Decorating an apartment has a whole set of challenges: The space is typically small and the walls are almost always white. Often you don’t have the option of painting, so you have to make the furnishings carry your color scheme and style. Limited space makes the challenge even greater. Here are a few space-saving tips that will help a small apartment look fresh, hip and colorful.
A Sea of White
If you have to live with white walls, don’t consider it as a liability; consider it a blank canvas. This neutral background will let you bring in dramatic furniture, colorful accents and bold wall art. You can choose furniture color in deep neutrals such as charcoal, black or espresso or concentrated colors such navy blue, burgundy or persimmon. Choose bold modern paintings or prints in geometrics or abstracts that incorporate your base colors and introduce accents. Then carry those colors throughout the space in accessories like lamps, tabletop accessories, mirror and picture frames, throw pillows or metal wall art. Repeated use of bright colors will actually make the room appear larger because bright colors fool the eye; bright colors appear to move toward you which causes the background to recede and appear larger.
If you prefer a more sedate color scheme, bring in browns, greens and tans. Try a modern safari scheme with sage green furniture, animal print pillows and throws of tan or brown against light neutrals, rich wood end tables, and chunky natural fibers in accessories such as baskets, wall hangings, sisal rugs and jute spherical lamps. Naturalist animal photographs, paintings or prints with dark ebony frames, white and woven wood accessories, such as candle holders, mirrors, and trays add a layer of texture.
Furniture Size and Use of Space
When choosing furniture, go for streamlined pieces with low narrow arms and low backs. Big overstuffed pieces take up more visual space. Also, open media storage systems that allow you to see all the way to the wall are less visually cumbersome than closed systems. Choose a system that will allow you to house your television and other electronics all on one wall.
Arrange furniture so that the room allows you to function without colliding into tables or chairs. Less is more, so choose furniture that gives you storage and function. For example a console table can provide space for electronic media above as well as books, plants and decorative accessories. Arrange a few woven-wood floor bins under the table to corral magazines and throws. Similar baskets can work under the bed to store extra blankets and pillows.
Enhance the Space with Mirrors
Wise mirror placement will make your apartment feel larger. Hang a large mirror over a sofa or server; hanging it high on the wall will reflect more light and space. If your entry to the apartment is small, hang a mirror on the wall that you see upon entering to make the space appear larger. Let a mirror reflect the light and space from a window to brighten and enlarge your interior.
A mirror with a plain beveled edge or a frame that coordinates with your color scheme can be found in any size and shape. Make the most of a mirror by choosing a modern basket weave, an interwoven geometric pattern, or a wide molded frame in sleek wood, shimmering shells or polished metal.