With house prices rising and desirable areas getting more and more expensive, sometimes you have to bring your expectations down. You might want a sprawling suburban home, but if it doesn’t fit into your lifestyle or budget, you’ll have to make do with what you can afford. If you have to buy somewhere smaller than you imagined yourself living in – don’t feel disheartened. Small apartments are great for feeling cozy and staying warm. Plus, you won’t need to do as much cleaning! Living somewhere with less space also means you have to be more inventive when it comes to interior design, redecorating and finding storage. So, you’ve got plenty of adventures to have, and new styles to try out.
- Use mirrors
It’s the oldest trick in the book: make your home look larger by using mirrors. Playing on tricks of the light and making it look like a room is longer, mirrors are a fab way to make your home look better and bigger. Plus, you can find some gorgeous frames – ranging from shabby chic distressed wood, to vintage metals. Not only will mirrors make your home look bigger, but it means you can check your appearance in a range of lighting – perfect for doing your make-up. Mirrors can be used as statement pieces too: having a gorgeous, ornate framed mirror on the wall will add a certain touch of class and luxury to any room.
- Learn to shop in vintage and antique shops
Some of the most precious items you’ll find will be second hand or antique – if that’s the style you’re going for, anyway. However, learning to shop for these pieces is an art form. You need to develop an eye for style that means you can ignore the junk, and hone in on something quite splendid. It all comes down to practice: the more you see, the more you’ll realize what’s worthless, and what’s definitely worth something. These sorts of shops are usually open to haggling too, so you can often get your perfect statement piece at a fraction of the price.
- Make the most of natural light
Light plays a big part in how our homes look, and natural light is, without a doubt, the best way to flood a room with gorgeous colors and give it an airy, open feel. So, if you’ve got big windows, make the most of them. Pick light curtains that won’t overshadow or crowd the window frame. You could even look at putting in a window seat underneath, making the area a wonderful place to read and write. If your apartment has smaller windows and less natural light, then use mirrors to create more of it. Placing a mirror opposite a window will let the light refract and reflect, enhancing how much daylight is actually on show.
- Pick a theme and stick to it
When you’re decorating your new home, it’s easy to get carried away and want to try out every style you’ve seen on Pinterest. So, you need to spend a bit of time deciding what kind of interior design and theme will suit both you and your home the best. It’s not to say you can’t mix and match – but to give your flat a completely luxurious feel, sticking to one overriding theme is best. Plus, then it gives you an excuse to redecorate in a few years’ time when you fancy a change!
- Source fresh flowers
Fresh flowers always add some extra to any room. From how they smell to the way they look; gorgeous flowers make your home look both cozy and elegant. Try to match your flowers to the furniture and colors in your room: choose shades to exaggerate certain elements of your room.
- Upcycle your furniture
If you can’t afford to buy the chic, distressed wooden furniture that you want, then make it! Upcycling your furniture is actually easier and quicker than it looks, and only requires some outside space, some sanding paper, and the paint you want. The paint will most likely be the most expensive part, especially if you want to use a luxury brand. However, you’ll be spending less by buying cheap furniture. Not only will you get gorgeous statement pieces to fill your home with, but you’ll know that they’re 100 percent unique to you.
- Use mood-enhancing lighting
When it’s winter, rainy and cold outside, your home will become your nest. So, heighten its cozy-factor by using all the mood-enhancing lighting you can. From fairy lights strung up around doors and mirrors, to dimmer lamps and lights draped in colored scarves, you can create a den of soft, welcoming light; perfect for relaxation.
- Make your bed look wonderful
In a small apartment, your bed becomes the centerpiece. So, make it worthy of such a title. If you need to buy a new bed, make sure you go and test a few different mattresses. Even if you’re on a budget, you should make an effort to spend money on a mattress that gives you the support you need. Then, you can get onto the fun bit. Bedding is, without a doubt, the best part of home furniture shopping: you can get several different sets and mix and match depending on your mood. Vision Bedding has some elegant, luxurious collections, and enough choice to suit any theme you decide on. Likewise, throw pillows will give your bed the look of one in an upmarket hotel.
- Invest in luxury throws and blankets
To really go all out with your soft furnishings, look at buying expensive-looking throws and blankets. If you’re renting and the apartment came fully furnished, this is a great way to give your home your own stamp, while working with the furniture you’ve been given. From faux fur to chunky knits, there’s so many different styles, colors and fabrics that you’ll have a blast finding the right ones for your home.
- Look out for unique arts and crafts
One of the most impressive things in anyone’s home is their collection of art, photos and books. So, keep an eye out for distinctive prints and statement frames. Then, you can add a unique touch to every room. Plus, it’ll give your space more personality than just buying prints from the usual retailers: to make an apartment look luxurious, going for stand-out pieces is always best.
- Make the most of storage space
In a small apartment, you need to be super storage-savvy. Use all the nooks and crannies you have, and choose furniture based on how it will fit in. Beds with built-in draws are brilliant, as are wardrobes with plenty of shelves and hanging space. You should look out for clear boxes and storage solutions to help you tidy everything away: you don’t want to have your belongings out on display permanently.
- Order your kitchen properly
A tidy kitchen brings an apartment up to a whole new level. So many people just dedicate their time and money on their bedroom and living areas. However, having a smart, tidy kitchen is the ultimate in creating a calm home. You want to have everything in its own place, and not need to move half your appliances around every time you need a plate. So, take advantage of surface space: get a bread bin and utilities pot, a spice rack and spaghetti tin.
- Hide any wires
In this digital age, everyone has a home full of devices: from your smartphone and your tablet to your laptop and your TV, you’ll have plenty of wires running between rooms – especially if you’ve got cabled broadband or a Wi-Fi router. There’s plenty of ways you can tidy wires away: from taping them to the back of furniture, to using specific wire tidies. It doesn’t take much effort to do this, but it makes a big impact on the overall look and feel of your rooms.
- Think about your flooring
If you own your apartment, then you should think about what kind of flooring you want. Threadbare, stained carpet doesn’t give the effect you want, so look at either ripping it up and having shabby chic wooden boards, or laying down a new, thick plush carpet. However, if you’re renting and unable to change the flooring, then look at getting large rugs. If your apartment is small, you’ll easily be able to find one that covers the entire floor space of a room, meaning you can hide the unkempt carpet beneath.
- Accessorize the right way
Once you’ve got the skeleton of your interior design in place – your furniture, your flooring and your curtains, you can look at the fun little bits. From gorgeous vases to scented candles, accessorizing for your home is one of the most fun parts of moving in. Once you’ve decided on a color pallet, you’ll be able to find lovely little chic ornaments to fit in. Plus, you could even look at making a memory board, with special invites, photographs and tickets.