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23 Tips for Living Large While You’re Living in a Small Space

This post was updated on October 1, 2022.

So you’re planning a big move to a big city, but maybe your new digs are . . . not so big? You may be envisioning yourself surrounded by towers of boxes in an apartment too small to accommodate any of them, swimming through clutter and asking yourself how you ever thought this was a good idea. But fret not — that record-scratch, freeze-frame moment is not inevitable. With some helpful apartment tips, a little planning, a lot of decluttering, and a hefty dose of creativity, you might just find this small, new place is your favorite home yet. 

1. GET ORGANIZED FROM THE GET-GO

Time is your friend when it comes to planning a move. From deciding between using a moving company or renting a truck to taking some time off work, there are plenty of — ahem — moving parts. To help keep it all straight, use an apartment moving checklist that lays out all the logistics for you and when to tackle them. (Hint: you should start getting ready eight weeks before the big moving day.) If nothing else, use the moving list for the sheer satisfaction of crossing off each item.

(Source: Julia M Cameron via Pexels)

2. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO DECLUTTER

There’s plenty of research to show that clutter can stress us out. But in an unfair Catch-22, decluttering can also stress us out! Trying to cram the downsizing of all of your stuff into the week before apartment moving is a surefire way to get burned out. Instead, give yourself as much time as you can by starting the decluttering process well before the move (three weeks before moving day works great). We’ve found it’s easiest to go through items room by room: Tackle your closet first, then your bedroom, go through the living room, and clear out the kitchen. You’ll have big piles of stuff ready to be expunged in no time.

Decluttering left you with analysis paralysis? Bring it all. Stay focused on your other to-dos with storage built into your move. PODS containers make it easy to move all your necessities to your next home, then stow away everything else either in your driveway or at a local PODS Storage Center.

Before sending everything to Goodwill, let friends and family know you have things up for grabs if there’s anything they’d like for their own homes. Post pictures of items you know you can get rid of in your local Buy Nothing Facebook group, or put them on Facebook Marketplace to see if you can make a little cash to fund the movers you’re hiring. If you’re unsure about giving away a certain item, you still have some time before moving to mull it over. Once you’ve sold what you can, bring the rest to a local donation center to help your stuff find a new home.

3. TAKE A HARD LOOK AT YOUR KITCHEN ACCOUTERMENTS

Now that all your extra stuff is out of the way, it’s time to get serious. That’s right, now it’s time to actually start downsizing your home. Do you really need a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, toaster oven, and air fryer? Likely not. And chances are you won’t have room for all of them in your new pad even if you wanted to. Get practical and pare down to the basics — and that goes beyond the kitchen. Maybe you can keep three comfy pillows out of your collection of a dozen throw cushions and bring two sets of towels instead of ten. Make like Marie Kondo and go through everything, from your wardrobes to your cabinets, setting aside anything you can part with. Because if it doesn’t make you happy in a larger space, it certainly won’t spark joy in a smaller space.

(Source: Victrola Record Players via Unsplash)

4. DECIDE ON YOUR NONNEGOTIABLE TANGIBLES

Here’s the thing: Sometimes the things we love are impractical. And if this new apartment is going to be a happy home, you’ll want to have your absolute favorite belongings there with you. While it may not make pragmatic sense to truck your beloved record collection into your new small-space living lifestyle, downsizing to a bluetooth speaker and Spotify account just might not cut it for you. If that’s the case, pack that record player up and trim in other places instead.

(Source: picjumbo.com)

5. DIGITIZE TO DOWNSIZE 

If your mail, grocery lists, and other random sheets of paper have formed a miniature mountain on the corner of your kitchen table, now is the time to tackle that. Recycle what you can, file what you can’t, and, most importantly, request digital versions of any bills or other papers that tend to accumulate to create a “sustainable solve” for the future. Then, take a good look at your inventory and see if there are any other 3D items you can store pictures of on the cloud. Books? Try out an e-reader or audiobook subscription, or, if you can’t forgo the real deal, take advantage of your local library and borrow books that won’t take up long-term space. 

6. BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT THE FURNITURE YOU BRING IN

There’s no better time to evaluate whether you really like that clunky dresser than before you huff it up three flights of stairs. See if you can acquire a floorplan of the apartment ahead of time, and map out where your largest pieces of furniture would fit. When it comes to furniture ideas for small-space living, anything that takes up room should serve a function — and, often, more than one. For instance, a kitchen cart with a butcher block top can expand your counter space, stash pots and pans, and even triple up as a bar cart. 

