How to Decorate a Small Living Space

Francey Beall
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When you've got a smaller living space, you've got to get crafty.

Whether you're moving from your parents' house into your first apartment or you're downsizing to a condo after your kids have moved out, learning how to optimize a smaller living space is tough. You've really got to have a sense of spatial awareness and some interior design prowess to pull it off.

It's nothing that can't be learned, though. Today, we're going to help you decorate your small living space by giving you a few key tips. As we'll learn, a lot of it can (and should) be done before you start moving.

Don't get stressed out with the notion of fitting all of your belongings into a space half the size, let us help you figure this big move out.

What You Can Do Before Moving

When you settle on an apartment and go back home to start packing, take stock of all the things you have. Imagine which, where, and how your furniture items will fit in the new apartment and accept the fact that you're going to have to downsize. 

Every cushion, plant, chair, piece of art, and table won't fit comfortably in a space that's a fraction of the size. Set your favorite items aside and prepare to sell, thrift, or put the rest in storage. You'll want to do this before you hire movers so that you don't go through the process of moving your larger items twice. 

As we'll discuss a little later on, minimalist living not only makes your smaller living space feel larger and more open, but it also has many mental health benefits. Let's now talk about specific interior design philosophies that'll give that tiny room a more spacious feeling.

Optimizing Your Small Living Space

You can manipulate the vibe of your small living space by playing with color and furniture; however, there's still the problem of storage. Fortunately, we've got a few ideas that'll free up space and make you more comfortable in your new home.


Color is a powerful interior design tool. You can really make a statement and change the mood of a room by choosing a bold color. However, in a small room, you'll want to keep the color scheme light and breezy.

White, in particular, is congruent with the minimalist lifestyle, which is going to be beneficial for your space. It also allows you to decorate the walls with a wide variety of artwork without having to worry about anything clashing. Your furniture and other decorative pieces should work just fine in a white room as well.

Other colors that work for small spaces are pastels. Pastel pinks, greys, and blues will make your room feel fresh and welcoming instead of closed in and small. These colors look great, but they might render some of your furniture and artwork useless. Consider what you've already got before deciding on a color.

Furniture & The Storage Issue

Furniture is the toughest thing to deal with when you're working in a smaller living space. If you've already got large couches, loveseats, or chairs, then you'll have to figure out a way to position them so they don't take up too much of the room.

For the most part, you can make anything work. Even if you've got a large L-shaped sofa, you can wedge it in the corner and leave the rest of the room open for floor seating with cushions, stools, and other things that you can stow away. 

Something else to think about is how functional your furniture is. One of the best ways to maximize space is by making use of items that serve more than one purpose. Couches that turn into beds or have storage underneath are ideal for small apartments.

As far as coffee and dining tables are concerned, your best bet is to look at items that can be stored in a closet or folded up onto the wall. 

If you still find yourself bereft of storage, then you'll have to get a little bit creative. Look around the room, especially at your walls, and think about where you could keep smaller items. Little things like blankets, books, and trinkets don't seem like they take up space, but when you accumulate them, it's a different story.

Try hanging shelves on the walls for your books and plants, then hang baskets up to store the stuff that you don't always need out and visible.

If you don't find yourself using these things regularly, you should consider getting rid of them. Minimalism is the most effective way to make a small apartment feel larger.

The Benefit of Minimalism

The concept of minimalism has become one of the more popular lifestyle choices in the last few years. Whether it's for you or not is completely dependant on your personality, but when you're moving into a small space from a large one, it's something you need to think about.

When you lose physical space, you become far more aware of how many things you have. Not only that, but you become acutely aware of how useless some of these things are. It's better to discover this before you move everything into your new apartment, but sometimes the only way is to see it in a smaller area.

To live as a minimalist, you've got to get rid of what you don't use. The books that you've already read, the pots and pans that aren't in regular rotation, and the clothes that you haven't worn in years all need to be donated or sold. True minimalists only have 100 personal belongings.

You don't have to go that far, but if you're going to design a room to feel larger than it is, you can't have it cluttered up with needless stuff. 

Get Packing and Get Moving

When you're done getting rid of what you don't need and packing the things you're moving, call Fantastic Moves. We've been in the moving business since 1995, so you can expect professional and experienced movers to get your things into your new living space. 

Contact us to arrange your move and visit our "What you need to know" section to find out all about how to get ready for move day. We understand that moving can be a stressful time, so let us take a load off your shoulders.

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