6 Pro Tips for Small Space Living

Updated: Dec 7, 2018


Small apartments can be tough to design - there’s literally no room for mistakes! To create a masterpiece on a miniature canvas, everything MUST be carefully planned from the start and executed just right. If the space isn’t optimized, it can easily feel cramped and cluttered, affecting your quality of life.


So what’s the right way to set up your small apartment for success? We all know that there are some incredible examples out there, but these often involve a level of customization that’s not practical for most people. Try these tips to improve your space without DIY carpentry.


1. Have less stuff

This sounds obvious, but no design will look good if your place is cluttered. Take a hard look at all your belongings, KonMari-style, to see if you really need them. That one knife may be perfect for carving roasted meats - but is it worth living with a cluttered knife drawer until your next baked ham?


2. Store wisely

Even if you have enough storage for your things, it needs to be arranged where you can actually use it. Everything needs a spot where it is easily accessible when you need it. If something is jammed in the back of a drawer, you should either find a new spot or just get rid of it!

Image Credit: Paul Hanaoka

3. Measure for your space

When buying furniture for a tiny apartment, it’s tempting to buy tiny pieces. But do you really want to live in a dollhouse? You may have room for a bigger sofa than you think. Just check the measurements before buying! Many times, corners are underutilized space - bust out the measuring tape and you might realize you can fit a desk in there.


4. Make your furniture work

Like employees at a small company, pieces in a small apartment may have to do multiple jobs. Sign your furniture up for double duty by using a table as a desk, an ottoman as storage, or the same chair for dining and office seating. And remember that things can move to perform their other function - it’s better to drag your footrests around than trip over every time you walk by.


Image Credit: Tages Anzeiger.

5. Don’t forget color

Pick colors that suit your environment. In Portland, cold grays can make a space gloomy (and for half the year, that’s the color outside anyway). But in Florida that same cold gray may be refreshing! Also, with less room for colors to breathe they will clash more easily, so coordinate with care.


6. Get creative

At a certain square footage, the standard playbook won’t cut it. Unleash your imagination! Store things on the walls, or put wheels on your storage to stow it out of sight. Get a bunk or loft bed. Use mirrors to enhance natural light. Put a nursery in your closet, and put your closet in your bedroom. As long as it affords you more space, it’s a good idea and there’s a way to make it aesthetically appealing.


Well, those are our tips. Do you have any space-saving advice to share? Add a comment below.

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