According to IDEAL Magazine.
Your home is your castle. And even if it doesn’t quite have the generous space (or ancient battlements) of a fortress, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t treat it like one. Now, more than ever, we’re reliant on our homes to bring us a sense of comfort, stability, reassurance and safety. And whether you hang your hat in a 5 bed detached beauty in the shires or a tiny urban studio apartment, you deserve the feeling of welcome and safety that a ‘home’ brings.
Of course, every living space presents its own set of challenges. And if you have a finite amount of space to make your own, this can feel obstructive to your decorative inclinations. After all, small spaces can very easily become cluttered, busy and discordant in their decor if you don’t box clever. This can drive you to distraction when working from home or, worse, prove surprisingly detrimental to your mental health and your ability to relax in your living space.
Fortunately, we have your back, your front, your centre and your sides. Here are the 10 commandments of small apartment decor, according to IDEAL Magazine.
THOU SHALT NOT OVERDO IT WITH BOLD COLOURS
Some people have an innately minimalist sense of decor. Others believe that you should either go big or go home. If you fall into the latter category, you may feel tempted to paint your apartment walls in bright, bold and vivid colours in order to give your space a vibrancy and energy that belies its size.
But believe it or not, bold colours in a small space can make it very difficult to relax and can even impinge on relaxation and concentration, equally. That’s not to say you shouldn’t incorporate bold colours into your decor; just use them sparingly and with a lightness of touch via a few statement pieces.
THOU SHALT MAKE THE MOST OF THY NATURAL LIGHT
Whether you’re buying a flat to settle down in, renting for the short term or buying an overseas apartment as an investment property, you’ll want to showcase the beauty of your space in the best possible light. And the best possible light is almost always the most natural one. It makes your space feel more spacious, saves on your energy bills and helps you feel lighter and happier there, too. Don’t forget to use mirrors to enhance, reflect and amplify the powers of natural light.
THOU SHALT INVEST IN CLEVER STORAGE
Your belongings can quickly become clutter when you leave them out on display a little too long. But at the same time, you don’t want to pile boxes on top of boxes in your diminutive living space. So, invest in clever storage options like space saving kitchen cupboard racks, storage beds or a pouffe that doubles as an ottoman, and embrace the space to swing the odd cat or two. Only idiomatically, of course; we wouldn’t want to have to call the RSPCA on you.
THOU SHALT USE BOXES AND BASKETS TO BRING ORDER TO THY STORAGE SPACE
Speaking of storage, shelves can be a great way to make the most of your vertical space and prevent your apartment from becoming too cluttered. However, leaving your belongings on display can be jarring, even when they’re stacked neatly on a shelf. Consider using boxes and baskets to bring uniformity and order to your storage, Marie Kondo style!
THOU SHALT NOT PILE THY BELONGINGS TO EYE LEVEL
By all means, make the most of your vertical space for storage. But that doesn’t mean you should keep all your belongings at eye level. Mixing it up with a few lower shelves, footlockers and the like can give you more bare wall at eye level, making your apartment look and feel more spacious.
THOU SHALT MAKE THE MOST OF THY ENTRYWAY
Tired of never being able to find your keys? Sick of seeing your partner’s coat draped over the sofa? Then do something about it and make the most of your entryway by adding a wall mounted shelf with pegs to act as a drop zone. Storing your keys, hats and jackets here can prevent them from encroaching on your living and working space. Every little helps!
THOU SHALT NOT LET THY SPACE BE DOMINATED BY TECH
We get it; you’re very proud of your expensive new iPad Pro, your widescreen TV and your selection of games consoles. We would be, too.
But the combination of plastic, glass and tangled, dangling wires does little for our sense of calm and serenity when our devices are not in use. Designate storage solutions for your tech and ensure that you use the right cable tidying solutions to prevent your space from becoming too visually busy and chaotic.
THOU SHALT WALL MOUNT THY TV
Speaking of tech, film lovers may want a generously sized TV to give themselves a cinematic experience in the comfort of their own home. And while that’s absolutely fine and dandy, a big TV can easily dominate a small room, making things feel cramped and, well, a touch tacky in the wrong hands.
You may find that wall mounting your TV (do make sure your wall can bear the weight) gives you much more floor space to play with because you don’t need a console table or media unit to support it.
THOU SHALT USE RUGS TO THY ADVANTAGE
When you have a small space, compartmentalisation can become a problem. But when you need to designate space for eating, sleeping, working and relaxing, this compartmentalisation is essential. For this reason, we recommend using rugs to your advantage. They are great for creating barriers and a sense of division between spaces with assigned purposes, even if there are no walls to separate the space.
THOU SHALT NOT HANG WALL ART IN EXCESS
We get it, you want to make your mark on your living space. Especially if it’s rented, a personal touch is so important to make you feel at ‘home’, rather than just kipping in a stranger’s house.
You want to ensure that your home reflects your personality, while also giving yourself and guests something beautiful to look at. But when it comes to wall art, always remember that less is more. As much as you may fall in love with a number of pieces, they can easily become discordant and visually jarring when displayed in close proximity to one another.
Each piece needs space in which to breathe. So try to invest only in just one or two carefully chosen aesthetic pieces for your home so that they get the chance to draw the eye and make the right statement about you and your home.