In every home there is a way to make it feel more personalized, unique, and of course bigger! Apartments and small homes always have the challenge of combining functional livable space with decorative surroundings that makes the inhabitants feel comfortable and secure. To maximize space in your apartment take a look at these tips. From decluttering to maximizing vertical space and organization methods, your apartment isn’t far from being the ideal place to call home at the end of the day.
- Declutter and purge: Before you get obsessed about how much space you don’t have, first determine how much usable space you do have. Go through each cabinet, drawer, shelf, and pantry area and pull out old items, throw away broken small appliances, and reduce your storage area to only used and needed items. Purging will help you start fresh in your organization and will help you maximize your kitchen space efficiently. Do this throughout your apartment in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and utility areas.
Make your apartment feel like home
- Assess what the pros and cons are first: Take a look at your apartment room by room, and analyze its good and bad points. Make a list of what areas you’d like to accentuate and what areas you want to minimize. If you don’t have any windows in a room, note that you want to bring light colors, and more lighting into the space. If you love the view out of the living room, note that you want the couch to face in that direction. Analyzing the space will give you a plan to move forward in making the space your own
- Use temporary décor to make a big impact: From decorative space screens to separate your areas to temporary wall decals, you will love all of the options for your apartment. Hang fabric, decorative artwork, or pictures that bring sentimental value to you. The more comfortable your surroundings, the more relaxed and at home you will feel. Bring items from your last loved home into your new apartment. If your leasing agency will let you paint the walls, ask what colors are approved before you start so that you don’t waste time painting walls that may have to change!
Maximize your Kitchen space
If you are struggling to find more space in your small kitchen, look up, hanging storage may be your solution. From hanging pot racks and stemware racks to modern shelving suspended from cable, hanging storage takes advantage of space that would normally be left open. Hanging storage also helps you have easy access to pots and pans, at a moment’s reach. Here are some helpful ideas to add hanging storage to your kitchen.
- Assess your contents and invest in storage organizers: Small kitchens don’t always have the luxury of having a lot of real estate for organization. Therefore assess what utensils, dishware, glasses, dried and canned food goods and pantry items you have. Consider investing in stackable storage that will store items in a vertical fashion to save space. If possible, ask a kitchen organizer to assess your needs and custom build cabinetry organization tools inside your existing cabinets. From recycle and garbage bin pullouts, to hanging potholders and pegboards for your pantry wall. Take advantage of vertical wall space whenever possible.
- Hanging storage above your head: Pot racks are a popular staple in many people’s homes but are often forgotten about in small homes or apartments. The other factor is many people use their pot racks to only hang decorative display as opposed to utilizing this valuable space. Pot racks and glass stemware racks come in varying heights and sizes and can be used daily. Modern pot racks include area for spices and condiments to have cooking accessories available to the avid cook at all times.
Dining Room area
Your dining room is the one part of the home that needs to be able to accommodate more than just the 4 chairs that came with your dining room set. From special occasion dinners, to inviting friends over, to hosting your relatives at the holidays, creating more seating in your dining room is a challenge many of us face. The most important factor is to be flexible with your dining room, and have a plan for those last minute guests. Here are a few ideas to increase your seating area for you and your dining companions.
- Examine your entertaining lifestyle: For every home, there is a personal lifestyle that embodies how each of your rooms will be utilized in your home. Extra seating in a home that has several kids, and visiting family members could benefit from a bench or window seat that can easily accommodate more than just pull up chair seating. If your home only has an occasional dinner guest, consider using coordinated seating from an adjacent room to round out the extra seating dilemma.
Utility areas: Mudroom/Laundry
- Optimize vertical wall space: Everyone doesn’t have floor space, but everyone has walls, right?! Take advantage of wall space when you have a small area to work with. Install hooks for hanging jackets and coats, and shelving or cubbies to hold baskets for dog leashes, wet backpacks, and storing your umbrella. Mudrooms don’t have to be a “room”. It can be an area that you designate for your outdoor gear. It’s also a good place to put keys, wallets, and purses that you always forget running late to work in the morning!
- Protect your flooring: Assess your walk off area and determine what type of flooring protection you need. In many apartments there is no transition from the immediate foyer area to the rest of your home. In this case, opt for an outdoor mat immediately at the door to collect water and mud, and then a nicer natural fiber floor mat that will enable your floor to still remain looking nice. Depending on your geographic area, you may only need these certain seasons of the year. By time the summer months come around, a beautiful floor runner rug may be all that you need.
Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and LEED Accredited Professional from Stagetecture.com. Stagetecture helps homeowners find decor, organization, do it yourself (DIY) and family lifestyle solutions. It has become a well sought after destination for helping homeowners check in daily for help with their homes, DIY Saturday’s and inspiration to motivate homeowners to beautify and enjoy their homes.