It seems that, more and more, apartments in major cities are costing a fortune, which means you’re left with limited space to live, which can cramp your style — literally and figuratively. But, just because you can’t afford a cushy, multi-room apartment, doesn’t mean you have to feel like a trapped rat in the place you call home.
Making the most of your limited living space can be a challenge, but, with a few small, DIY home tips, you can visually increase the size of your space to make it seems like you’re living in a cozy mansion. Plus, you don’t need to drop a fortune in order to make it happen, which your personal budget plan will enjoy, too.
A huge mistake that people make when doing some DIY home tips is relying on the one light source that came with the apartment. A harsh overhead light doesn’t do much to create dimension to your space, so swap out harsh overhead light with softer bulbs and a few table lamps instead. Multiple light sources create depth and space, creating a cool atmosphere to chill in. Bonus points if you can get lamps with dimmers that allow you to have full control of the light level for every occasion.
While it’s much easier to default to a darker decor because it doesn’t show the dirt as much, it’s a total space suck that makes your personal habitat feel like a cramped cave. Instead, try a lighter color palate for your decor and avoid super heavy fabrics. Items that are too ornate can make spaces feel cluttered, so it’s a good rule of thumb to stick to simpler patterns with just a couple of bold accents thrown in. You can get these at a second-hand store or shop the bargain bin at places like Bed Bath & Beyond.
Adding reflective touches to your space is something that can immediately increase the size of your apartment. Metallics and lucite are mega popular choices for faking more light and keeping it airy inside your tiny apartment, which can also serve as a huge plus when it comes to adding seasonal items to the space. Bulkier blankets and holiday decorations are more visually appealing against an uncomplicated background. Even if that’s not your style, try to avoid large, solid furniture that will end up looking more like a roadblock than a functional piece of furniture in your apartment. A sectional couch might seem awesome, but is it really functional? Instead, look for smaller chairs that match which create more space.
The use of mirrors shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to tricking the eye into thinking you have a massive room to roam around in. Buy a few mirrors of different sizes and place them in your apartment opposite a light source. This creates a bouncy light that will illuminate areas of your home that you never knew were being so neglected.
A lot of the time, wall space is ignored. Things aren’t hung, window coverings are neglected and rooms can end up looking and feeling cramped because everything is on the same level. Here’s a classic DIY home tip: Cheat more space by purchasing long, semi-sheer curtains to hang over your windows. Or better, hang a collage of art and photos on a wall that stretches beyond normal eye level. Hang a plant in the corner, and invest in a tall floor lamp. All of these little tricks will draw the eye up and show an area that is always overlooked — especially in a small apartment. Best yet, frames and old lamps can be found on Craigslist or OfferUp for cheap.
Lastly, when you’re buying furniture, think about buying pieces that will do more than just do the obvious job they’re meant for. Look for pieces with concealed storage for bulky items, tables that can expand when you have guests over and furniture that allows for nesting or stacking of smaller items to keep your floorspace clear and easy to move around. Even if you’re not the most handy person in the world, these are cool, DIY side projects you can do on the weekends that can add some real personal touch, too.
Lead image via Getty
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