Making the transition from a house to an apartment doesn’t necessarily mean giving up the spacious lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to – you can easily reclaim precious floor space using a few simple design tricks and savvy storage solutions.
Here’s my Top 5 Tips for successful apartment living.
Tip #1: Get organised
Before the move is a great time to de-clutter your life and either donate, throw away or sell unwanted items and oversized pieces of furniture. When you’re packing, be sure to clearly label and organise your boxes so you can easily access what you need. When you arrive at your new home, avoid the temptation to just stick a few non-essential boxes in the cupboard – unpacking straight away will immediately make you feel more organised.
Tip #2: Plan your space
When faced with the blank canvas of an empty floor space, deciding where to put what can be somewhat daunting. Do your research and make use of tools such as online floor-planning software. There are also great information available online such as Apartment Therapy (www.apartmenttherapy.com) and Houzz (www.houzz.com) offering lots of great ideas for apartment living. Sites such as Pinterest and magazines like Vogue Living, Belle and Real Living can also be excellent sources of inspiration.
Tip #3: Choose your style
After conducting your initial research, you should have a reasonable idea as to which styles work for you, and what can be applied in a practical sense to your new apartment. Using light colours, stripes and mirrors can all help to make your space feel bigger. And try to individualise your space as much as possible – you don’t want to feel like you’re living in a hotel after all. Create spaces that you enjoy spending time in, and remember the golden rule of ‘less is more.’
That said, if styling is not your thing, consider engaging an interior stylist as a guide to provide an overall interior plan for you. These services are more affordable than you might think, and you’ll get to the end result a lot quicker.
Tip #4: Think storage-specific
Storage is something we all need, and should be a vital consideration when planning your living space. It’s advisable to purchase furniture specific for the space and to think about what items you may wish to incorporate storage into (think storage ottomans!). Consider wall-mounting shelves, cupboards and the TV, as keeping items off the floor will help to create an overall sense of spaciousness.
Decorative baskets that can be stacked are a great solution for items you don’t use very often, and utilising clear storage bags or boxes for clothes and shoes during the off-seasons is a great way to maximise the functionality of your wardrobe. Pop your winter woollies and boots away during the summer, and vice versa.
Tip #5: Utilise your outdoor area
Using your outdoor courtyard or balcony as another living space is one of the best ways to create a sense of flow-through, and entertaining with family and friends is what makes a house a home. Craft an outdoor living area that is fitting with your indoor styling, and take the time to plan upfront with entertaining in mind. Too many balconies go to waste because they simply weren’t set up properly in the beginning. Consider the proximity of your neighbours too – utilising screening features and soft furnishings outdoors can help to create a sense of privacy for you, and keep noise levels down. Check your Strata By Laws first to see what is and isn’t permitted.
So there you have it! I hope I’ve been able to show that with just a bit of planning and a few clever tricks you can create a highly functional, enjoyable living space that you’ll be proud to call home!