Living in an apartment in an urban setting can have a lot of benefits. Transportation costs can be slashed by walking or biking, stores are typically nearby, and you can remain in close proximity to friends and family.
However, one of the challenges of living in a city-center is the amount of space you have to work with. Unless you’re flush with cash and can purchase a luxury penthouse, chances are you have limited room in your apartment.
On top of that, if you have roommates or you’re co-living with someone, you have even less space to work with. If you’re looking for ways to find more room, here are a few tips to help your apartment feel more spacious.
Clear Out the Clutter
The first thing you’re going to want to do is clear out the clutter. Look around your apartment for anything and everything that doesn’t belong.
Do you leave piles of clothes lying around on the floor? Toss them in the laundry or put them away. Do dozens of empty Amazon boxes have a tendency to get stacked up in the corner on a regular basis? Come up with a system to get rid of them before they pile up and monopolize half of your mudroom every few weeks.
If there’s anything that is quick and easy to declutter, start there.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also take the decluttering gospel to a new level by going minimalist. Minimalism isn’t just a design style, it’s a complete lifestyle focused on bringing a deeper sense of peace and satisfaction — partly through decluttering your life. You can ease into minimalism by:
- Storing seasonal items on a regular basis.
- Planning your meals ahead of time.
- Thinking carefully before you buy anything new.
- Decluttering one space at a time by asking yourself what items within it provide value (emotionally or practically) and then getting rid of anything that fails the test.
All of these activities will go a long way in decluttering your apartment and will help it to feel more spacious.
Work With What You Already Have
There are quite a few ways to make your apartment feel larger without spending much money. In fact, often all you need to do is work with what you already have. For example:
- Using vertical storage units like dressers or cabinets can utilize space efficiently and leave more of the floor clear.
- Adding a lamp or two to a dim room or taking off your window curtains can fill a room with more light and make it feel bigger.
- Hanging mirrors strategically can both reflect more light and give the illusion of a larger space.
Give the Walls and Floors a Facelift
If you have alterations permission from your landlord, or you own your place, you can tackle the space with more concrete changes. For example, painting the walls a lighter color is another great way to help your spaces feel bigger. Replace those browns, reds, and greens with lighter taupes, greys, and whites. You can also opt to use a glossier finish on some walls. This reflects more light and creates a feeling of depth that can make a room feel bigger.
You can also redo your floors. This one requires a bit more work, but consider replacing your existing floors with a lighter alternative. Many flooring options, like vinyl planking, have become much more affordable and are often easy to install. Just like mirrors, windows, and paint, if your floors are a lighter color, they’ll naturally help a room feel larger.
Overhaul Your Furniture
If you’re working with limited space, it’s important to also go over what kind of furniture you’re using. If you have a long couch, an extra-wide lounge chair, or even a big kitchen table, it can quickly make your space feel cramped.
Try to find furniture that is both functional and appropriately sized for the rooms you’re working with. Purchasing a smaller couch, removing a rocking chair, or taking out a table leaf can make a huge difference when you’re working with limited space.
Pieces of furniture with legs — rather than ones that rest directly on the ground — are also helpful, as legs allow you to see under the furniture. This does less to disrupt your line of sight and leads to a feeling of more space.
Another easy solution is to replace your coffee table with a sofa table. These are thinner, taller tables that go behind your couch. While it makes the furniture stick out from the wall a little bit further, it can open up the center of a room, making the space feel much larger.
Creating a Spacious Apartment
There are many ways to go about creating a more spacious apartment. Some options literally give you more space, such as decluttering or ditching your coffee table. Other strategies, like painting with brighter colors or hanging mirrors, can masterfully create an illusion of space even if the room is exactly the same size.However you choose to go about it, it’s worth taking a little time to maximize your space when you live in an apartment where every inch counts.
Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn't frantically updating his news feeds, Noah likes to shut off his devices, head to the beach and read detective novels from the 1930s.