With soaring rent prices, many of us make do with whatever real estate we can get our hands on. Bleak, indeed, but even if you live in a tiny apartment, not all hope of injecting some aesthetic pleasure and interior design personality is lost. Indeed, it’s still possible to infuse some character into your space without sacrificing functionality. But let’s be honest; sometimes the more conventional approach goes out the window (if you have any, bloody landlords) when it comes to decorating a small space. A play on dexterity and resourcefulness, we think, with these; our 7 IDEAL tips for a bohemian apartment makeover.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR
While the only rule of bohemian decorating is that there are no rules, bohemian decor in general is at its best when celebrating colour and harnessing the power clashing tones to bring a sense of vibrancy. Understandably, you don’t want to overwhelm a small space with too many colours but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to fifty shades of beige.
A good rule of thumb is to start with three main colours that are bold yet harmonious. Pick one out of these three as the dominant colour and apply the rest as accents here and there; think warm, deep earthy tones for base colours then accessorize with vibrant reds, fiery oranges and bright electric blues.
FAUX SEPARATE SPACES
Do you have an open plan living room but want to create a separate area? You can get creative with wallpaper and paint to create faux separation. For instance, use a patterned wallpaper in the living area that transitions into contrasting wall paint for the bedroom; simple yet effective. Or consider a three folding screen room divider to give nuance and a little privacy, too.
A MIX OF ECLECTIC DECOR PIECES
Because it’s a space estate agents might refer to as ‘cosy’, you might feel like sticking to minimal decor items. But where’s the fun in that? There’s no better opportunity to showcase your coveted flea market finds or your trinkets from overseas. However, trying to incorporate these treasures into your home is a tricky balancing act between cluttered and chic. The latter is best realised by adding a bunch of ornamental pieces featuring beading, stained glass or tassels. For instance, placing a brightly coloured lamp on either side of your bed adds a charming touch; check out the expressive lamps from the good guys over at Tiffany Lighting Company for inspiration.
GET A FOCAL PIECE
Bohemian decor tends towards the extravagant and ‘statement’, which can easily become overwhelming in a small space. Get a focal piece to prevent your space from being too busy, and dress the rest of the room around it. A striking artwork or an accent wall also makes a room seem elongated.
Or, consider an unconventional bed as that statement piece; a traditional bed frame can be a waste of already sparse real estate. Thankfully, there is a wide range of options available that will optimise your space, including murphy beds, a sofa-cum-bed, futon or loft bed.
CREATIVE SHELVES AND STORAGE
The apartment floor isn’t the only space you have access to. Install open shelves to make the most of your walls, which offer both storage and keep it airy (and if your books are particularly cool, bring a little cred to proceedings). Also consider a tall bookshelf that also works as a partition between any two areas; a flexible solution that you can move whenever and wherever you want.
GO HAM WITH LAYERING
Mixing and matching different textures and fabrics is a cheap way to achieve a bohemian ambience. You can use vibrant rugs and blankets in the living area while keeping the bedroom area bare to create perfect juxtaposition. Use drapes to create dimension and distinct areas. There’s nothing hippier than beaded curtains, which can play the dual role of a room divider and a decor feature.
Mirrors are an excellent way to bring light into the space and make it appear bigger. For an artistic twist, get embellished mirrors. These are a great tool for transforming a space with minimal effort. Not only do mirrors promote more light by reflecting natural and artificial light sources, but their reflective surfaces also mean they are perfect for creating the illusion of more space. So if you’re feeling a little cramped up in a small property, why not try mirrors to open up your home? You’ll have it feeling improved in no time.
If you’re wondering how to deploy all those travel trinkets to maximum effect, then check out our 4 IDEAL travel-inspired interior design tips.