Space-saving hacks for a small apartment

Apartment living is on the rise but making the swap to a smaller abode is trickier than it looks. So how can you make the most of your living, dining and sleeping spaces when it feels like they’re all merged into one small apartment? Play it smart and make the most of the space you do have with some of these storage hacks.

Mostly minimalist designs

We doubt you have the time or money to make grand style changes every season. And with limited space you can’t have excess; one piece in equals another piece out. The best option for a small apartment is to stick with minimalist and neutral palettes for your larger items. Things like beds, couches, coffee tables and desks can all be dressed up in the trend of the moment so long as they themselves are basic.

Deciding on wall colours

Clean white walls give the illusion of more space, especially when illuminated by plenty of natural light. But they aren’t the most exciting backdrop. If you’re keen to incorporate more colour choose a single feature wall which will add interest to your design. Or if you’re feeling bold, many interior designer’s actually recommend dark colours in small spaces if done correctly. Blacks, navy blues and charcoal grey’s can give a small space some added glamour but they’ll need bright furniture to keep from getting depressing.

Use your bed for more than sleeping

If your bedroom is struggling to fit your double bed and the dresser, there’s another way. Buy a bed frame with gas lift and keep items such as sheets, towels, socks and shoes in easily accessible, hidden storage. Or try a tall bed frame that can fit storage baskets underneath.

Making the most of a small wardrobe

A small wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut back on clothing. It just means you can only fit one season’s styles in at a time. Bulky items like Winter coats are space-guzzlers when they’re not needed. Pick up some vacuum seal bags and compress your out of season clothes to save on space and keep your wardrobe circulating fresh air.

Focus on multi-functional furniture

Make every piece of furniture count by finding ones that serve more than one purpose. Many of us have a seat near the front door that we use to put on shoes and socks. So why not double up with a storage ottoman that looks stylish as a seat and can hold anything from old books to those coats we cleaned out of the closet.

Finding space for guests

They went out of fashion for a while but the futon sofa still has practical uses. They’re the perfect impromptu guest bed and fold back up the next day so it doesn’t look like anyone’s been sleeping in your living area. Another option is turning a small bed base into a stylish daybed with cushions and throw rugs so it’s a reading nook by day and sleeping space by night. Pinterest is full of daybed inspiration if you need a helping hand.

Skip the dining table

Some people love cooking while others would rather order in for every meal. If you rarely take the time to dine at a table, why let it take up valuable space in your small apartment? Pop a few bar stools underneath your kitchen bench and enjoy informal meals instead. Just as functional and half as big.

Do you really need a desk?

A desk is a luxury that a small apartment cannot generally afford. Unless you do a majority of your work at home there’s no need for a dedicated office space. A lap desk is a better choice since it can be stored when not in use and you can set up anywhere; from your bed to the couch.

Think taller, not wider

The biggest space waster in a small apartment has to be shelving units that are low and wide. When you only have a few walls to fill make sure to maximise their space by choosing storage units that work with height instead. Combine storage and decor with a large bookcase full of decorative plants, books and even crockery.

Julia Hammond
Julia Hammond
Julia Hammond is a Melbourne-based freelance writer who has worked with major brands and blogs from The Urban List to You can find her online at
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