How do you set up a small apartment without having to compromise on style, comfort and space to roam? In big cities, living space is often scarce and many of us have to make do with no more than a few square meters to live in. With the right furniture and a few clever tricks, however, the whole thing is needn't be a nightmare of tight corners and claustrophobia. The fact is that even the smallest space can be both comfortable and stylish – take a look at our tips below for making the most of a small space, and don't despair!
If your apartment is small, you should try and make it as airy as possible. Light colours and delicate furniture are both key. Huge cupboards and large, storage units, though they'll get your stuff out of sight, will be counterproductive and will easily overwhelm a small space. It's better to go for compact shelving units and sideboards that take up only as much space as they must. Neat, slim seating – ideally with narrow legs that raise the seat bed off the floor, is also a good idea – you want to be able to see underneath your sofa so the eye can travel as far as the space allows. Open shelving will also create an illusion of space, and force you to keep things neat, and do periodic clear-outs. In a small apartment, accumulating useless things is a luxury you can't afford!
If you want to organise a small apartment well, smart, multi-functional furniture is crucial. This chair cum sofa cum bed from Home3 Design is the perfect space-saver. It's exactly as big as it needs to be, and no bigger, and folds out into a neat guest bed. Consider also ideas like side tables that can double up as stools, and sofas with built-in storage space.
In small rooms, it is important to use every inch of space – particularly vertical space. Here the kitchen cabinets are built up right to the ceiling to maximise available storage space; they also have the effect of drawing the eye upwards, and fooling the brain into thinking there's more space than there really is. Light colours also create a sense of space. Another tip for small kitchens: spice racks, knife bars, and holders for kitchen utensils can all be hung on the wall. For seating, go for a bench, stools or delicate stackable folding chairs.
In the bedroom, the bed is usually the focal point of the room. If space is limited, you'll need to choose your bed accordingly. Low beds without a large, solid frame will create an illusion of space. As mentioned above, furniture should only take up as much room as it absolutely has to. A bed that has storage space underneath, and behind, is a good idea. The Nook bed from Formstark has generous storage space hidden under a liftable flap in the headboard; the headboard also doubles up as a night table, with space for books, an alarm clock, a lamp, and so on. There's space underneath for shoes and other items, too. If your apartment is small, it's also a good idea to invest in some wheeled boxes that will fit under the bed. Use every inch!
In small rooms that have high ceilings it's important to take as much advantage as possible of the vertical space. Loft beds are a great space saver, effectively doubling the horizontal space available. If you have lots of vertical space, go for a high loft bed that can fit a desk or a wardrobe underneath; if you don't want to go that high then a mezzanine platform with storage underneath is perfect.