Furnishing A Small Apartment
Life in a tiny apartment is the reality for many young adults just starting out after college. A studio apartment with a kitchenette and no closet is frequently smaller than the dorm room you just moved out of when you graduated. Perhaps you may even still be in college, but you’ve decided it’s time to move out of the dorm. It’s a challenge to furnish and decorate a small apartment in a way that maximizes the space and keeps clutter to a minimum, but it can be done.
You may wonder why you should consider renting a small apartment in the first place. There are several good reasons, the primary one being money. A small apartment offers you the opportunity to live alone at a price you can afford. If you’re living in an expensive city, you don’t want to share with roommates or you’re still paying college expenses, it may be your only option.
Not only do you pay less for rent, your expenses are lower too. You don’t have to pay as much to heat or cool a small space. Paying to rent and heat an extra bedroom that’s used as storage is becoming less and less popular now. You may also appreciate the idea that you’re reducing your carbon footprint by using fewer resources as the result of living in a smaller space.
Cleaning may not be at the top of your to-do list if you have a busy lifestyle. Even if you’re not busy, you may just hate to do it. Fortunately, it doesn’t take as long to clean a studio apartment as it does to clean one with several rooms. You’ll have to work to keep your space clear of clutter, but because your storage options are limited, you won’t be tempted to let clutter build up so that you have to spend lots of time getting things back in order.
So many people shy away from considering a studio apartment as their living space because they’re afraid they’ll feel too closed in, too claustrophobic. It’s true that you’ll be living in a limited space, but if you follow certain design concepts you can make it feel as roomy as any apartment with one or two bedrooms.
Embracing the concept of “less is more” is particularly important when you live in a studio apartment. You’re going to need get rid of the idea that large, bulky furniture is essential. If you’ve been waiting for years to take possession of a piece of heirloom furniture left to you by your beloved grandmother, you’ll need to wait a little longer before you make it part of your decor. Likewise, a monstrosity of an entertainment center isn’t going to fit your apartment design, even if you can get it in the door.
Small apartment living will challenges you to be creative. You’ll have to constantly be on the lookout for ways to make one piece of furniture do multiple jobs. You’ll need to think vertical as well as horizontal. Getting important components of your lifestyle off the floor lets you move about the room and feel as though you have enough breathing space.
You want to make the small area of your studio apartment feel as open as possible, and you can accomplish that by using minimalist design concepts for the floors, walls and windows. A bright, airy interior seems larger than a dark one. If you have to have curtains at the windows, sheers are a better choice than traditional draperies or shades. Floors that are bare also provide a feeling of spaciousness that carpet can’t provide. If you feel you need some kind of floor covering, small area rugs or throw rugs can fill that need. Wall art is an important part of any good décor, but in a small apartment, it should be just as minimal as the furniture is. Wall coverings are probably not a good idea in a small space. A better choice would be mirrors that reflect light back into the space, particularly if they’re positioned on the wall opposite the door.
A studio apartment by definition is one room. Some people don’t mind the appearance of living in one room, but most people prefer to have delineated spaces in the apartment. Screens or room dividers fill the bill very nicely. The way you position your furniture impacts the feeling of spaciousness in the room too. Placing a sofa and coffee table on a wall that doesn’t face the door can surprisingly make the room appear larger.
As soon as you know that you’re going to be moving into a studio-type apartment, you need to start getting in the mindset of almost ruthlessly de-cluttering your life. It’s a bad idea to pack everything you own into boxes and move them to the apartment, so that you can toss later. The job can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, do the streamlining before you move. A good way to do this is to think about the furniture and other possessions you already have. If you haven’t used them for six months, or even worse, a year, then they’re most likely not an essential part of your life.
If you can’t part with something you own, ask if you can store it temporarily in mom’s attic or basement. Likewise, try not to let family members talk you into taking large pieces of furniture you don’t need from their homes. It’s in your best interest to keep the décor as minimalist as you possibly can.
Once you’ve pitched the items that won’t work in your new décor, you’ll likely need to add some pieces. This is the time to start thinking about how you can use one piece of furniture to do several different things. You’ve probably used multipurpose furniture, even if you didn’t know that was what you were doing. A studio apartment won’t function properly unless you use furniture that performs two or more jobs. The key is to look at furniture in ways you haven’t considered before. You need the items in your studio apartment to play roles that they haven’t traditionally taken on. Your space won’t work if they don’t.
One of the most common multi-purposing techniques is choosing a large piece of furniture that functions as a couch during the day and a bed at night. Sleeper sofas are good choices; futons are also very popular. If you don’t need a full-size bed, you can purchase a chair bed that converts into a twin bed. For a bedside table, you can use an ottoman that doubles as a storage container. You get bonus points if it has trays that make it an eating surface as well.
Your entertainment area, home office and storage areas are almost as important as your sleeping arrangements in your apartment. A piece of furniture that does all these tasks will be large, but it can work in your small studio space if it’s well designed. Since your square footage is limited, this is the time to think vertically. Tall wall units can provide space for your television and related electronics as well as space for your computer. File drawers or cabinets can hold important papers.
A wall unit can also function as a closet if you don’t have a built-in closet in your studio apartment. You can find units that provide area for hanging clothes and drawers for other items. If the unit doesn’t provide enough drawers, storage containers will keep your items hidden out of sight.
However, a large wall unit may not fit your apartment or your style. In this case, a desk with drawers or file cabinets underneath can meet your needs while providing a feeling of spaciousness in the room. A flat-screen television on the wall above the desk is part of the multi-purposed entertainment center and home office. A good combination is a secretary desk and dresser. The top of the dresser functions as the home office while the drawers provide storage for clothing.
Eventually you’ll want to entertain. If your guests don’t want to sit on the floor, it’s a good idea to purchase folding chairs that can be brought out while your apartment is full of friends, then tucked away for the rest of time.
When it’s time to eat, you may want to do so at a table rather than on the couch. The typical dining room table is just too large to include in your studio apartment décor. Instead, look for a coffee table that can be adjusted to dining room table height. Another option is to find a table with sides that drop down. You can extend the table when you entertain, then return it to its smaller size later.
The style of the furniture you use in your small apartment makes just as much of an impact as does its size. Furniture with clean, modernistic lines visually allows the room to look more spacious. Designers recommend that where possible you select furniture that seems to disappear, such as a glass coffee table or end table.
Online furniture vendor, Viesso, provides modern furniture pieces that offer the versatility you need in your small apartment. The online furniture company features modern designs that work well in small spaces that need to appear larger. Beds, tables and modular storage units offer the type of furniture made for several different purposes. When you’re ready to start furnishing your studio apartment, visit the company's website at www.viesso.com to get design ideas and purchase furniture that will work perfectly in your small space.