6 Ways to Make Your Tiny Apartment Feel Like a Castle


Do you live in a small space? You're not alone. It can feel stifling at times, but I'm here to help you discover a few ways to push out those walls (even if only in your mind). The following are some tried-and-true tips I used back in my own studio and one-bedroom apartment days to make my living arrangements seem much less bleak. Actually, I remember the whole adventure being quite fabulous — it just takes a change of perspective. (See also: 7 Ways to Save on Apartment Living)

1. Clear Out

Examine the furniture and other clutter (gadgets, tchotkes, etc) you are currently holding onto and figure out what you can purge. Fewer things means more space both physically and visually. You'll also spend far less time maintaining and cleaning your apartment. Added benefit: Selling extraneous items on sites like Craigslist can give you a little extra cash to spruce up your apartment or to sink into your savings account.

2. Freshen Paint

If your landlord allows it, paint your walls. Light, muted colors create the illusion of more room versus dark, bold ones that tend to box everything in. If you have more than one area, use the same color paint, which will extend the visual impact farther and give your mind the illusion of openness. (See also: 10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit)

3. Make a Focal Point

Another trap apartment dwellers fall into is having no clear focal point. The eye wanders around with no place to go. If you cannot paint, consider creating an accent wall using temporary wallpaper in a simple print. For example, you can create a strong, beautiful pattern using inexpensive contact paper. Just peel away when it's time to move. Note: It's best to take advantage of your apartment's natural assets (a fireplace, cool woodwork, a view) when choosing a focal point.

4. Create Zones

When I lived in a tiny studio, I was able to create mini "rooms" that made the 350 square feet seem much bigger than it actually was. I used a room divider to section off my bed (futon) area from a cozy chair and small bookcase that was my makeshift library. On the wall adjacent to the kitchen, I arranged a long desk I made from a skinny door that housed my computer (that doubled as my television), office supplies, and craft items. How you section will depend on your needs and apartment, but get creative. If it's not working, you can always move stuff around.

5. Move Furniture

That's right! Play with the layout of your apartment. Many of us move in and put our furniture where it initially seems to make sense. Over time, you might discover that a new layout would maximize your square footage and better serve your everyday activities. Keep in mind that with small apartments, you want to make multipurpose solutions whenever possible, like using a daybed for sleeping and guest seating.

6. Think Up

If you don't have a lot of ground to work with, consider moving your attention up the walls. Storage for books and other items is particularly easy to bring above eye level. And don't shy from piling up high, even to the ceiling or above the door. Making use of your vertical space is smart and can look quite savvy. (See also: Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide)

Do you live in a tiny place? How do you keep it feeling like your castle?

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Guest's picture
Isabelle La Vosgienne

When I lived in a very small apartment, I had chosen, instead of having a bed AND a sofa (which would have been impossible anyway), to purchase a sofa-daybed from Ikea (the Hemnes model). Placed in a corner of the flat, fitted with oodles of pillows, a good mattress and a nice, indecently comfy duvet, it served as my bed and lounging sofa.

Probably the cosiest, most "no I don't want to go outside, it's too comfy in here" piece of furniture I've ever bought. Absolutely love it.

Not to mention the 3 massive drawers under the mattress, making it a fantastic storage facility as well.

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We are decluttering our tiny apartment. Little by little, it is getting bigger.