Many people live in small homes for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re renting your space or planning to sell it, making small apartment renovations can increase the value of your home and improve your living experience.
Maximize vertical space by installing shelving that goes all the way to the ceiling. This simple, renter-friendly improvement makes any room feel bigger and more stylish.
1. Use Vertical Space
Whether you’re moving into your first adult apartment or revamping your current one, space can be tight. Thankfully, there are a number of design hacks that can help your cramped condo feel bigger and brighter.
One of the most important tips for maximizing small spaces is to prioritize functionality. Look for furniture pieces that can serve multiple purposes, such as sofas that by day offer a comfortable place to relax and by night transform into extra sleeping space. Adding shelving and cabinets that reach the ceiling can also give your room a sense of height.
Another way to use vertical space is to play with lighting. Using high-up lighting, like wall sconces and track lights, can trick the eye into seeing your space as larger than it actually is.
2. Install Shelving
If your apartment has a limited amount of storage space, use shelving to solve the problem. A tall, multifunctional bookcase works as both a display piece and a place to stash items like books, dishes, and cleaning supplies. Hanging a large mirror above the bookcase can help the room look bigger by reflecting light from the window.
When mounting shelves in an apartment, identifying the wall studs is crucial. This helps the installer avoid drilling into framing and other structural elements that could cause damage. Use a stud finder to locate the studs, then mark them with a pencil before drilling.
Shelves also offer a versatile platform for creating decorative vignettes. Basic wooden shelves can go with any style, and you can use them to hold plants, photos of friends and family, and other mementos. Consider staggered shelves to create a more unique display. If you don’t want to drill into your apartment walls, you can mount shelves using adhesive mounting strips, which are easy to remove and won’t leave holes behind.
3. Get Creative with Lighting
Whether you’re trying to brighten up your living room or add a cozy glow to your bedroom, sconces offer a great option for apartment lighting. They don’t take up much floor space like a lamp or nightstand, and their slim design makes them perfect for smaller homes. If you’re renting, opt for plug-in sconces so you can easily take them with you when you move.
Using the storage that your apartment comes with—like bathroom vanity drawers or shelves—to their fullest advantage is another smart small-apartment idea. You can even upgrade the look of your cabinets with unique hardware options that’ll add a touch of character to your home and won’t cost a fortune.
If you have to keep your condo on the more affordable side, prioritize functionality and look for furniture that can multitask, such as a skirted table that doubles as a coffee table and offers out-of-sight storage. This can help prevent your apartment from feeling cramped and cluttered.
4. Get Organized
When living in a small space, it’s important to stay organized. This means that you must regularly declutter and get rid of items you no longer use. If you haven’t used an item in a long time, then consider renting a storage facility or donating it to a second-hand store.
Using furniture with hidden storage is a great way to keep your home organized and clutter-free. For example, a nesting coffee table is a great choice because it not only has a top surface for placing beverages, but also features a bottom shelf that holds books and other objects.
Similarly, a slim clothing rack can be mounted over a closet door to hold hangers and other items like scarves, hats, jewelry, and shoes. A wall-mounted picture ledge is another great option for storing frames and other decorative objects without blocking the walkway. For smaller open-plan areas, clever zoning can make the room feel bigger by clearly defining different zones.