Small spaces need lots of light: Allow plenty of sunlight into the apartment through open windows, skylights, open doors etc. Use light and airy curtains that provide privacy without inhibiting the sunlight from the room. This will make the apartment feel airy and even appear larger in size. Nothing is worse than a small, cramped dark space!
Create separation of space. Use screens, curtains, furniture, or anything else that can separate the space without cutting off light and making the room feel weighty and overwhelming.
Get rid of clutter and put things away. Clutter is the easiest way to cramp a room and make it dysfunctional. Use baskets, boxes, door covered shelves etc to hide away collections, books, papers and anything else that might be out in the open. Closet shelves or even bookcase shelves are best to hold baskets and boxes.
Create traffic patterns around conversation areas. Author Kimberley Seldon suggests residents be aware of traffic patterns through the apartment in her book, 500 Ideas for Small Spaces. Seldon points out that guests should walk around conversation areas and not walk through them. Instead, Seldon suggests that furniture in the main seating area be arranged in the center of the room to create a more flexible traffic pattern. An alternative is to create a U-shape pattern with the furniture around the television as another conversation area.
Storage is a necessity to keep things organized and get rid of clutter in a small space. Get creative to find space to hide things while making it functional and unique. Use built-in shelving and closets. Create storage in every available space: on walls, tucked within the doors of end-tables, in colorful and sturdy boxes, wicker baskets, door covered and open shelving, foot stools etc. Use every space available to maximize storage space.
Organize closets using a closet system to maximize space. Work with a closet organizer or go to the Container Store for professional expertise.
Hide the unusual or funky extras with something creative, unique, colorful or unusual, and distracting. For example, some old apartments have a bathtub in the kitchen. In these instances, residents should use colorful shower curtains that match the window curtains, dishes and appliances in the kitchen. Similarly, unsightly duct work or piping can be masked with paintings, curtains or slide-away shelving.
Use modular furniture for extra space and multiple functions. Any furniture piece that can move, separate and hide are great and offer multiple functions should be considered to maximize space and style such as beds with storage. You can find a good selection of these mattresses and beds delivered within 24 hours here. These pieces can also be used for guests when they sleep over or save space.
Use furniture for more than one purpose. A table can function as a table, desk, and buffet. A dining room buffet can hold dishes, serve food and also act as extra storage. Foot stools and end tables can also act double as storage.
Create functional spaces for work, studying or those interesting hobbies. Transform a closet or wardrobe into work or hobby space. A closet that is painted the same color as the room can seamlessly transform into a work space without taking from the decor of the room. Add in a small table and shelving that can function as work space and storage for