‘It’s…cosy’ the hopeful estate agent mutters and the alarm bells start ringing. Immediately, your mind is conjuring up images of a dim, dank and dingy place with no hope in hell of being brightened up. But small shouldn’t necessarily mean slumming it. In fact, in the right hands, such a place can be streamlined, decluttered minimalism in the best possible way. And it’s in those hands that brushes, hammers, nails and screwdrivers should be held. Because with just a little D.I.Y, big changes are possible. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for decorating small apartments.

KEEP THE WALLS LIGHT

One of the quickest paths to alleviating that sense of a small and cramped room is a colour scheme which errs on the lighter side. Of course, gloom and doom might be your thing, but if you’d rather have a room which feels light, airy and welcoming, your next lick should be something lighter. A neutral shade like ecru, beige or one rendered in pastel will keep things feeling fresh and bright, and will lift your spirits along with the less tangible but no less important ‘mood’ of the room.

FIND THE RIGHT FLOORING

Since you live in a small place, footfall is going to be resolute, routine and unavoidable, with every square metre of the property experiencing a little wear’n’tear in the process. Due to this, the flooring itself will likely wear a more well worn look, and if you’re not diligent about this, the whole apartment may start looking rather shabby, rather quickly. Choose a good quality, long-lasting floor to negate this; try to find the best laminate flooring you can for an easy-to-manage, easy-to-clean and stylish(ish) surface.

HANG MIRRORS

An interior design trick beloved of those in-the-know is to hang a few mirrors; a surefire way to bring a sense of space to proceedings without the huge financial outlay required to actually knock down walls and expand. Indeed, a mirror is an ideal way of incorporating light into a living space, as reflections will make the room feel bigger and brighter. Not only that, but a mirror will also add depth to a flat wall and can be used as a feature piece on plain backgrounds. With a more expansive feel to the space, those cliched dark corners and lurking presences will be well and truly exorcised.

MAKE GOOD USE OF STORAGE

A small apartment space may mean a lot of your stuff is very much on show rather than incognito, and this can contribute to a dingy, undesirable feel. It’s best, then, to deploy all the tricks of the trade in terms of handy storage solutions to open up your space as much as possible. Consider getting a bed with a built-in cavity to store extra belongings and find boxes or pouffes with hidden compartments in them for your living room. Anywhere where there might be some dead space could instead be home to a storage solution; we’ve written more about it over here. Go check it out!

DECLUTTER REGULARLY

Though seeking out storage is a great idea, when used in tandem with regular decluttering sessions, you’ll find your space feels far more open and free from unnecessary distraction. You only have a finite amount of space within your apartment and as such, you need to be strict about what items you value enough to have out on display and in use at all times. There’s no point being sentimental about ‘stuff’ if you haven’t got the space for it; instead, donate unnecessary items to a friend or charity shop and look forward, rather than back through a very crowded wing mirror.