairs, lightness in both color and weight will help expand your domicile.
Let Form Have Function
To sum up all of the above: if you don’t have a lot of space, make every part of it count. Use rugs and lack of clutter to create an illusion of more floor space. Use walls as storage space in quirky ways. Let your furniture do double duty, and hang mirrors to double the size of your room. If you make your space functional, a sense of size and style will follow.