Accommodating for Limited Space / Written by Sam Marquit

Not everyone has the luxury of a palatial home in the suburbs or a large country estate. For those who live in small spaces, specifically in small urban apartments, decorating can sometimes be a challenge. From first-hand experience, a majority of the Manhattanand NYC Apartments that I’ve done projects on are very limited in terms of space and design. Even the home I live in currently doesn’t exceed that of 1000 square feet.

But with many homeowners picking up on the new-age green movement, and industry professionals pushing the same ideals, it’s not unreasonable to think that folks would pursue small home investment. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly powerful factor in decision-making, so if you’re faced with the challenge of decorating small spaces, may I suggest a few tips that can help?

1. Organize. Organize. Organize.
One of the biggest enemies of a small space is clutter. It is essential that clutter be avoided and that organization is the key starting point in decorating and maintaining a small space. Because of this, organizational furniture and strategies should be at the top of your list.

2. Let the light in.
Bright outdoor lighting can make even the smallest space feel airy and inviting. When planning your window treatments, choose treatments that do not block outdoor lighting. If you do not have good outdoor lighting in your small space, then invest in adequate overhead lighting to brighten up the space you have. A small bright space is always preferable to a small dark space, unless of course you are a bat.

3. Choose furniture that makes your space look bigger.
It is remarkable the magic you can work in a space merely by choosing the appropriate furniture. One simple piece of advice is to buy furniture that does not have arms whenever possible. Armless sofas, living room chairs and even dining room chairs will streamline your furniture and lessen the bulk. Bulky furniture makes a small room look even smaller. 

Another way to open your space is that when choosing a sofa or a loveseat, make sure it has legs. Getting furniture off of the floor makes a room looks larger. So, when buying furniture, especially a sofa or loveseat, make sure it has legs and is not directly resting on the floor of your space.

Since your space is limited, dual-purpose furniture that doubles as storage can be a lifesaver. Ottomans that open up to store blankets and pillows are an excellent choice for your living room, and kitchen benches with storage under the seat are also a good option. Additionally, many people looking to maximize bedroom storage invest in a bed with ample storage possibilities or built-in storage underneath.

4. Use colors to and accent pieces to make a room appear larger.

Contrary to some opinions, small rooms do not need to be painted neutral colors. In fact, small rooms can benefit from the use of bright cool colors that refract light rather than absorb it. Also, do not be afraid to use bold colors to create accent walls or dramatic entrances.

In addition to colors, mirrors can do wonders in acting to increase the size of a small room. Some people choose to have one dramatic mirror as their focal accent piece, while others choose to place several mirrors together to create a focal point. When choosing mirrors as a space enhancing accent piece or pieces, be careful not to overdo it. While some mirrors do wonders to create the optical illusion of larger space, too many mirrors may serve to make your living space resemble a circus fun-room.

Finally, the right wall shelving is indispensible when decorating a small space. Narrow shelving can be used to display photographs and small knick-knacks without protruding too much into your living space.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to space-saving and creative ideas to enhance your small space.

Sam Marquit is a entrepreneur, home improvement specialist, and part time blogger. Fee free to visit Sam’s blog, and don’t forget to connect with him @fmarquitv