Your home is supposed to be the place where you feel best. Even as a renter, you can transform your apartment to fit your lifestyle and reflect your personality. Simply pay attention to colors and textures, storage, and space. The last two are crucial if you rent in a big city like Seattle or NYC and your apartment is a studio or a small one-bedroom.
With a clear head and patience, you can take on the challenge. To give you a hand, here are some tips to help you organize your small rental.
The largest amount of space in a small apartment is often taken up by the bed. While you do need a quality mattress for comfort, that doesn’t mean your bed has to be huge or impractical.
Although not for everyone, there are a couple of options you can consider, such as a Murphy bed or a loft bed. Folding and unfolding your bed each day and night is a habit you can easily implement into your routine. Best of all, you’ll free up a lot of space for daytime use.
If you don’t spend a lot of time at home and you don’t host other people often, the bed might not be as much of a problem. But, you still need a space where you can work or prepare for the next day. In this case, an optimal solution is the loft bed. Because it’s elevated, the bed becomes a place of its own, isolated from the rest of the room. It creates the illusion of separation—especially if you add some décor, such as a clipped lamp or a small hanging shelf off the side. Under the loft, you’ll also have space for a desk, drawers, storage, and other items to create a serene, extremely practical area. It could even become your home office.
If neither a Murphy bed nor a loft bed is right for you, then make sure you have some space under the bed that you can turn into storage for shoes, notebooks, and other possessions you need at arm’s-length.
Essential to organizing a small space is thinking vertically. Walls offer a lot of space we don’t typically use, so whatever you need to store, mount it up on the wall. Storage solutions include ladders, slide-out organizers, a pegboard, shelves above the doors, corner shelves, hooks, and more.
Of course, to implement these things, you should talk to your landlord first and get an agreement in writing. If you start drilling holes in the walls, you risk losing your security deposit.
Not a lot of people think about colors when discussing maximizing space, but the right color combinations will offer the illusion of a larger space. For a calming combination, use a neutral base, such as a beige, oatmeal, or earthy ochre. Combine it with a powerful green, blue, or purple, depending on your taste. For example, a dark, stately, forest green such as Eden will go great with muted gray tones. And—if you’re feeling fancy—you can add shimmer to this combo through slim, golden accents.
Also, don’t be afraid of darker colors. Many people think that darker hues will close up space, but you can use it to your advantage. For instance, you can blend larger pieces of furniture—such as a wall-sized bookshelf or a storage unit—into the wall behind it by painting the furniture the same color, preferably a darker hue, such as coffee or carbon. Although it doesn’t actually free up space, this trick creates the illusion of the furniture going inside the wall.
When living in a small rental, the right mindset goes a long way. For a clutterless living, embrace minimalistic design and its philosophy centered on simplicity. This “less is more” attitude means you own less stuff, so there’s more free space in your home to put to good use. If you have a place for everything and you keep everything in its place, having a tiny apartment won’t be a problem; it will actually be enjoyable.
About the author: Mihaela is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.