MAINTAINING A HOME
Clever hacks for maximising space in your apartment
1 September 2020
Whether you’re new to apartment living or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll often find that space is a challenge. We asked an interior stylist for tips to make your smaller home work for you.
There are so many great things about apartment living. But whether you’re an owner or a renter, you’ll probably find that space can be at a premium.
So how do you make a smaller space appear larger? Colour can help. “Typically, light colours reflect more light around the room and give the illusion of more space, so picking a lighter colour palette is a great starting point,” says interior stylist Fiona Gould. Choose paint colours with a high light reflectance value (LRV) — they help reflect and bounce natural light around a space.
Making clever furniture choices is also crucial. “The wrong-sized sofa or dining table, for example, can really make or break a small room,” Gould says. “Consider the flow and the way people will walk through the space — where can you afford to group items and where do you need more room to breathe?
“Sofas and coffee tables that are less blocky, and have legs that bring them off the floor, also really help give the illusion of more space in the living room.”
And Gould has a few more tips for creating a little more room to move.
Furniture pieces that serve more than one purpose are a great option for smaller spaces. “Multi-purpose furniture is a priceless investment,” she says. “Think extendable dining tables, or even console tables that convert to dining tables, sofas that convert to sofa beds for guests, an armchair that can double as an office chair and side tables that can double as extra seating.” Nested coffee tables and side tables are also a great choice. “You can spread them out when you need the extra table space, or stack them away when you need the room.”
Another great tip is to use your wall height (rather than your floor space) to your advantage, as vertical lines elongate a room, increasing the illusion of space. Opt for a tallboy rather than a squatter chest of drawers, and bookshelves/cabinets that go right to the ceiling.
A place for everything and everything in its place — that’s the mantra to follow when it comes to apartment storage. “Clever storage is vital for smaller apartments,” says Gould. “Gas-lift beds or those with pull-out drawers underneath can be brilliant. Consider slim-lined hallway cabinets for extra storage, use storage boxes on top of your cabinetry so there’s no wasted space, opt for bathroom vanities with lots of closed-off storage and bedside cabinets with storage. All of these small things can really add up and make a huge difference.” Smaller items can make a difference, too; wall hooks will be your new best friend. Install them in the laundry, bathroom, bedroom and inside your kitchen cupboards, and hang everything from umbrellas and coats to brooms and hats.
Clear the way
Decluttering is crucial to making a space look larger. “Take care to edit your decorative displays and eliminate any clutter zones,” Gould suggests. “The less you have on display, the more open, fresh and inviting the space will usually feel. Select just your favourite pieces and pop the rest away to rotate them out for another day.” Or take the Marie Kondo route: if a piece doesn’t ‘spark joy’, donate it to charity or give it to a friend.
Save with Suncorp Benefits
Getting your apartment neat and tidy might involve a little bit of shopping for things like shelves and storage boxes — so why not save a few bucks? Suncorp customers can enjoy discounts at some of Australia’s most popular retailers, including homewares, groceries and more.
- Five ways to reimagine your home to create more space
- Give your home the ultimate clear-out, with help from Marie Kondo
- Seven great hacks for entertaining in a small space
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