You’ve read apartment reviews and visited your top choices. Now you’re ready to sign the lease, but the space feels smaller than when you first walked through it. What do you do now?! How are you going to manage in such a small space? Apartment living usually does mean less space, but it doesn’t have to limit your imagination or your style. With a little creativity and some healthy determination, any space can feel much larger.
Before you get started, find out what you can and cannot do. Apartment reviews may not have mentioned whether you can make modifications such as painting. Read your lease carefully before you make any big purchases. (And you can always try asking nicely with a basket of muffins!) Once you know your limitations, make a plan and focus on what you can do.
Create the illusion of space with paint and furniture placement.
If you can, paint your apartment. Reviews from the experts suggest choosing lighter colors, especially creams and blues to reflect the light and make the room look larger. Paint the trim and ceiling a lighter color to make the space seem taller and the walls appear to recede. Painting a large shelf the same color as the wall will help it “disappear.” Setting furniture against the walls and at angles in corners can make a room feel larger. If storage is an issue, hide items in ottomans and decorative containers to avoid a cluttered look.
An inviting space feels bigger.
A great color scheme, decorative pillows, creative accents and lighting can all help make a space look inviting, no matter what the size. Try backlighting a book shelf or other large object. A few choice accents in a room can keep it looking fresh and new. For style ideas, go back through the photos in the apartment reviews to see how other people handle small spaces.
Think big, but go mini.
You were savvy enough to use the apartment reviews to find this great apartment, so don’t let a small space stop you from having everything you want. If you want an entryway but your apartment doesn’t have one, create your own entryway with a room divider and a tall bookshelf as a hall closet. If you long for an herb garden but have limited balcony space, you can create a vertical garden using a pallet and an old tarp. Modular and multi-purpose furniture can also help pack a lot of living into a small space.
When you are finished, have an apartment warming party. Your friends will give YOU great apartment reviews when they see what a beautiful and inviting space you have created.