Few endeavors are more difficult than trying to tastefully decorate a living space smaller than some walk-in closets. Perhaps you’ve spent months trying to figure out how you can fit everything you need into your apartment much less worrying about whether it looks nice or not.
There is hope for you, though. Having lived in my own personal hole in the wall, I can assure that you can create a both beautiful and functional space. We’ll start with a discussion of the smallest spaces and move on up to some larger apartments.
A studio apartment with one room and a bathroom – the smallest option imaginable and by far the hardest to decorate. Your first goal is not to make the whole room match, but rather you want to split your apartment into distinct sections. Of course, you can buy screens to help split the room. A sturdy wood screen with fabric in it will offer you privacy but also give your room a light, airy feel. If you can’t find these at a local yard sale or flea market, they can be fairly pricey.
Another great option, which I have to admit that I like even better, is using fabric to separate the space. You can get rods to put the fabric on or you could use a clothesline and use clothespins to hold up the fabric. Fabric stores put much of their off-season fabric on sale, and you can get it cheaply.
You could also buy remnant fabrics and piece them together like an old-fashioned crazy quilt; then you could use antique pins to make the room more homey. Choose your fabric so that you can easily find decorations to work with it.
Once you have made yourself living, sleeping, and eating spaces, you can begin to find decorations matching your “walls.” The effect is comfortable and homey while still being inexpensive.
Larger apartments will generally have three or four separate rooms. However, there are still decorating challenges in this small space. Generally, the living room, dining room, and kitchen overlap each other, so your decorations must in some way match.
Your best option is to find a couple of colors to focus on in the space. Use different shades of the colors along with coordinating decorative fabrics and accessories in order to pull the space together. For example, reds and yellows are my colors, so on my dining room table is a red throw topped with a exquisite red vase from Venice. In order to pull this together with my living room, which has lighter reds in it, I have a small red vase atop a tall, 5-shelf bookcase, then when you look down to my light red couch everything seems to make sense.
Decorating a small space is a challenge, especially when you have a lot of stuff. Use attractive wicker storage containers to hide your things and serve as side tables as well. Also, you may want to use a small bookcase with baskets to hold smaller items. Even when you move later, these baskets will still be useful and attractive. The key to organizing and decorating lies inside you – be creative in your small space, and your friends will rave at your talent!