Apartment living can raise a whole host of challenges when you begin to consider interior design. Many affordable places can lack space and, particularly if you’re a renter, you may face irritating limitations in terms of layout. Moving and removing walls is rarely an option, while finding a space for furniture intended for somewhere else can be a struggle.
Living in a small apartment can quickly go from calm to chaotic and when space is limited, aesthetics take a backseat to functionality time and again. It’s often the case that all efforts end up focused on trying to make the most of every inch of space available over giving your apartment a style and a personality that reflects your own. While it can be a challenge to make all of your design dreams come true in a small apartment, there are many clever ways to embrace both style and functionality, enabling you to fully utilize what you do have.
Ditch the Junk
With keys left out, mail sat on the counter and headphones left on the table, a small apartment can go from clean to cluttered in a heartbeat. After a few days of not getting around to putting things away, your minimalist sanctuary can become a chaotic nightmare. The best way to tackle this is to have a place for everything — even your junk. By having dedicated pieces of furniture for holding all your knick-knacks, you make your mess appear intentional. Plus, you get the added bonus of always knowing where to find everything when you’re in a rush.
Designed by Lars Tornøe, The Dots from Muuto are versatile wooden wall hooks that come in an array of sizes and can be arranged in any formation to suit many purposes. Suitable for holding just about anything from coats, hats, keys and bags. The Dots keep floor space clear while adding interest to blank walls.
With his design for Rotary Tray, Jasper Morrison has given the classic tiered piece a contemporary look. Rotary Tray naturally complements any interior space and can be used for a variety of functions. An eye-catching piece that assists with organization and can uplift a drab corner or dull table setting in a small apartment.
It’s All About The Base
It might seem odd but paying attention to the type of base a piece of furniture has can be a game-changer in a small apartment. In many small homes, there can be a severe lack of storage space; if this is the case, you should look for furniture that has storage built into the base so you can put things away out of sight and don’t end up losing half your wardrobe to bedding.
However, if storage space isn’t your problem and your ideal is to make your place appear bigger, pick pieces of furniture on legs. These types of items can open up your floor space by creating more visual surface area, minimizing visual breaks and preventing things from feeling heavy and permanent. Furniture on legs is, more often than not, lighter too, which makes adjusting your layout a breeze.
Turning Table by Theresa Rand is an elegant example of functional design. The German designer combines a feature coffee table with ample hidden storage with a lid that opens by rotating it around one of the legs. A seamless way to amplify storage without losing floor space.
The Cloud Series by Luca Nichetto for &tradition is designed for contemporary living. It is comfortable and compact while also remaining unimposing. A wonderful mixture of Italian and Danish design. Available in a variety of sizes, Cloud is the perfect piece for any small apartment living space.
Versatility is a virtue when it comes to a smaller space. Stackable furniture and nesting items are clever space savers as one piece of furniture can compensate for several. A classic three-legged stool or chair is a true multi-tasker for any home, big or small. Besides providing easily movable seating, they can also be used as portable side tables. A neat stacking system means that your furniture will take up hardly any floor space when you don’t need it, but also ensure you have adequate seating when visitors pop round.
Stool 60, designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, is an iconic three-legged stool that is regarded as timeless and diverse. Thanks to its geometry, the stool can be stacked in a spiraling tower sculpture, saving space and looking stylish while doing so. Available in a huge variety of colors and finishes, these stools can perfectly match any room within a small apartment.
The Ant designed by Arne Jacobsen
Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1952 and currently sold by Fritz Hansen, The Ant is an instantly recognizable design classic. The chair is made from nine layers of pressure molded veneer. The celebrated chair comprises only two materials, a combined seat and backrest in form-pressed plywood and a tubular steel frame. The chairs are fully stackable and are excellent space savers.
Make it Multi-functional
When you’re really tight on space, the best thing to do is find one piece that does the job of many. Multi-functional furniture is becoming increasingly popular and being able to find well-designed pieces that transform is pretty straightforward. By making your investment pieces work harder, you can free up significant amounts of space for more decorative items that give your home its unique character.
Smala by Pascal Mourgue is a practical and well-designed setee. With an ingenious articulation system, the armrest on the small sofa can be positioned at any one of three levels and the two backrests may be similarly operated. This allows the piece to be transformed into a chaise lounge or a bed.
As a multi-functional and portable table solution, Little Friend is an icon of flexible design. The small table combats all the challenges of modern minimalistic working and living. Designed to work perfectly as a laptop table, a morning coffee table, a side table or even at the bedside, the height-adjustable Little Friend is a valuable companion for any home.
Lighting is a powerful way to define a room and it is essential for creating atmosphere in your home. When decorating a smaller space, it’s a good idea to invest in an easily movable, versatile table or floor standing lamp that serves multiple purposes. By doing this, you can switch the location of the light as and when you need it, allowing you to adjust the ambiance easily without taking up precious space in every room.
Bellhop Table, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, is a sleek example of portable lighting. Envisioned as a modern-day candle. Bellhop Table is a rechargeable table lamp made from polycarbonate that casts a beautiful pool of light wherever it goes. With a 24-hour battery life, it works perfectly as a task light or for creating atmosphere.
FollowMe Plus provides a warmth and quality of light with greater power than its predecessor FollowMe. Being a larger version, FollowMe Plus has the ability to create entire atmospheres and works perfectly as a table lamp, desk lamp, or even on the floor. Designed with an oak handle, the lamp is easy to relocate and its tilting polycarbonate screen and dimmer provide options between cozy atmospheric light and direct reading light.