(Source: Derrick Treadwell via Unsplash)

7. GET THE LOGISTICS SQUARED AWAY 

What’s just as important as making sure all of your furnishings can fit in your apartment? Making sure you can physically get them all inside when you get there. That means knowing the elevator situation, where you can park, the width of your doorway, and any building rules that apply to moving into a high-rise or similar dwelling. It also means knowing exactly how much square footage you have to work with. According to a 2018 report by RentCafe, the average size of a newly built apartment in the U. S. is 941 square feet. Not bad! But the average size of a studio apartment? Just 514 square feet, and they’re trending smaller as the years go on. Of course, how to maximize space in a small apartment depends on the square footage and floor plan of your specific home, so be sure to request that information or take those measurements yourself before moving in.

(Source: Blue Bird via Pexels)

8. LIMIT THE LARGER ITEMS YOU’RE BRINGING 

When you’re moving from a house to an apartment, it’s important to come to terms with the fact that you’re going to have less space. Trying to bring the same amount of furniture from a multi-room home into, say, a studio apartment is a recipe for feeling cramped and disappointed. While every item you bring into a small space counts, the larger items count most when it comes to taking up square footage. One of the biggest space-savers when living in a studio apartment is limiting the number of bulky furnishings you have. Think: couches, dining tables, king-size beds, or big entertainment centers. See if you can make some more compact swaps to save space, like a cozy armchair instead of an L-shaped sectional or a bistro table with sides that fold down instead of a long dining table fit for a Thanksgiving feast. For the large items you do find yourself needing, try disassembling them before moving apartments. Be sure to take pictures before packing and clearly label plastic bags with the parts so you can reassemble them later. 

9. WHEN IN DOUBT, PUT IT IN STORAGE

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when downsizing. If you find yourself waffling between donating and packing into the moving van, don’t worry. You have a third option: Put it all in storage and decide later, when you’re stress-free. Using a moving service like PODS or PODS City Service means a storage unit can be dropped off at your home, you can load it up with the belongings you want but won’t have room for, and it will be picked up and driven away for safe keeping at a PODS Storage Center. Then, should you realize you actually do have room for that end table, you can easily retrieve it.  

Pro Tip: Moving in a big city? From navigating a bulky truck through narrow, crowded streets to dealing with parking regulations, moving in a metropolitan area is full of challenges. Using a moving solution specifically designed for people living in busy, urban cities — for example, PODS City Service — is a great way to save yourself stress.

10. GLEAN SOME INSPIRATION

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when preparing to move into a tiny home. Ikea, for example, boasts a variety of miniature apartment showrooms that you can browse for ideas and buy anything you love right on site. The best part? Many people have taken small-space living to a new level by coming up with ingenious IKEA furniture hacks — like turning abandoned bed slats into minimalist hanging wall storage — and other sustainable, space-saving storage shortcuts. 

(Source: Cottonbro via Pexels)

11.

DON’T LET MOVING BOXES BECOME LONG-TERM ROOMMATES

Nobody is expecting you to pack up your life and unpack it into a new space on the same day. Eat some dinner! Get some rest! But be careful not to let those half-unpacked boxes and suitcases sit around for too long. Not only does brown cardboard likely clash with your chic aesthetic, but those crates take up tons of precious square footage. Empty them ASAP, recycle the boxes, and stash the remaining items in a storage unit or overhead closet shelf so you can settle in without a constant reminder of moving day. 

12. OPTIMIZE YOUR SMALL KITCHEN

If you’re someone who eats, and especially if you’re someone who cooks, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms (or sections of a room) in the apartment. When packing up your kitchen appliances and utensils, there are some hacks for doing so in a safe and compact way: Slide the sharp knives inside of oven mitts. Store spice jars in casserole dishes. Wrap plastic wrap around the utensil tray to save yourself time unpacking spoons and forks on the other side of the move. These space-saving principles don’t just apply to packing — here are some other kitchen tips for living in a studio apartment or similarly small space. 

  • Use a magnetic knife strip to store blades along the wall.
  • Invest in a pot rack to hang pots and pans without taking up cabinet space.
  • Maximize wall space by using a spice rack to display and organize your spice jars.
  • Hang a tiered basket from the ceiling to stash produce that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Put a wooden cutting board over the sink for extra portable prep space.
  • Install a peg board to hang spatulas, towels, and other culinary odds and ends.

(Source: Charlotte May via Pexels)

13. DECORATE WITH MIRRORS, LIGHT COLORS, AND OTHER ELEMENTS THAT CAUSE OPTICAL ILLUSIONS 

Your apartment may not be blessed in the square-footage department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look the part. Create a bright, airy, and welcoming sanctuary with a few simple tricks. For instance, mirrors bounce light around the room and can create the false-window illusion of looking into another space. And while your personality may be bursting with color, overloading a small place with colors and patterns can come off more fun-house than fun-loving. Instead, opt for a light and clean color palette on the walls, and amp up the color with choice accents — throw pillows, appliances, or even a painted ceiling (if your property manager will permit it, of course). 

