Interior Decorating Strategies for Apartments Under 500 Square Feet

February 26th, 2010 by

Interior decorating strategies for apartments under 500 square feet must begin with the end in mind. You must decide ahead of time what you want to accomplish with the decorating. Do you want to maximize space? Do you plan to entertain guests, or will you be enjoying the apartment alone? Once you assess your goals, you’ll make better decisions about what strategies to use and which to avoid.

Repaint the Walls

Many landlords will give you the okay to repaint walls. Some require that you paint the walls back to the original colors when you move out, or get approval on the paint you want to use. Refer to your lease agreement for what’s required and follow the terms you agreed to. Once you gain permission, give your space a makeover by painting it a brighter color. Avoid dark colors because they will make your apartment appear to be much smaller than it really is. Make your apartment brighter by allowing as much sunlight as possible to come in. Don’t block windows with furniture, and use light and lace curtains.

Expose Hardwood Floors

Your hardwood floors can make a huge difference in making your apartment look elegant. With such a small apartment, it’s important to expose them, instead of covering them up with area rugs. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use area rugs at all. Limit your use to obvious areas, like in front of the kitchen sink, in front of the couch and a few other spots where there’s heavy foot traffic. Using too many rugs will make a tiny space look cramped.

Use Dividers

If you live in a studio or basement apartment, use dividers to separate the space into logical areas. For example, use a divider to block your bed from view. Divide your workspace from your “living room” area and so on. Buy dividers to fit your interior decorating themes. Make the dividers themselves focal points in your apartment. Experiment with various themes such as Chinese style dividers or bamboo to evoke a Caribbean theme.

Focus on Storage

It can be hard to fit everything into an apartment that’s under 500 square feet, and the additional expense to rent storage space is not always affordable. The main problem you’ll face with interior decorating is the lack of storage. Not having enough storage space can cause your apartment to look smaller as you try to make everything fit. As you prepare your plans to decorate, start with storage solutions. Think about buying under-the-sink shelves and drawers for the bathroom and kitchen. Look at bed storage drawers that fit underneath the bed frame. Buy food grade buckets to store pantry and emergency food items in closets and under desks. Folding garment racks can be used for winter coats, shoes and many other items.

You’ll face more challenges decorating a small apartment. However, these interior decorating strategies can help make your apartment look like it was done by a professional.

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2 Responses to “Interior Decorating Strategies for Apartments Under 500 Square Feet”

  1. Rena Says:

    Really good ideas for small space living. I like dividers, especially oriental and bamboo styles, because they are usually “airy” enough to provide division without closing blocking views 100%. Good idea. You can also create a faux pony wall (a wall about 36 inches high) using filing cabinets and then add tall green potted plants on top to assimilate a “live” wall. Just a thought, if the landlord does not permit painting, try an easy to apply and remove without damage wall tatoo. Check out my podcast blog talk radio show on Wall Art Decor. Enjoy your space, Rena ~ http://www.redecoratingbyrena.com/BTR_Radio_Show.html

  2. Kristen Says:

    I enjoyed this article on decorating small spaces. Great advice on not overdoing it with rugs and using creative dividers. Thanks for the post.

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