Small flat decorating hacks
I personally am one that is very well nursed with small apartments, because I have lived in multiple small flats. I have been living in London for seven years now, which is kind of a long time and as many of you know London is a pretty expensive place to live. I lived in North London for three years and then I’ve been living in a more suburban area for about three years now and today I am here to share my 10 top tips if you have a smaller space to just have a very efficient, a clean and a pretty liveable space that just really represents yourself but it’s also very functional at the same time.
I’m going in full force with the first one because this is probably my biggest tip for someone that has a small apartment and that is to elevate your bed. Once I got storage under my bed, I was able to store so much there! Under your bed is an area where you can literally put whatever you want, nobody’s going to see, especially if you have like either a bed skirt or does need really long duvet that covers it but the reason for this is that you can put either bed risers or just get a bed that is elevated.
This is a great space for storing anything like suitcases, luggage and keep in mind if you do store suitcases under your bed, you can also put more things in them. Throw it in a suitcase and put it under your bed because no one knows where to put a suitcase in a small apartment! The under bed space is very very key when you have a small space, get it off the floor and organise underneath.
Now what we want to do is build upwards and what does that mean exactly that is to use your vertical space to your advantage. You can build a large gallery wall. What that does is when you walk into someone’s space, it instantly it draws your eye from the floor to the ceiling because there’s a lot of stuff to look at and it makes your apartment just appear a lot bigger. Building upwards definitely maximises the amount that you can put on your wall, so you can have organisational systems on your walls with wall shelves to hold additional things like books, decor, knick knacks, bits and bobs- whatever you want to put on.
Think about how you can use the space above your TV, what can you put up there, look how you can use a space above the door, for what can you use a space above your kitchen cabinets, for there’s lots of room for using the space upwards that you might not think about.
When buying new furniture, try to think about getting a more lighter toned furniture as opposed to darker furniture because what that does, it instantly brightens your room up, it actually bounces colour and reflects it off of furniture. Pieces that are brighter give you a whole little bright environment too.
When you do have darker furniture, it tends to sort of absorb light and if you do not have a lot of natural light to start with, when you’re in need for a new couch, think about getting a lighter colour as opposed to a darker one.
If you are in a smaller space just to put mirrors in your space. Mirrors are amazing reflective elements, they definitely give a lot more light to your space as well as mirrors bounce back light everywhere so when you do have a lot of them in a smaller space, you get a little bit more of a brighter environment. I personally just think mirrors open up a space so much more and they make it appear a lot bigger, I don’t know if you have walked into like a restaurant before or a store before where that whole back wall is mirrored, and you’re like ‘wow the store is humongous’ and then you end up walking to the mirror and you’re like ‘wow this is actually just a mirror’.
I’ve done that so many times and you can do that with your space as well, so having a really really large like IKEA floor mirror on one wall – even just a wall mirror is great to have on the wall. A circular wall mirror I think that adds a nice little kind of round element to a space halfway through it.
My next tip is one that not all of us are great at, because I personally do not have a particularly green thumb. I actually did keep an aloe vera alive for a year which I do applaud myself on. I don’t have a green thumb but my fiancee does, so adding a few plants definitely just livens up a space instantly. You can see the most dreary little, small living room in the world but if they have a whole ton of plants in there, it is a completely different environment. You can have as many plants as you want in your apartment. Bathrooms are a great place for plants and there are a lot of indoor plants that actually don’t need to survive with a lot of light so you can look into those.
Clutter is not your best friend if you live in a smaller environment because what this does is just going yo make your space feel jam-packed. I feel like we can all definitely kind of sense this, if you have a cluttered space or if your coffee table is all completely cluttered, if your consoles are cluttered, if your desktop table – whatever it might be that you have in your small space, people clutter everything these days. You know it just happens, I can say that I have done this before as well, I definitely learned to kind of start putting my things away as I go and trying to conceal them and just keep things off the top of surfaces as opposed to just like really cluttering my desk.
I used to do that all the time: everything in the world on top of there, including mail, bills, tax information, pencils, pins, staplers and all that form of stuff: now it’s all in drawers and I try to conceal it and just keep my desktop nice and clean and so I try to keep things a little less cluttered, put things away, store in boxes and baskets – wherever you can put them. Organisation systems underneath your bed, as we talked about prior.
Sometimes in smaller spaces especially in like studio apartments which I’ve had experience with in the past, it’s hard to kind of designate areas to specific things, so when you’re in these spaces I definitely think breaking areas up either with pieces of furniture or rugs is a great way to sort of symbolise different areas in your space. You can have a really large rug and create almost a dining room and living room combined in one place. It’s just a little bit of a section so what you can do is actually place a really large 8 by 10 rug on the floor, which sort of grounds in the living room space and it has all the seating areas on top of it.
If you are living with roommates in a smaller apartment, you can section off areas to kind of give yourselves your very own space. Keep extra seating under your coffee table or under a console. You can also keep baskets with like books or blankets or additional storage under consoles or under coffee tables, you can maximise by layering, which I think is definitely amazing in smaller spaces.
If you have a coffee table with two additional floor pillows underneath the coffee table and, a pouf underneath there as well, that just instantly adds three more seats around the table and on top of it I think it looks really cute having a layered coffee table look. You can even probably add a basket to the other side: let’s say you had a console in the corner by your door when you walked in or maybe you had a console with your TV on it, there’s a large space underneath it. Think about really utilising that space underneath it, and put baskets or additional storage means underneath those items, just because it’s going to give you a little bit more to work with.
A lot of places when you go to them, they have different organisational sections, so there’s kitchen organisation here and then there’s bathroom organisation here, or there’s office organisation here: check all of those spaces out and you can utilise different organisational means for different spaces in your room. You might end up using a bathroom caddy as blanket storage.
If you’re shopping online or if you’re shopping in store, definitely check out every section of organisation because you can find things that you never knew you needed. Find organisation that you maybe never thought could apply, that was a bathroom organisation that you can now use in your bedroom or you can use in your living room.
The last tip just adds life to the space, which is is really really key for anybody that has a smaller space, because sometimes it can feel very flat, and I think a great way to add texture is with your furniture and your textiles, your pillows. With a macrame pillow that has a whole ton of texture in it, or a leather couch which adds another form of texture. Add a braided woven rug on the floor or a marble coffee table, a vintage wood box on top of the marble coffee table and then on top of that you can have a shearling chair – so instantly adding more textures to your space, just gives it a more cozy environment which is very inviting, it’s very warm and it’s liveable, which is what we all want in our space
If your space is super small already you might as well make it just feel super cozy because a smaller space is easier to make feel cozy as opposed to a larger space.