Furnish your small apartment with these cool 55 tips
Would you like to set up a small apartment or do you “only” have a 1-room apartment or a shared/student room available? No problem! Because we’ll give you 55 tips for small rooms and show you how you can make the most of a tiny home or a small room. This is how you will love your little kingdom. Get inspired!
Top 5 general tips for decorating a small apartment
1. Plan your small living space carefully: It is important to acknowledge the size of your apartment and do thoughtful planning. Spontaneous purchases are not advisable in small rooms. You can also use a room planner to clearly plan the optimal use of the available space. A 3D view also allows you to better visualize your ideas.
2. Clean out regularly: In small apartments you only have limited storage space. So you should get rid of unnecessary things. A good mix of beloved items and necessary utensils is important to make the most of your available storage space.
3. Use good lighting: Make sure there are enough light sources in the design and furnishings. This is particularly important if you have little daylight in your apartment. Because with the right direct and indirect light sources you can still give the room an open and airy atmosphere.
4. Pay attention to proportions when choosing furniture: Do not only buy small pieces of furniture to avoid the impression of a “dollhouse”. On the other hand, the furniture shouldn’t be too big either. Find the right balance to make the most of the space.
5. Keep organized: Clean up things immediately, put them away or wash dishes. Clutter takes up valuable space and visually narrows the room. A tidy room appears much more open and spacious. This includes, for example, carefully folded clothing, neatly stacked towels, tidy dishes and an attractive arrangement of magazines and decorations.
Tip : In small rooms, reduce the number of decorative elements and focus on a few statement pieces. This way you keep the clean look.
Furnish smart: 5 clever tricks and ideas for every room
6. Create flexibility with rolling furniture: Invest in furniture with wheels so you can quickly and easily move it around when needed, especially when guests are over. You can also retrofit castors under many pieces of furniture – you can get these at any hardware store!
7. Set priorities: Analyze your needs and adapt your facility accordingly. If you work from home a lot, enlarge the work area and make sacrifices in the sofa area. If you often have visitors, invest in a comfortable sofa – ideally with a sleep function.
8. Plan storage space optimally: Use every corner of your room efficiently – including niches, corners and the full ceiling height! Custom-made cabinets and shelves are ideal for making the most of the space. Also think about space-saving and multifunctional furniture with hidden storage space.
9. Smart solutions for seasonal clothing & decoration: Store things that you don’t need every day or are seasonal, such as winter clothing or Christmas decorations, in suitable places such as the attic or basement, under the bed or at the back of the closet. Here, too, don’t forget to organize your things and label them, for example in appropriate containers, crates and boxes.
10. Create creative contrasts: Create differences in space to create more depth and stimulate the eye’s curiosity to explore. Experiment with different floor coverings, such as rugs, or create levels with pedestals, stools, coffee tables, and other furniture. In studio apartments and shared rooms, glass doors can define living zones, while light-dark contrasts create visual depth.
11. Enlarge the room with mirrors: Strategically place mirrors throughout your room to create the illusion of more space. Because the reflection of the light on the surface creates the effect of a larger space. At the same time, you create a beautiful wall decoration that can also be expanded with some pictures or art prints.
12. Reduced furnishings: In small rooms, excessive decoration can quickly appear overloaded and unnecessarily restrict the space. When furnishing and decorating, stick to a clear line and choose decorative elements carefully. Limit yourself to useful and practical decorations such as plants, textiles, pictures, lamps or mirrors. You can use unusual shapes and colors to give your apartment an individual and aesthetic look. Choose accessories by color, group shapes and materials to create calm and harmony.
13. Plan built-in wardrobes: If possible, plan built-in wardrobes. These are practical, save space and create storage space as they do not take up unnecessary space in the room. Built-in wardrobes can be made to measure. This way you guarantee a perfect fit and enough storage space.
14. Be open to change: Your home should adapt to your needs. Observe everyday life and identify areas that can be improved or changed. Sometimes just repositioning a rug is enough to make a positive change.
15. Go for light colors: Light colors make any room appear larger and wider. Use creamy pastel colors to create a homey feel, as well as wood and natural tones to make small spaces feel open and light. White intensifies daylight and makes walls move apart. Dark tones can also be used as they blur contours, such as strong petrol. But be careful: too many dark tones narrow spaces.
16. Use stools and poufs instead of large living areas: In small rooms, stools and poufs are perfect seating options that can also serve as a table, shelf or replacement for a ladder.
