Small apartments are increasingly the norm if you live in an expensive, high-density city like New York City or Los Angeles. As more and more people flood into these areas and demand for space increases, landlords get crafty and jack up the rent on smaller and smaller spaces.
But you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or the healing feeling of open space. Utilize these eight tricks to reclaim your small space.
1. Hide Your Power Source
Portable solar generators defray some power costs and help you out in an emergency, consider one. They’re ideal for small spaces because you need very little power but get substantial returns on energy savings.
Most portable solar generators are compact enough that you can tuck them out of sight. Still, they might not have the aesthetic you want. The solution? Build a small hideaway cubby inside a storage or clothes closet to conserve space.
2. Buy Lots of Plants
Besides the many documented health benefits of indoor plants, they help open up a space. Indoor plants placed on a table or a bookshelf give the impression you’re out in nature and cut down on the feeling of being entombed by stacks and stacks of books, magazines, DVDs, and the like.
There are also mental health benefits to decluttering. Do you really need to hang onto those books you’ve already read? What about the five identical hoodies you own? Pare down to feel better.
4. Play With Light and Color
Opening up a space has just as much to do with the aesthetics of the space as what you fill it with in decorating. Generally, lighter colors open a space up, whereas darker colors make it feel enclosed. Natural light is also a great opener if you have access to it.
5. Utilize Mirrors
Hanging a large mirror in a central area helps maximize space by giving the illusion of an opening. Mirrors are like portals into alternate dimensions—dimensions where a working person could own a two-bedroom on their minuscule salary!
6. Ditch the Area Rug
People think that area rugs maximize space, but they actually clutter it up. If you have one square in the center of your living room, see how it looks when you remove it.
7. Store Smart
Learn to store smarter, not more. If you buy boxes upon boxes to keep your valuables, you just have to find places for those boxes. Instead, invest in a bed, couch, and desk with hideaway storage for clothes and linens.
8. Make Zones
This is a supremely underrated interior design tip. If you can’t afford a two-bedroom with a separate kitchen, dining room, and living room, no problem: create one. You can use strategically placed bookshelves, desks, or artwork to section off large living spaces into smaller zones designated for specific activities.
Living Large by Going Small
You don’t have to sacrifice living large when you live in a small space. You just need to get creative.