“Small is beautiful”, as the old adage goes. You don’t have to live in a huge mansion, a grand manor, a sweeping chateau or a spacious villa to have a sensational living space. Do some research and use your imagination – and the space you have – to transform a small apartment into a fantastic home.
If you want to totally transform the structure of your apartment, you are going to need to seek professional advice. Moving walls or adding strategically placed walls or screens can make a dramatic difference. You can change the layout and function of the living accommodation, add or take away rooms or storage space, increase or reduce privacy, or simply make a space appear larger. You might also want to consider a loft or garage conversion, enlarging your windows, or swapping solid doors for glass to radically transform what you have.
If you are feeling especially ambitious and not just a little bit daring, get structural advice about building a bed or sleeping area on a separate level in your apartment, or think outside the box and suspend the bed from the ceiling. Consider a Living Cube, a bit like a cabin bed for adults whereby the bed is on top of storage units. Another alternative for a small space is sofa beds, or a foldaway bed that disappears into a cupboard during the day at the simple twist of a handle. Choose furniture that can multifunction in your home; for example, a stool that doubles up as a coffee table, a storage chest that can be used as an extra seat. Buy furniture that can be rearranged to transform the use of a room, with casters if possible to make life easier. Choose smaller-sized furniture; for example, a two-seater sofa instead of three, or buy bespoke furniture to utilize every bit of space effectively.
Apart from major building or conversion work, decorate to take full advantage of a small apartment. Decorate in light colors and maximize all the available natural light. Hang floor-to-ceiling curtains and see-through furnishings in voile or sheer fabrics. Mirrors create a feeling of space and make an area look clean and sharp. Do not clutter, and avoid ornaments, though a strategically placed well-thought-out lamp or vase can look fantastic and create ambience.
Utilize any outside space you have. If your apartment has a patio or outside area, you could create a terrace or deck area with a bistro table and chair to add sophistication. Screen doors and clever use of flooring can create the illusion that the room almost extends out into the outdoor space. Make use of any space under the stairs for a computer room, work area or even a built-in bed.
Finally, accessorize with care. Choose bookcases and cabinets that reach to the ceiling so that no space is wasted, or take advantage of the space between the top of the furniture and the ceiling with hanging storage or high-mounted shelves. Work out what you need and want, work with your vision and be innovative; with the right help and advice you will be rewarded with an apartment perfectly suited to you and decorated in your own eclectic taste.