Apartment living is the housing reality for almost 20% of Americans, and that reality continues to develop into a smaller and smaller one. CNBC statistics indicate that newly built apartments clock in at 941 square foot on average, 5% smaller than it was a decade ago. For studios, that effect is even more pronounced, at 10% smaller. In rough terms, that’s about the size of a four-car garage. With spaces shrinking, making an apartment feel like home while still having room for all your things can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some fantastic design principles that can help you to make your studio feel like a mansion.
When you have a small space, it’s important to be economical with your stuff. Finding smart storage and putting your things away, rather than having every piece of your life on show, is a great way to make a space feel, psychologically, bigger. This is the view of style experts writing for the New York Times, who suggest you display a small amount of objects that invoke happiness and rotate them from storage through the year. Apartment living inspiration and ideas like this have a secondary impact in making it easier to clean and dust your apartment. While this seems like a simple bit of routine work, it can also help you look after your apartment and spot problems early, such as mold, which can creep into the apartment in places that end up neglected.
Use the light
There are three main ways to make a small area seem bigger. The first is through the use of mirrors. A large centerpiece mirror placed in your main living area can help you to easily make the space look larger. The other two ways concern the use of white and black walls; which you decide to go for will depend on how small the space you are living in is. White walls do, indeed, make an area seem bigger, but black walls, or dark artwork, can achieve the same effect. A darker paint color across two walls can help you to make the room feel cozy and, according to Paintzen, will elongate the room, exaggerating its length.
Make a statement
In the same vein as keeping your rooms de-cluttered is the process of making a statement piece. Having a grand, luxurious sofa or chair can give a room the ‘feel’ of being larger, simply through the energy of that single piece of furniture. Other items work, too. A piano, for instance, can give your room that huge feel that makes it bigger than its actual size. The key is to make sure you can still get around the room, but if you have one star item in the room that’s high quality and looks the part, you’ll reap the benefits in terms of how the space feels.
A small space needn’t mean that you feel restricted. Employing a few key principles will help you to make the most out of that space, no matter how it feels to begin. Your creativity is key to unlocking a place much bigger than the sum of its parts.