I'm not going to lie, renting an apartment in your twenties is tough! There are multiple reasons why, but the main issues are the high rent & tiny spaces (especially in Sydney & New York)! If you're like me and have a love for interiors, don't let limited space put a block on your creativity. Below are 5 simple ways your can dress up your space no matter how small your apartment is.
Ok, first things first, my North Bondi apartment is literally a shoe box! However I have been determined to dress it up to fit my monochrome, minimalistic style one room at a time.
I decided to start with my living room
OVERVIEW: Just so you have some perspective - our living room is roughly 2.5m by 3.5m and hosts a built in pantry, bar fridge, kitchen, oven, and I have managed to comfortably fit a coffee table & two-seater sofa as a base.
1. CREATE A COLOUR PALETTE & USE HIERARCHY
Before you start dressing up your space it's important to commit to a colour palette or theme. Obviously mine was to keep everything minimalistic & monochrome so I stuck to black, white & shades of grey.
When you have a small space it's vital to get the hierarchy of light & dark exactly right. For me I like to go with 2/3rd's light, 1/3rd dark, for example - I have kept all my walls a fresh white tone to allow the room to 'look' as big as possible. I have added my dark tones via a matte black round coffee table & side table as well as the frames for my pictures & photographs. From there I have added the grey sofa and touches of black & white through my decor. Even if you look at the cushions on my sofa - you can see that I have stuck to a lot more white than black to make sure everything remains balanced in the space.
2. FURNITURE - LESS IS MORE
When you have a really small space your furniture becomes the 'base' of the whole room. And from there you build it up one piece at a time. When selecting furniture for your small space make sure you go with quality furniture that makes you as comfortable as you can be. Take your time investing in pieces that are stylish & functional, and always remember that less is more when it comes to dressing up a small space.
For me, I spend a lot of time in our living room - working, eating, relaxing - so it was important for me that I had a durable sofa, and a spacious coffee table. After trial and error I went with a round coffee table that is easy to manoeuvre around but has enough space for me to work at comfortably. I also invested in a grey 2-seater sofa that has a textured fabric - hiding any small marks easily and balancing the room between all the white & black.
Storage wise - make the most of inbuilt spaces and if you need more storage, invest in a coffee table, side table or book shelf that can accommodate your needs.
3. IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS:
This is the fun part! Once you have your 'base' furniture in place you can really start to make the space your own. Below are a few pieces I invested in (over time!) to dress up our living room introducing prints & textures as well as my favourite scents. All these little details definitely took the space to the next level - making me feel at home yet inspired when I look around.
A LAMP - I went with a very trend inspired black cube lamp from The Minimalist - its something I have loved for a long time and gives the corner space a bit of edge. SHOP HERE
MARBLE - I have always loved marble and I find it adds a touch of texture & tone to a monochrome space. I got a little inventive and popped a circle marble tray on to a white wire plant holder to create a little side table for my black cube lamp! Create the look HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE
CANDLES - Everyone has their favourite scent when it comes to candles, and it really can take a small space to another level. Personally my favourite scent is the Lumira Tuscan Fig Candle however I also love the Diptyque candles as well - these also conveniently fit my monochrome style perfectly! SHOP HERE & HERE
VASES - I'm in a 'plant' phase at the moment, but if you're a lover of fresh blooms then it's definitely worth adding a vase or two to your space. Even small little ones that can hold loose change or keys - remember you need to utilise your space as much as possible so try and find a function for everything!
MAGAZINES - Make the most of your old favourite fashion or interiors mags by creating an organised pile of them and utilising it as a mini side table or having it as a 'feature' in your space. Mine are all tucked away under our side table in the corner of our room and are easily accessible yet very tidy!
LIGHT BOX - These are always a little bit of fun for a small space! SHOP HERE
CUSHIONS - I have a slight addiction when it comes to cushions. I truly believe that they can make or break a small space. When investing in cushions make sure you reflect back on your theme - cushions are a great way to introduce a colour or print to your room. HERE, HERE & HERE are some of my favourite places to indulge in a new cushion or two!
Make the most of your walls! If you're renting an apartment and are worried that you cannot fix frames onto the walls - invest in some 3M hooks - these are absolute life savers when it comes to protecting your walls.
In terms of finding the right artwork to go on your walls - make sure you go with pieces that you feel personally inspired by. Some of my favourite online stores to shop for prints & photographs are HERE & HERE.
Finally I always think it's important to add a touch of greenery to a small space. I don't know what it is but it always brings a fresh & relaxing element to the room.
Above all - make sure your small space reflects your personal style but is also functional. Take your time dressing up your room/s and remember hierarchy and less is more!
If you have any other tips, I would love to hear them - comment & share below xx