TURNING YOUR SHOEBOX APARTMENT INTO A HEAVENLY SANCTUARY
In this limited environment you need to be very clever with your use of space and what you are filling it up with. If you are starting from scratch tread carefully and slowly add décor bit by bit, or if you are dealing with an existing space edit down to the bare necessities. Marie Kondo that stuff. If you haven’t read her book (The Life-changing Magic of Tidying) get your hands on a copy asap. It will really shed light on the things that you hold on to which are in fact simply clutter. Once you have pared back all that you can, think about clever storage solutions for those little leftover items. Stylish baskets and boxes will disguise and create order which in turn will make the space look bigger.
It’s time to layer up. Think linen, cushions, rugs and ornaments. The key with a small apartment is creating harmony with your décor so as not to overwhelm the space. Tonal looks work well in this environment because they tend to limit visual clutter. So if monochrome is your thing add interest with texture- accents of fur, linens, timbers will all add depth and interest to a tonal palette.
Or if colour is more your jam the trick is to add in these accents sparingly. A bold colour here or there, in the form of an artwork or throw cushion perhaps and keep the rest of the palette pared back. Having fewer, stronger accents placed strategically around the room will avoid making the space appear overwhelmed.
Artwork is a very personal statement so make sure that you take the time to select pieces that really appeal to you. A huge trend at the moment is clashing graphic quotes with painterly pieces in a frame collage. This style is perfect for renters as you can use temporary hooks to hang multiple smaller pieces rather than living in fear that your large frames are going to fall off those precarious sticky hooks. Don’t forget to first test a few layouts on the floor before you start hanging the frames and when you do make sure that the centre of the arrangement is at eye level. Next, showcase your other interests by dotting a few stacks of your favourite books or magazines around the apartment.
If your place is impossibly small, it may be time to employ a little insider know-how. One neat little trick to expanding your pokey little living area or bedroom is to invest in a large rug. Contrary to popular belief smaller spaces call for bigger rugs. This is because your eyes will then read the size of the rug as being larger, therefore the room will appear larger.
Another more commonly used technique (and a great alternative to artwork) is incorporating decorative floor length mirrors and simply leaning them against an empty wall. This easy addition instantly tricks the eye into believing the space is twice the size.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
The last few touches you add to the apartment are all about the ambiance. Foliage can instantly freshen up a space and make it feel more inviting. Whether that’s in the form of greenery (if you’re up to the challenge of keeping it alive that is!) or fresh cut flowers, either will make a huge impact on even the most basic apartment. A scented candle or diffuser is a must have for that last touch of luxury, it’s always nice to personalise your space with your signature scent.