How to Furnish a Small Apartment On a Budget

24 January 2015

furnish small apartment

Furnishing and decorating a small apartment presents several challenges. Let's face it, the majority of furniture is for full-size homes. Locating beautiful items that will fit within your apartment's dimensions can be challenging. Finding ways to store your belongings without making your space look cluttered may seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, many tricks can assist you to transform a small apartment into a stylish and sufficiently functional place to call home. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Keep It Light

Colour choices have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your apartment. Using lighter colours creates an illusion of more space. Paint walls using pastel hues. See what colour bedroom is the most relaxing. Avoid intricate patterns that cover large areas; solid colours are best. If the apartment has dark-coloured floors, add light-coloured, soft-textured rugs to lend a sense of airy comfort. To make rooms seem less crowded, limit your decor to one or two primary colours and one accent shade. A bright accent here and there can liven up your decor without overpowering it. Simplicity and focus work wonders in small spaces.

Let the Outside In

If your rooms seem smaller than they are, it may be due to insufficient natural light. Windows may improve this situation. Resist the temptation to cover them with heavy draperies that block natural light. If you don't like the idea of bare windows, use lightweight, sheer panels, and leave them pulled to the sides of your windows. Light-coloured, slimline blinds and window coverings can lend a more open and airy feel.

The Magic of Mirrors

Mirrors are a decorator's secret weapon because they reflect light, and they can often make small rooms look bigger than they are. Place large decorative mirrors on walls, or hang full-length mirrors on doors.

Utilise Your Wall Space

In a small apartment, floor space is a precious commodity. If an item can fit on a wall without looking ridiculous, put it there. Hang flat screen LCD and plasma televisions on your wall at eye level. Install wall shelves to display knickknacks and collections instead of using free-standing shelving units. Hang mops, brooms and other large utility items on wall hooks inside closets to free up storage space. Consider installing wall shelving units with closing doors for storing linens and paper goods.

Be Creative with Storage Options

If you have space available under your bed, buy flat storage boxes and use the area to store out-of-season clothes or holiday decorations. Whenever possible, choose discreet, multi-purpose furniture items such as ottomans with interior storage space or fold-away desks.

Ban Clutter from Your Life

Keep clutter at an absolute minimum. The more junk you have in your small apartment, the less functional it will be, so make every inch count. Organise craft supplies, magazines and seldom-used items neatly in storage boxes, and place them out of sight. If an item or piece of furniture doesn't serve a purpose and has no sentimental value, give it to a friend who has a larger apartment.

Indulge Your Lofty Ambitions

Short, squat furniture makes small rooms look crowded. To create a loftier appearance, draw the eye upward with slender, tall pieces such as pub tables with high bar stools. Tall, vertically oriented artwork has the same effect.

Measure Before You Buy

Before purchasing any substantial appliance or piece of furniture for your apartment, check to see if it will fit. Keep your home's room-by-room measurements handy when shopping, so you can compare and calculate quickly, and avoid a complicated return process.

Ditch the Bulk: Bring in Trendy Bean Bag Furniture

When you're setting up a small apartment, don't fall into the tradition trap. You don't need huge, bulky and expensive lounge suites in your living room. Bean bag chairs and lounges are attractive, affordable, practical and versatile, and they're perfect for today's smaller spaces. Bean bags offer numerous other benefits apart from being colourful and cool. You'll save tons of money, and you'll be able to choose from a variety of styles and colours to fit your decor. When you want to change the room's ambience, or try out a new wall colour, just buy new bean bag chair covers to match. Bean bags don't just look great; they're extremely comfortable. They mould to the shape of your body, and you'll never have to worry about them going flat. You can adjust the level of firmness by adding or subtracting filling, so you always have the perfect seat for gaming or the ideal place to take a nap. Bean bag chair covers are durable and designed to withstand heavy use, and they're easy to clean and maintain. You may even consider a bean bag bed!

A Simple Lifestyle Choice

You'll also find that bean bags can make day-to-day living easier. If you throw a party, and more people show up than you expect, you probably won't have enough room to relocate a sofa to create more space. Setting up a dance floor in your lounge would be virtually impossible. Lightweight bean bag chairs can be lifted effortlessly and stacked in a corner without any damage to their structure or your lower back. When a guest is tired, he or she can just grab one, and sit down in blissful comfort. It'll be easy for small groups to arrange bean bags in circles for private chats. Best of all, you won’t need three or four muscular people to help you rearrange all the furniture once your guests leave. Other potential and unexpected benefits of bean bag furniture are the opportunity to provide safety and promote responsibility. As the "Mates Motel" television campaign suggests, bean bags are a comfortable bedding option for guests who have had a little too much to drink and shouldn’t be driving home. The airy, mattress-like support might even make the discomfort of their inevitable hangover easier to bear. Comfy bean bag bedding isn't reserved just for overindulgence. If you have children or young friends and relatives, bean bags are perfect for slumber parties.

Take Your Time, and Enjoy the Process

You don’t have to decorate your entire apartment in one weekend. Look around for ideas that reflect your personal style. Weigh your choices carefully. If you want to break a few decorating rules, go for it. After all, your apartment is your resting place and your escape from the outside world. You should enjoy being there, so take your time, and make it uniquely yours.

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