A small living space is almost a rite of passage, isn’t it? Whether your small space is a dorm room, your first studio apartment, or even your bedroom at home, it can be frustrating trying to fit everything and more in your new tiny spot.
Your living quarters should be comfortable, efficient, and, most importantly, they should be “you”. And you definitely want room to breathe and not feel as though you’re living like a sardine. Turning a studio apartment into a real home can be challenging, but it’s not impossible if you follow these tips:
Separate Your Space
The key to making a small space feel bigger is by separating it into carefully marked areas. Consider what kind of spaces you want: a bedroom, a dining room/eating area, living room, home office. Arrange your furniture in a way that outlines which areas are used for what purpose. Even if you don’t have a ton of room to work with, there are a few tricks you can use to carve out different “rooms” in your studio.
Room dividers are great for creating privacy and acting as makeshift walls. Use one to separate your calm and restful bedroom from the social seating area. You can also create makeshift walls by fastening a tension rod or curtain rod to opposite walls and hanging a curtain on it.
Aim your furniture in different directions. Use items like your couch, bookcases, tables, or tall plants to create a nook for a seating and conversation area. The back of your couch can act as a signal for the “end” of the living room.
Small throw rugs can also heighten the look of a room. Use one pattern under your coffee table and seating area, with another completely different design under your dining table or desk.
Don’t Waste Your Walls
Your floor space may be limited, but your walls don’t have to be. Hang hooks at staggered heights to use as coat racks, closet space, accessory storage, or organizational space. Install sturdy shelves and grab some pretty baskets that add character and charm to your place.
The options are endless; all you need is a bit of creativity and vision and you can turn any blank wall into a functional and beautiful space.
Lighten the Mood
To make your small studio seem so much bigger, take advantage of any natural light your apartment gets. Keep windows unobstructed and adorn them with bright colored curtains. Things like tablecloths, sheets and bedding, and sofa covers will help to keep the space looking and feeling more open. Feel free to accent with dark colors, but the largest pieces should be light and neutral.
Strategically-placed mirrors will also help reflect light and create the illusion of more space. Thrift stores and Craigslist will be excellent places to find cool vintage mirrors in a variety of shapes and sizes. Hang one across from a window to literally bounce natural light around the room. Use a blank wall to hold a few different mirrors for some functional art. Have fun with frame colors and get creative!