14. DO AWAY WITH DOORS 

Nixing the planks that provide any privacy in a small apartment might sound counterintuitive, but taking some doors off their hinges can actually help maximize your space. By freeing up the area you’d otherwise need to clear for the door to swing open, you can make room for a storage ottoman, compact desk, or other handy furnishing. And if having no partition is too much, try replacing the doors that have hinges with pocket doors or tension rods and curtains.  

(Source: Jarek Ceborski via Unsplash)

15. KEEP COUCHES LOW AND DRAPES HIGH

You can also use furnishings to play with scale. Instead of hanging curtains just above the window, try suspending them at the top of the ceiling to make the room feel taller. For furniture that touches the floor, take the opposite approach: A low-profile sofa or low-slung chair can make the living room look cozy while helping the area feel more spacious. 

16. FREE THE FLOOR

Is there anything more soothing than a completely clean, unencumbered floor? Having open space doesn’t just create the illusion of having space to spare; it also lets you visually breathe. Plus, it gives you room to roll out a yoga mat or pull up extra chairs when friends come over. Here are a few hacks to keep in mind for clearing up floor space:

  1. Foldable furniture: Unless you’re having a dinner party every night, opt for folding chairs and tuck them away in a closet.
  2. Wall-mounted furniture: Do away with a media console and hang your TV right on the wall. Invest in a sleek, wall-mounted desk or a Murphy bed.
  3. Rolling cabinets: Furniture on wheels is furniture that can be swiftly moved out of the way. 
  4. Hanging wall storage: Plants, mugs, mail, art supplies — if you can hang it, take advantage of all that available vertical storage area.
  5. Tapered legs: Mid-century modern is easy on the eyes for a reason — the pointed legs keep the floor less cluttered. “Floating” cabinets or cantilevered shelves are also great for this reason. 

(Source: @annexwoodworking via Instagram)

17. LEAN INTO UNSEEN SPACE-SAVING STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Scan your living space for any areas where clutter can be organized and tucked away — under your bed, in the broom closet, on top of your cabinets, you name it. Then, utilize those out-of-sight nooks to stash items you don’t use every day, from laundry supplies to out-of-season clothing. 

Pro Tip: Bins and baskets are your best friends when it comes to keeping things tidy.

18. REMIND YOURSELF: A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE 

Typically try on three outfits before going anywhere? It’s all too tempting to cast the unworn articles aside onto any nearby surface. But after a few times doing that in a small living space, the apartment starts to feel like a walk-in closet. The key to keeping clutter at bay is not only to clean as you go (no fun, we know) but to make it easy for yourself by ensuring that everything you own has a place where it belongs. Keys? On a hook by the door. Gym bag? Below the shoe rack.

(Source: Alina Vilchenko via Pexels)

19. DON’T FORGET TO INJECT YOUR PERSONALITY

As inspiring as those Ikea displays are, you don’t want to live in a sanitized showroom. Pristinely organized though it may be, an apartment devoid of personality will have a hard time feeling like home. To prevent living in a small space from feeling like shopping in a Container Store, make sure your functional pieces communicate your charisma. Think of something like a set of sheets you love, a wallpapered refrigerator, or a gallery wall of art from your friends. 

20. REDUCE, REUSE, AND

REPLACE

There’s nothing like cramped quarters to encourage you to embrace your inner minimalist. Though you’ll downsize before you move in, there’s no reason you can’t continue to reduce clutter and waste after you’ve settled in. And here’s the key: For anything new you bring into the apartment, make sure you take one thing out. 

(Source: Elijah Chen via Unsplash)

21. PUT EXPERIENCES ON YOUR GIFT LISTS

When you’re trying not to have too much stuff, gift-giving holidays can really throw a wrench in the plan. Be proactive about letting friends and family know that in the place of physical gifts, you’d love intangibles like concert tickets, a museum membership, weekend trip plans, or just time spent with them — you get the idea. If they must give you something you can hold, send out a list of items you could actually really use.  

If you’re used to filling a grocery cart to the brim every two weeks, you may want to shift that approach to fit with your new living-small lifestyle. Maybe you wander around the farmer’s market on Sundays, grab staples from the supermarket once a week, and run to the corner bodega after work when you need something specific. You’ll save space in the fridge, prevent food from spoiling, and give yourself an excuse to sample some of those great restaurants all over the city. 

23. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OFF-SITE STORAGE

Whether it’s storing chunky winter sweaters in the summer or stashing your bike through the winter, off-site storage is a smart way to free up some space in your apartment throughout the year. For the best experience, look for a storage unit company that will take the driving off your hands by bringing the unit to you and relocating it to a secure storage facility when you’re ready. 

Downsized, packed, and ready to go? All that’s left is to enjoy your cute new home and have fun living it up in the big city. Moving into a small apartment? Turns out it’s no big deal at all!


Sofia Rivera is a Boston-based lifestyle editor and frequent contributor to the PODS Blog. Her work has appeared in Boston magazine, Apartment Therapy, and more. You can most often find her redecorating her apartment, trying out a new recipe, or trekking all over the city.

16 small apartment living room ideas for stylish living

There’s no denying that decorating small spaces can feel like a daunting task, but there are so many stylish small apartment living room ideas out there that it shouldn’t feel like a mammoth task. Sure, you might have to get clever with layouts and pick furniture more carefully than if you had acres of square footage to play with, but really designing a small living room can be just as an enjoyable experience.

So whether you live in a studio apartment and looking for ways to make your living area feel separate and cozy, or want the living room in your small apartment to appear bigger and brighter, we have you covered with plenty of stylish small living room ideas. The best layouts, space-expanding color schemes, and strategically placed decor will all help you create a gorgeous living space that doesn’t feel limited by its smaller proportions. 

17 small apartment living room ideas

Not sure where to start with a small apartment living room? What furniture would suit the space? How much furniture should you buy? What colors will make a small living room feel bigger? What layouts are going to work? We could go on, but we answer all those questions, as well as provide lots of lovely living rooms that prove small can still be stylish.

1. Pare back your furniture 

(Image credit: Sebastian ERRAS, @sebastianerras)

If you are starting total from scratch in a space, choosing the perfect small living room furniture is a good place to start. As with most small spaces, the rule less is more usually applies. You don’t want your room to be crammed with furniture so go back to basics and focus on the key pieces of furniture your room needs to function as a practical living space. Seating and storage. These are essentially all you want to have in your living room. Keeping it simple with as few pieces of furniture as possible will stop the space feeling cluttered. 

2. Float furniture in the room 

(Image credit: Kristy Noble)

In small apartment living rooms, a clever layout can make all the difference. The right arrangement will keep the space feeling open and airy rather than boxy and cramped.

When it comes to small living room layouts, we have a tendency to want to push everything against the walls, leaving this empty sea of floor space in the center. In fact, all that layout does is make the room feel empty and uninteresting. Pull your furniture away from the walls, and give those bigger pieces room to breathe. Instead of using the walls as the room’s dimensions, throw down a large area rug and place, or partially place, your furniture on top of that. 

3. Improve sightlines to make your room feel bigger

(Image credit: Tollgard)

An easy way to make a small apartment living room feel larger is to ‘borrow’ space from your other rooms. And by that we mean keep your layout as open-plan as possible – larger open doorways or glazing instead of solids doors can work so well in small apartments to keep the flow between rooms effortless, plus it means light can easily flow around the space.

Interior designers Tollgard, who designed this apartment living room say, ‘We made the apartment (two adjoining apartments originally) as open-plan and connected as possible with sightlines through to shared spaces, using large sliding panels for doorways. The broken-plan apartment feels bigger because of the views into shared spaces and the minimal treatment of architectural features.’

4. Embrace minimalist practices

(Image credit: Future)

Minimalism is known for working wonders in small spaces. You want your living room to be as clutter-free as you can make it as clutter is only going to make the space feel smaller. So along with sticking with just key pieces of furniture, you want to be organized, and have plenty of closed storage options that you can hide away unsightly essentials like TV remotes, tech, toys, etc.  

See how in this lovely white living room, there’s not tons of decor or knick-knacks on show. Just a few curated pieces that add interest and personality but not unnecessary clutter.

5. Choose built-in storage

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Effective living room storage is key in a small space. Bookcases, cupboards, console tables, all these individual storage pieces will quickly fill up a small room, so opting for built-in storage that can do the job of all these individual pieces is a simple way to gain back some space.

‘When designing our clients living space we focus on storage requirements before deciding on the decorative finishes, never more important than in an apartment with confined space. Adding built in bespoke cabinetry will allow you to craft the space to suit your needs. It also means unsightly wires from tv’s and soundbars can be hidden, everything will have its place and it effectively becomes a new wall.’ explains Rob Lessmann, interior designer and founder of Design’d Living.

6. Layer lighting for a sophisticated scheme

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Having a good lighting scheme is particularly important in a small apartment living room as a well-lit space feels much bigger than a dark room with just a single light source. The best approach is to layer your living room lighting, you want to create an all-over glow. Incorporate lighting at different levels, so as well as an overhead source, have floor lamps in the corners, table lamps situated on console tables, or a side table. This way you’ll get multiple pools of light around the room.

‘Lighting is key and needs to work across the whole space. Many apartments have an open flow between the kitchen, dining and living areas which means that lighting needs to work in different ways.’ says Rob Lessmann. ‘Living areas or rooms need mood lighting for the evenings that can be dimmed if needed. Take lighting for reading, and if space allows, beautiful pendant or ceiling lighting. If light is at a premium, then LED lighting can help to illuminate the ceiling and any unique details within the space. LED lighting used under cabinetry or furniture can also help add to the ambiance.’

7. Use clever flooring to expand your space

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Flooring types might not be top of your list when it comes to your living room design decisions, but it can make all the difference helping ‘expand’ your, add texture and create a seamless flow if you are dealing with an open or broken plan space. 

‘Keep flooring consistent throughout the space and add warmth and depth with rugs. Wooden flooring in larger planks allows you to make the space look bigger.’ advises Rob. ‘And if you can, go for underfloor heating which keeps walls free from radiators and frees up much needed space. Using smart tech allows you to control everything from the heating to lighting and again, frees up space.’

8. Ground an open plan layout with large rugs

(Image credit: K&H Designs)

 A small square of rug floating in the center of your room is only going to make the space feel smaller and fussy. Rugs are also ideal for zoning apartment living rooms that are in an open-plan space as can be seen in this apartment designed by K&H Design. The living space feels separated from the dining room as the rug running underneath all the living room furniture almost acts like walls, making it feel more like it’s own room. 

Katie Glaister, Co-Founder of K&H Design explains, ‘When styling an open plan living room, it’s important to create zones and to have a central point where all the seating faces in to. Sourcing the right size rug for a living room is a simple way of achieving this and creates a subtle divide between the living and dining areas.’

9. Clear visual bulk with armless furniture 

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Ditch the arms on your sofas and chairs. You’d be surprised how much visual bulk it removes from the room and makes a space feel so much more open. See how in this small apartment living room, choosing a huge corner sofa but with an armless design doesn’t break up the space. The fact that it’s quite low-slung too means plenty of light can still flow around the room. 

And in the same vein as keeping furniture visually light, keep any accent pieces like console tables and side tables from cluttering the space by choosing delicate, slimline frames. The small living area in an open-plan apartment manages to squeeze in some extra surface space in the form of two thin-framed nesting tables, and yet they don’t block the light or appear to take up any floor space. 

10. Lose the legs too

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Where you can, wall mount your furniture. Floating pieces like sideboards and shelving free up the floor space underneath and tricks the eye, creating the allusion of a larger room. 

Here, a sideboard that originally sat on legs has been secured to the wall, adding plenty of storage and extra surface space for a very impressive home bar. But do you see what we mean about the floor being uninterrupted and how much of a difference that makes?

11.

Put oversized furniture in the right places

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

It’s tempting to fill a small apartment living room with small furniture for fear of overwhelming the room with large pieces. But sometimes you are best going big, one modular sofa is going to look less busy than a love seat and two armchairs. Plus, a sectional sofa is the ideal choice if your living area is part of an open plan space and they can be used as ‘walls’ to separate the space, making it feel cozier. Browse our shopping guide to the best sofas to find some versatile options.

Or, if your apartment is short on bedrooms, consider making your living space multifunctional by swapping your sofa for a sofa bed, that way you can still host overnight guests even if you don’t have a dedicated guest bedroom. Finding an option that’s comfortable enough for everyday sitting and guest bedding can be tricky, but we’ve narrowed down the options for you in our guide to the best sofa beds.

12. Decorate with a simple color scheme

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Generally speaking, the best colors for small living rooms are lighter hues – whites, pale greys, creams, beiges – all these shades are known for their space-expanding effects. So stick with those lighter colors on the walls, you want a foundation of lighter neutrals that you can then bring pops of color into. We’d stick to two or three accents colors as you can see in this fabulous living room, it’s enough to make the space feel bold and exciting but the oranges and blues don’t feel too busy. 

Also note how in this living room, the walls, ceilings, and woodwork are all painted in the same soft grey. A great tip for making rooms feel larger and loftier. 

13. Make use of awkward spaces with built-ins

(Image credit: Future)

In small living rooms you need to make the most of every square inch, so don’t waste awkward nooks and alcoves, put them to work, and build something into these spaces.  

For shallow alcoves the obvious choice is shelving or cabinetry, but if you have a larger space, why not create something like this design? In this open-plan apartment, a day bed has been added to a narrow corner of the room add a lovely place to perch, plus some extra storage underneath. 

14. Trick the eye with transparent pieces

(Image credit: Sigmar)

It’s the oldest interior design trick in the book, by adding glass, acrylic or lucite furniture to a small space visually takes up zero room but can add extra seating or storage. As light can travel straight through these translucent pieces they keep the space feeling open and airy but are functional too. 

See how in this apartment living room, your eye just travels straight over the glass coffee table. Ghost furniture means you have the potential to bring in more pieces too – the amount of furniture in this space would feel way too cluttered if it wasn’t for the transparent coffee table, but as that adds zero visual bulk, more seating can be added.

15. Hang mirrors to ‘expand’ a small space

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Another old hack, mirrors. Mirrors are a really simple way to make a small apartment living room feel bigger and brighter. They reflect more light around the room but they can also play the visual trick of alluding to more space, broadening the room and blurring the edges. We would recommend going as big as your room can handle and positioning it in a space it will easily bounce any natural light back into the room.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Avoid gallery walls in small apartment living rooms as they can feel cluttered in a small space and instead pick one large piece of statement art that will be the focal point, as well as a distraction from the room’s modest proportions. 

As Rob Lessmann advises, ‘Don’t forget the walls. Adding a feature wall with a unique polished plaster finish, wallpaper or great artwork will create a point of interest. The key is to make the space your own. Framed vintage magazine covers offer a great alternative to artwork and mixed with a monochrome palette create depth to the space.’ See how in this open plan living space the large dimensions of the artwork makes the space feel larger too. It also softens the wall dividing the two spaces so it feels less solid and imposing.

17. Add plenty of texture for a cozy feel

(Image credit: Rei Moon)

Sometimes with small rooms, the best approach is to embrace the small proportions and create a cozy den-like space filled with texture and eclectic pieces. Be inspired by this grey living room and pile up the cushions, throws and rugs to create a cocooning space. 

And this room also proves that darker colors can really work in small spaces, in fact, because this deep grey is taken over floors, walls, and ceiling the room appears bigger because the edges of the room aren’t clear. 

How do you decorate a small apartment living room?

Small apartment living rooms may lack square footage but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. As well as the design tricks and ideas above, there are plenty of simple ways to decorate your space so it feels like a reflection of your personal style, despite the size. 

Choose furniture carefully. More often than not, what works best is picking pieces that are in proportion to your room. However, sometimes choosing one large piece like a sectional sofa or coffee table can make the room feel less cluttered and fussy. We’d recommend drawing up a floor plan to help you plan out furniture and layouts. 

When it comes to colors, you can play it safe with lighter shades as these are tried and tested small apartment living room colors. Or you could go the opposite way and create a moody, cocooning space with darker colors, these deep shades can have just as much of a space expanded effect as lighter ones. And think about finishes too – a semi-gloss finish will reflect more light around the room.

And with decor, keep it simple. Less is more here, so pick a few pieces that aren’t going to add too much visual clutter but will add some personal style and interest to the room.  

Expanding the “horizons” of a small house: 10 ideas for organizing space

Ideas for the home: improvisations in space

The phrase that there should be many good people is easy to criticize. But the fact that a good person should have a lot of space is beyond any doubt.

Large apartment is the dream of each of us. But not always the size of the living space allows you to arrange your favorite furniture the way you want. So, we will organize the space in order to at least visually increase the volume of your house!

To achieve this, there are many tricks to create an interior. WomanJournal.ru declares a fight against tightness and reveals the secrets of the rational organization of space. Pushing the walls and expanding the horizons!

Organize the space in the house with a single color

Unite the walls and ceiling of the living room and kitchen with a common color scheme. In this case, there is no need to paint everything in one color – there will be enough differences in shades based on the overall tone.

Doors in a small house play the role of additional obstacles: if they are removed, there will be more space, at worst, you can put a revolving door – this option will save space exactly twice.

Organization of space in the house with a light palette of colors

In small rooms, it is better to use light palettes, both in the design of the walls and in the color scheme of the furniture. By the way, if you pick up furniture in the color of the walls (albeit a shade darker), this will slightly push the room apart.

Colors that expand the space of the house:

  • white
  • beige, cream
  • light blue
  • light orange
  • blue green
  • light pink

Colors that narrow the space:

  • red
  • black
  • bright orange
  • dark blue
  • brown
  • violet

Organization of the space in the house due to the “magic” walls

What and how to hang on the wall to increase the space? Anything! Just not in any way. Photos, paintings, collages should not be placed strictly in the center of the wall. To make it seem more space, hang the picture a little obliquely from the center. By the way, long vertical paintings or photos visually “raise” the ceiling. And if there are no elongated images, hang two or three photos strictly on top of each other.

Walls hung with various accessories will make a small room look like a shaman’s dwelling, draped in amulets from evil forces. Clean light walls and a few artistically hung photos – voila! – and there is a lot of air in the room.

Organization of the space in the house with mirrors

Mirrors, hung correctly, can increase the room by almost half. Mirrored doors, mirrors in photo frames, shiny reflective surfaces of furniture – all this will create the feeling that the room continues somewhere out there, in the world behind the looking glass.

A mirror wall or one huge mirror can be a beautiful solution for organizing space. But at the same time, the cold reflections will need to be softened either with soft fabric drapery or an aged frame.

Another option is to decorate the wall with mirrors of different and, preferably, unusual shapes. Who knows, maybe this home idea will be the start of your extravagant mirror collection.

Organization of space in the house with an open window

The more light, the more air and space. Therefore, you should not hang heavy, albeit beautiful curtains that close the window almost half. Light curtains that drape only part of the wall around the window will expand the space.

When choosing curtains, consider their color and texture. Light colors “let in” the air. A vertical pattern visually raises the ceiling.

Organization of space in the house through lighting

Sometimes the right lighting is half the battle in working on the right organization of space in the interior. What should be the light?

First, functional. Each separate place in the room needs its own light source. Hanging lamps, located next to the mirror surfaces, will find additional spatial outlets in the room. A well-lit ceiling will make it look taller. Light that is directed to the lower corners of the room will add space.

Organization of space in the house due to the texture of materials

The texture of walls and furniture can create a certain optical effect. Horizontal stripes make the room wider, but “lower” the ceiling. Vertical – pull the room up, but narrow it.

Large patterns on the wallpaper can make a room smaller, while a small ornament, on the contrary, will make it bigger.

A border placed under the ceiling is not the best option for a small room. But if you show imagination and glue one wall in the living room with wallpaper with a larger pattern than on the others, the space will move apart.

Organization of the living room space

Avoid large, imposing furniture. Huge sofas with ottomans and armchairs on the sides, wall cabinets and chests of drawers take up a lot of space and make the space around you heavier. Choose open shelves, folding sofas, furniture that can be folded and moved. A table on wheels will be an excellent solution to the eternal problem – how to seat guests. As an option, a reclining table that can be attached to … a wall.

Heavy, powerful wood should be replaced with glass, metal and plastic surfaces. They visually enlarge the space.

Bedroom organization

The bedroom can be made wider and more spacious with home ideas from bed designers. The simplest option is a futon: a bed that folds in half with a slight movement and turns into a sofa.

The bed can be removed during the day. It was to save space that they made a bed built into the closet. Part of the closet performs its usual functions of storing things, and the bed rises to the other part. The door slams shut – and now at least dance in the bedroom!

Cozy bunk beds are still ideal for a child’s room. The “adult” analogue of such a bed is a bed below, and a mezzanine on top.

Organization of the kitchen space

Organization of the space of a tiny kitchen is a seemingly hopeless task. But it can be expanded by combining the kitchen with an entrance hall or an adjoining room. For this, it is not necessary to demolish the walls. Use a simple but effective solution: paint the wall of the kitchen and hallway in the same color. Due to the common range, it will seem that this is a single space.

Colors for walls and furniture should be chosen not flashy, bright. It will be beautiful if you add a few bright accents: a colorful teapot, unusual photos on the walls, hung asymmetrically, a brightly colored vase.

To organize the space of one of the most important, but, alas, not the largest place in your apartment, choose transparent plastic furniture – it looks much “airier” than wooden counterparts. And if in the living room almost country chairs look defiant, then for a small kitchen this is a great option.

Business ideas for a small town 🏘

How to choose an idea for a small town?

The word “business” often brings up a certain image in my head: a respectable man in a business suit is leaving the office of an international corporation. At the same time, the office is certainly located somewhere in a skyscraper in the very center of the metropolis.

However, we all know that businessmen can look like anything, and business has a place not only in millionaires, but also in small towns. And you can conduct your business in the regional center no less successfully than in Moscow.

It is only necessary to take into account some features of small towns. If you are just about to open your own business in one of these localities and are looking for a business idea for it, this article is for you.

A bit about small towns

When opening a business in a small town, it is important to take into account its peculiarities. As a rule, they are about the same, regardless of whether it is a resort town in the south or a small northern settlement.

There is no consensus on which city to consider small. As a rule, small towns include those where the population does not exceed 50 thousand people. But businessmen often call cities with a population of 500 thousand people small.

The main thing that makes it possible to classify cities as small is the state and features of the economy. What are they?

The first thing you should pay attention to is the welfare of the residents. In small towns, as a rule, there is little work, often a large proportion of residents work at one city-forming enterprise. This allows business owners to set small wages. Therefore, the incomes of the population in such towns are often low. Although, of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

The second important factor is the mentality of the inhabitants of the city.

Olga Kosets

President of the Interregional Public Organization for the Protection and Support of Small and Medium Business “Business People”

Take into account the specifics of the population, namely the qualitative composition: military, workers, people of science, as well as age categories.

Businesses in tourist areas can be made tourist-oriented, although in this case you will have to put up with its seasonality. But in cities where they do not suffer from the influx of tourists, it is better not to open extravagant establishments.