17. Choose multifunctional furniture : Many manufacturers offer furniture with storage space or can be used in different ways. Cupboards, tables and chests of drawers prove to be quick-change artists. Our favorites are the sofa bed or the stool with storage space.
18. Use the entire space: Use the space under the bed or couch to store linens, winter clothes, and other items in boxes. Sloped ceilings and stairs also offer opportunities for shoe racks, wine racks or wardrobes. Clothes rails can also be set up in a clever and space-saving manner.
19. Divide the room into different areas: Dividing a room using screens, shelves and room dividers allows you to stylishly demarcate different living areas. This means you can get a dining area, a living room and a sleeping area out of a 1-room apartment. If you use shelves as room dividers, you can also use them as additional storage space.
20. Transparent pieces of furniture: Transparent acrylic glass makes the room appear airier and therefore larger. Overall, it is advisable to integrate glass surfaces into the apartment to create a feeling of space. In addition to chairs and tables made of acrylic glass, you can also use real glass panels, for example for coffee or side tables.
Tips for the small living room and bedroom
21. Floor-length curtains: Loosely falling and floor-length curtains add height to the room. Ideally, the curtains extend from the ceiling to the floor, but in most cases the top edge of the window is sufficient. White curtains make the eye believe that there is more space behind them. You can make the curtains slightly wider than the window to create a visual increase in size. In addition, semi-transparent models increase this effect.
22. Use high-quality materials: In general, light-colored natural materials are recommended for small rooms. Because light oak wood in particular conveys warmth and coziness. This ensures comfort even in small spaces. Metal and glass should also move into your home. They contrast with natural materials and reflect light.
23. Use coffee table books as storage: You can stack heavy illustrated books on the floor according to color and make a small tower out of them. This looks cool and you can, for example, arrange a pretty vase on it as a highlight.
24. Reduce the number of colors and materials: To avoid confusion, you shouldn’t combine too many different elements with each other. Decide on a color scheme and choose up to 5 materials to design your home.
25. Coordinated colors and materials: Textiles such as curtains, carpets and cushions should coordinate in a small room. This creates harmony and a coherent overall picture.
26. Focus on patterns : You can make clear statements even in small rooms. Bold, geometric patterns on textiles such as cushions, plaids and carpets provide a beautiful eye-catcher and bring a breath of fresh air into your interior – because even small apartments don’t have to appear sterile.
27. Use wall paneling: Wall paneling made of wood or decorations with stucco moldings add a stately touch to your living space and make the room appear larger .
28. Use the tone-on-tone trick: Choosing a sofa in the same or similar color as the floor or wall creates the impression of a second level in the room. This has the effect of making the room appear larger. If you choose colored accessories, such as cushions, this effect will be enhanced.
29. Exclusive touch with unique pieces and design classics: If there is a lack of space, it is recommended to reduce decoration and focus on individual unique pieces and design classics that are a real eye-catcher. Even a single chair can be fantastically staged here as a statement piece. For more variety, you can swap out your statement at any time.
Tips for designing your small kitchen
30. Use practical utensil walls: Add small shelves and baskets to the wall to create space for cooking utensils, herbs and spices. This not only looks stylish and tidy, but also keeps the work surface clear. This way you ensure more functionality in your small kitchen.
31. Prefer open shelving systems: Open shelves offer plenty of storage space in the kitchen and are also a decorative element. For example, you can fill muesli, flour, cocoa and coffee powder into pretty tins or jars and present them on the shelves. Also label your stash with labels. You can sort all other smaller containers and supplies into baskets. So they are spatial and at the same time not visible.
32. Maximize space around the cooktop: Invest in an attachment that can be used when you’re not cooking. This gives you an additional work surface the same size as the hob. These covers are also good protective devices if, for example, you have pets that like to sit on the countertop.
33. Organize the kitchen cupboards: Cleverly stack pots, storage containers and other utensils inside and on top of each other to make the most of the limited space. However, make sure that all utensils are still easily accessible and place frequently used items at the front.
By the way : There should also be order in the refrigerator.
34. Choose pans with removable handles: With the option of a removable handle, you save space in the cupboards and can therefore store your cooking utensils in a space-saving manner.
35. Be creative with your dining area: A large dining table is not always necessary. Folding and pull-out versions are particularly suitable for small kitchens. These models can be easily expanded or stored if you need more space. Also place the table against the wall to create more space in the middle of the room and to use the space effectively.
9 clever ideas for small bathroom design
36. Maximize storage space: Space above the bathtub and toilet should be used wisely. You can make use of unused space, especially with simple wall shelves and hooks.
