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7 space-saving tips for decorating a micro apartment

The steep housing prices and rental costs driving the growth of the “tiny house movement” in suburbs and rural areas are having the same effect on urban dwellers in cities, which are perennially pressed for space. In the city, residential units are getting smaller and smaller, leading to a new type of property called the “micro” apartment. Units that fall under this category typically measure between 14 and 32 square meters, with some being even smaller than the average bedroom. 

What makes these micro apartments a popular choice for young urban professionals is their location and proximity to workplaces and commercial centers. In a highly commercialized urban area that experiences congestion-related issues,  having a home within walking distance of one’s workplace is a dream come true for many.

The tradeoff? For a prime location, you often have to give up a lot of space and forgo walls to separate your bedroom and other living areas. Living in a micro apartment typically means living in a studio unit or a single open space that serves as a multifunctional living room, dining room, and bedroom area. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to make your micro apartment work for your lifestyle. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort and aesthetics just because you live in a smaller space. With a few adjustments, you can maximize the space so that it’s comfortable and pleasant to live in. Here are a few suggestions that will help you do just that:

Declutter and choose the right pieces for your new space

If you’re downsizing and decluttering so that all your stuff can fit into your micro apartment, remember that you don’t have to give away the furniture you may have already paid for with your hard-earned money. Instead, you can post it on buy-and-sell sites so you can recoup some of your money and buy the right furniture for your new space, for example, an appropriately sized bed frame for sale.

For efficient decluttering, you can use methods like the famous KonMari or Marie Kondo method, where you decide if items are worth keeping, or the Four Boxes Method where you sort items into four categories: items to donate, items to keep, items to sell, and items to throw away. Choose a practical means of letting go of stuff you don’t need so that everything can fit comfortably into your new apartment. 

Opt for multifunctional furniture

One of the most effective ways to save space in your home is to buy dual-function or multifunctional furniture. Instead of buying a standard sofa, for example, get a comfy sofa bed for guests to use. Choose an ottoman with storage, a loft bed and desk set, or an adjustable desk set that can double as a coffee table. 

Right now, the micro living trend provides a lot of options for furniture that’s not just functional, but beautifully constructed as well. Take advantage and acquire furniture pieces that have lasting value for a small space. 

Splurge on custom cabinetry

Another must-have in a micro apartment is storage. Having somewhere to store your clutter can help make your space so much more open and clean. But for small spaces, it’s harder to fit large standard cabinets. You may end up wasting both your time and your money trying to fit these into your micro apartment. 

The best solution is to hire a carpenter to build a custom storage area or retrofit an existing piece of furniture to be smaller and more compact. This way, you’ll be able to get the storage you need as well as ensure that you can actually move around.  

Having custom cabinetry can also help you cultivate out-of-the-box ideas for maximizing limited living space. For instance, if you happen to have a flight of stairs in your micro apartment, you can use the space under the stairs to host your collection of books or to store your clothes. Another example of making the best of awkward spaces is using custom storage for the corner under your kitchen counter. It would be hard to access anything there without some innovative shelving solutions. 

Use mirrors and reflective surfaces

You can also make your one-room apartment feel twice as large with well-placed mirrors as wall decors. They give the room the illusion of being bigger than it actually is. Plus, they reflect light, making any room brighter and livelier. As for furniture, you can use pieces with reflective or transparent surfaces to minimize their bulk, making it appear like there’s more space around you. 

For an example of a famous designer chair that fits this description, look up Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost chair. Since light passes through the clear polycarbonate, the chair appears transparent, creating an illusion that it’s not tangible or occupying space. Other options that will provide a similar effect are a clear glass table top for your dining room or a clear coffee table for the living area. Their surfaces will reflect light, brightening up the apartment and making it appear roomier and more spacious.

Consider using a lighter and more cohesive color scheme

Colors can significantly impact the visual appearance of a space. Using darker shades can instantly make a room cozier, while lighter shades help make a room look larger. That’s why, in general, you should consider painting your micro apartment with lighter colors to reflect the light and make the space brighter and airier.

That said, micro spaces can also benefit from a combination of both dark and light color schemes. To make your space feel cohesive, use a color combination that draws from both light and dark shades.

Use the right furniture sizes

Having a small space shouldn’t limit you to only small and compact furniture. You can totally splurge on a large sectional sofa for your living room area if you have enough space for it. Aside from providing you with a welcoming place to relax, a large and comfy modular sofa can be configured as a bed as well.

Some large pieces like a larger bed frame or sectional sofa can be the right choice of furniture for small areas if they can economize space instead of waste it. For example, a large but tightly upholstered sofa may perfectly fit the walls of your closet and grant you both more vertical and horizontal space. 

Maximize the use of your vertical space

Speaking of vertical space, when adding storage to your micro apartment, don’t forget to look up. Utilize the blank walls of the room to add floating shelves or hangers. If your ceiling is high enough, you can use a loft bed so that you have extra floor space underneath it. Alternatively, you could also opt for a built-in platform bed so you can use the space underneath it as your closet and storage area.

Living in a micro apartment may be an affordable and practical thing to do, and it may also give you the chance to be more meaningful about the things you use in your everyday life. Nothing will drive that lesson home quite like the task of decorating and furnishing the apartment. This article shows that even if you live in a small apartment, you can express your style and personality and make key adjustments to the space to suit your lifestyle. With these tips at your disposal, you can make your tiny apartment a home you can be proud of.

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