When it comes to decorating apartments, the same challenges often come up. One of the most significant issues that appears time and time again is how much space you have available.
Small apartments leave you very little to work with.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t realize your design ideas. You can still have the magazine-worthy room you’ve been dreaming of. It just takes a little bit of creativity.
In this article, you will learn how the experts choose accessories when dealing with small apartments to get the most out of so little space.
1. The Bigger the Rug the Better
Putting a small rug in a small room is a big no-no.
With a small rug, you end up cutting off a section of the room and breaking up the floor. That actually makes the room seem smaller.
We know that seems impossible.
By unifying most of the room with a beautiful big rug, you make it feel larger and more cohesive. At the very least you should have a rug that covers the floor under your furniture to create a nice seating area.
Picking out an area rug is one of the first things you should do when accessorizing your apartment.
It’s much easier to choose colors and patterns for the rest of the room once you’ve got your area rug in place. It’s a great starting point for any design.
2. Mirrored Decor Opens Things Up
Add depth to closed-off spaces using mirrors and decor with reflective surfaces.
By reflecting the light placed around the room, mirrors make a space brighter so that it seems more open. It’s a great way to trick the eye into thinking your apartment is bigger.
The easiest thing to do is to hang mirrors on your walls.
Use one large mirror to create a beautiful focal point on one wall. A tall mirror will also help to push your ceilings higher. Or you can combine different sizes, shapes, and styles of mirrors in a kind of gallery wall.
Go less obvious by dropping hints of mirrors throughout a room.
Reflective picture frames, vases, pieces of art, and other objects will brighten up your shelving and keep your decor cohesive.
3. Can You Hang It on a Wall?
In a small apartment, you only have so much floor space to work with. But that’s not the only prime real estate available for all those accessories you’ve gathered.
Look to your walls and start decorating vertically.
There are obvious choices, like pictures and art. Use frames that match but aren’t identical to give your design some unique texture.
Try thinking outside the box on this one.
Floating shelves, hooks, and baskets can help you step up your accessorizing game. You can find ways to hang just about anything you want on the wall.
Even if you don’t think you have space for something, there’s probably a way you can hang it up!
4. Limit Your Color Choices
Don’t go crazy with colors and patterns in a small room. That’s a good way to make people dizzy.
Come up with a color palette made up of only two or three colors and stick to it.
It’s best to use mostly neutral colors in small spaces. Light colors make a room seem more spacious while dark colors are perfect for a jewel box feel.
Pick one or two bold accent colors to pop randomly into your design.
These colors can come from your area rug or a piece of art that you have hanging in the room. Accent colors are best incorporated through your accessories because they are easy to change up.
It’s much easier to switch out a throw pillow than repaint an entire wall or get a new sofa because you want a new color scheme.
5. Add Functionality
No one ever said that decor couldn’t be extremely useful!
Coat racks, pegboards, hooks, and shelves are excellent ways to accessorize any space while adding in a bit of functionality. Get it in the perfect accent color or find something metallic for some added glam.
Put up a chalkboard and change your decor every week with art you can edit.
Having somewhere to hang things keeps your already small space from becoming overwhelmed with clutter. It creates a place for everything in a way that becomes intentional design.
You can even park your bike on your wall when you’re not using it!
6. Accessorize With Light
If your goal is to make your small space feel bigger, light is absolutely essential.
Add lighting in layers to bring a ton of natural dimension to your room. The more light you can fit in, the better. Brightening things up will shoo away that claustrophobic feeling.
Floor lamps are fantastic for a wide area of light, though they tend to take up a lot of floor space. Table lamps are another way to incorporate light without making things feel too cluttered.
Any kind of lighting that hangs on the wall is ideal for smaller rooms.
Wall sconces give you the perfect opportunity to incorporate your design sense in the form of lighting, as there are so many styles to choose from.
And with plug-in wall sconces, you don’t have to worry about the added step of hiring an electrician to install your lighting for you.
7. Make a Statement
Just because your room is compact doesn’t mean every accessory you buy has to be small.
Read that and then reread it, because it’s important.
While you shouldn’t try to shove a bunch of large pieces into a single room, playing with scale is an excellent way to make the most out of what space you have. There’s nothing wrong with going big sometimes.
Take your statement piece and make it the focal point of the room.
These accessories can be something like a large piece of artwork, an oversized mirror, an ornate statue, or a prominent light fixture. Keep them reasonably big compared to the size of your room, and don’t try to pack more than two at the most into any one space.
If you’re going for a statement, you want it to really stand out.
Using larger accessories is all about balance. If you feel like there’s just too much, try taking away some of your small pieces and see if that helps the room flow better.
You don’t have to be an expert to design like one. These tips and tricks for choosing accessories will help you dress up your small space like any showroom. All you have to do is apply these ideas to your style!
When you’re done, your apartment will look so good that no one will even notice the size.
Aaron Hunt is the Property Manager for The Urban, a student housing community near Ohio State University.