37. Use available storage space in the bathroom: You should use the space above the washing machine wisely – especially if you don’t have a dryer above it. Whether you attach one or more shelves here, hang a picture or mirror or mount a medicine cabinet is up to you. Don’t leave any storage space or parking space unused!
38. Repurpose an unused bathtub: You can use your unused bathtub alternatively with a removable wooden frame structure. Because with a cover it serves as a storage area with storage space underneath. Here you can, for example, store dirty laundry containers or fresh towels or bed linen that would otherwise take up a lot of space in the wardrobe.
39. Create a spa feeling: Hanging shelves or wall boxes with green plants create a relaxing atmosphere without sacrificing valuable space. You can also intensify the spa feeling with scented candles or room fragrances. Also make sure you have pleasant lighting and high-quality towels and bathroom textiles.
40. Rely on high-quality and luxurious materials: Natural materials such as stone and wood are particularly popular in the bathroom to create a sensual and comfortable atmosphere. Tiles in natural colors, soft ceiling light and high-quality (sustainable) bathroom furniture create a luxurious feeling – even in bathrooms of just 4 square meters .
41. Mirror cabinets are doubly practical: Mirrored surfaces make the bathroom appear larger by reflecting the light. A cabinet with an integrated mirror also offers you additional storage space for cosmetics and daily utensils.
42. Prefer light surfaces : To calm down the small bathroom and make it appear more spacious, lark wood is an ideal choice as it is naturally water-repellent and is well suited for your bathroom.
43. Invest in practical accessories: Toothbrush cups, shelves and containers to aesthetically store small items such as cotton buds and cotton pads are a must for every bathroom. Transfer utensils from the original packaging to create a visually appealing and easily accessible solution – even in limited storage space.
44. Design with the same materials: If materials appear repeatedly, this creates uniformity for the eye and makes your bathroom appear larger than it actually is. The tone-on-tone look also has a reinforcing effect here.
Furnishing a small apartment: 11 tips for small rooms
45. Give small rooms visually more height with color: By painting the wall color just below the ceiling, you visually stretch the room upwards. In addition, vertical striped wallpaper creates an additional impression of height.
46. Place large pieces of furniture against the wall in tubular rooms: To create more visual space, you should place the largest piece of furniture on the widest wall. You can also add space to a tubular room with colors by using dark colors on the short walls and light colors on the long walls.
47. Emphasize the floor with horizontal or diagonal stripes: With the help of carpets with geometric shapes or with horizontal and diagonal stripes, you can visually stretch your room. From halfway across the room, the diagonal stripes should run in the opposite direction for this effect. The carpets also serve as a fluffy surface that makes getting up easier, especially in the winter months.
48. Use lots of small light sources: Light is essential in almost every room. Indirect and small light sources create a cozy atmosphere and a calming mood. Light sources should be carefully considered, especially if you like to read in bed. However, light sources not only create a wonderful atmosphere, but also make the room appear larger.
49. Create more depth through reflective surfaces: With illuminated shelf backs made of bright and shiny materials, you can reflect the light and therefore make the room appear deeper and therefore larger.
50. Use wall lights as space-saving alternatives: If you don’t have the space for floor lamps, use space-saving wall lights to illuminate the room effectively and atmospherically without taking up floor space.
51. Cleverly integrate your home office: Use a compartment on a wall shelf as a desk (if it is wide enough) or invest in chests of drawers with an integrated secretary table top. If you still have a free corner, you can also choose a corner desk as a workstation. Depending on your priorities, if you often work from home, you should opt for a good desk rather than, for example, a large wardrobe.
52. Keep floor space free and choose slim furniture legs: Choose delicate furniture with slim legs to reveal the view of the floor. This makes the room appear wider and more open.
53. Less is more: Avoid too many small pictures as they create a busy image and can make the room appear narrower. Instead, choose a few but large images.
54. Use floating shelves: If you don’t have space for shelves up to the ceiling, use floating shelves as an alternative.
55. Choose sliding doors on cupboards: Prefer cupboards with sliding doors. These save space when opened and allow you to plan and place more in the room. Curtains can also be an alternative to sliding doors. Behind this, open shelving or wardrobe systems disappear in no time.
No-gos for small rooms and apartments when furnishing
Are you wondering what you should definitely avoid when furnishing a small apartment?
We’ll tell you:
- Too many bright and/or dark colors in too small a space
- Wild pattern mix without a common thread
- Strong mix of styles – always combine based on minimalism or Scandi style
- Too much massive XXL furniture
- Clutter and not enough storage space
Feel free to discover our other inspiration for small rooms: