5 Design Tips for Small Homes and Apartments

design tipsPhoto by Tina Dawson on Unsplash

Sometimes it may seem that everything nowadays is getting more and more compact, and our own living spaces have not been spared from this trend! Unless you are stuck with one of those infamous “coffin” cubicles, there are many design ideas you can employ to make your small home or apartment comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Here we have 5 relatively simple design tips you can use to spruce up your pad, at relatively little expense!

1. Work With Light Colors

One easy way to make your tiny space seem more expansive is to trick the eye with color. Light and pale tints, not to mention all the varieties of white, can make a room appear spacious and airy. On the other hand dark and very bold colors can give the impression of a more closed-in and warm space, so consider eschewing these or limiting them to accent pieces. Using the same light shade throughout a house gives the illusion of continuity and expansiveness. Not a fan of huge blocks of whites and pastels? You can still use bright colors in smaller blocks or in different rooms to give the illusion of different spaces!

2. Mirror, Mirror

Create the illusion of doubled space by strategically placing mirrors in your home. You can go for the minimal treatment with mirrors as accent pieces or go large with whole walls full of mirrored panels. It is best to place mirrors in areas where they can reflect natural light coming in from windows, as this will give a less garish effect than reflecting artificial light.

3. Go Vertical

One space maximizing measure used in urban planning is to expand upwards, hence the rise of skyscrapers and towers in our metropolises. You can employ the same trick when planning out your small home, particularly its storage arrangements. Pick pieces that are taller than they are wide, so that they will not take up as much floor space. If you can, design your built-in shelving to be oriented vertically, so you can free up some portions of your walls to add decorations or make further expansions. Plus, your apartment or home will seem less cluttered, and you will have more room to stretch and walk about without tripping over stuff.

4. Designate Areas

It may seem counterintuitive to divide an already small space into set areas for work, play, and rest, but this design tip is great in maintaining order as well as freeing up space. Arranging designated areas within or in between rooms helps reduce clutter and permits an easy flow of foot traffic in your daily activities. This is particularly important in single room dwellings such as studio apartments, where lack of organization can make the place seem like a hoarder’s pile or the Cave of Wonders. Use large furniture such as sofas and tables to form demarcations between areas or serve as “islands” of activity within the room. Alternatively, you can use folding screens or even drapery to delineate areas, or even conceal areas dedicated to work, craft projects, or other messy ventures.

5. Choose Multi-purpose Pieces

Chances are, there is not enough space to fit all the furniture you may wish for your home. However, you can make do with pieces that serve more than one purpose, thus giving you two pieces of furniture for the price and space of one. Some favorite multi-purpose pieces for tiny homes include tables that can double as desks or cabinets, or beds and couches with extra storage underneath. Got a studio apartment? Entertain by day on a cushy sofa that converts to a bed once you have shooed your guests out. If you have the resources, you can even have these pieces customized so that you can incorporate special surfaces for your work or leisure activities.

Designing a small home or apartment may seem daunting, but the task is far from impossible. In fact it can be a creative and fulfilling challenge to maximize a space and make it truly work for your brand of living. We hope that these design tips will help you come up with solutions for your very own home. Best of luck!

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