Another feature of small towns is the labor market. As mentioned above, it is usually rather poorly developed. At the same time, highly qualified specialists, as professionals in very narrow industries, are very difficult to find in a small city. Therefore, an enterprise that requires a large number of rare and valuable personnel should not be opened in a small town.

Also in small towns, there may be such a thing as a shortage of basic goods. For example, popular brands of inexpensive clothing are not represented, or there is only one supermarket with budget products for the whole city. Therefore, it is in a small town that the idea of ​​​​opening another clothing store or another grocery store may turn out to be successful.

And of course, one more feature of a small town cannot be written off – everyone knows everything about everyone, and rumors spread at the speed of light. Including about institutions. On the one hand, this can help businesses save on advertising: word of mouth will do all the work. On the other hand, if you fail to “show class” immediately after opening a business, you risk never winning your customers.

All these characteristic features of small towns influence the development of business in them. And both positive and negative. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of doing business in a small town.

Peculiarities of doing business in a small town

Perhaps we should start right away with the pitfalls of a small town for business. Let’s talk about the cons:

Small incomes

Since your potential customers earn little and are ready to spend accordingly, you can hardly count on a million dollar profit. Assess the situation soberly.

Limited growth opportunities

If in a big city you have practically no limits for the development of your business, provided that the idea for it is chosen correctly, then in a small city everything is different. The number of your customers will increase only up to a certain point, after which the growth in demand will stop. This point should be taken into account in advance and lay in your business opportunities for scaling. When new buyers stop appearing, it is worth trying to open your branch in the suburbs or take up the development of some related business. You can also try to invest in a completely new project, if in the course of work you see that there are more promising niches. But it is not always worth focusing on increasing the average check. Remember: residents’ incomes are often low.

Narrow market

In a small city, there are not many opportunities to implement some extraordinary ideas. They may simply be unclaimed. At the same time, the market capacity is also limited for standard establishments. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, you can safely open another pizzeria, even if there are already a hundred exactly the same ones. In a small town, there may not be customers for the next establishment.

However, the peculiarities of small towns give new businessmen some advantages:

Low market entry threshold

Starting a business in a small town is cheaper than in a big city. Rents for commercial real estate in the province are lower than in millionaires, as well as staff salaries. Thanks to these points, the regular expenses of your business will be lower.

Favorable competitive environment

Small businesses in small towns are usually underdeveloped, and you will most likely have few competitors. In addition, many potentially demanded business niches turn out to be completely empty. At the same time, it will not be difficult to find such niches, says Ivan Plastun, co-owner of the online cargo transportation service: “In a small city, it is much easier to do this, because you can bypass all companies and outlets on your own.”

Support

This feature is somewhat related to the previous point. Since private business is underdeveloped in small towns, the authorities are willing to make efforts to change the situation. There are support programs for entrepreneurs, for example, for issuing grants for opening or providing subsidies, as well as special institutions that help start their own business – business incubators, business accelerators. True, the attitude of entrepreneurs towards them is ambiguous.

Olga Kosets from the Business People organization advises to study support programs and get to know the employees of the relevant departments:

Olga Kosets from the Business People organization advises to study support programs and get to know the employees of the relevant departments live: “Their direct duty is to refer you in the right direction.

But Anatoly Churgel from the Russian National Committee for Black Sea Economic Cooperation warns: “It is not worth turning to local structures for advice – ideas will be grabbed on the fly.”

In his opinion, it is better to start not with a large-scale business project, but with something that requires small investments. Subsequently, they can be multiplied, and at the same time gain business experience, look at the problems of entrepreneurs from the inside. You can also refer to the experience of acquaintances: which of them resorted to the help of local authorities when starting a business? What result did this lead to?

In the case of doing business in small towns, there are also several controversial points that can be turned both to the benefit of one’s business and to the detriment.

This is primarily word of mouth, which was mentioned above. Rumor can both help you save on advertising and ruin your business in the bud, especially if there were some shortcomings at the start of the business.

In addition, the number of consumers in a small town is limited, which, on the one hand, “cuts” your opportunities. On the other hand, when there are few customers, they are all in sight, and it is much easier to study their preferences than in a metropolis.

How to choose a business idea for a small town?

Having become familiar with the peculiarities of small towns and entrepreneurship in them, it will be much easier to choose your business idea. True, the criteria for choosing a business idea for a small town are absolutely the same as for a big one, insists Ivan Plastun, co-founder of the Lucky Everyone service. In both cases, it must have a certain novelty. This does not mean that your business should offer something that no one has ever heard of before. On the contrary, it should be understandable to consumers. But you should not completely copy other people’s business ideas.

If your competitor has already opened Tire Service on Vishnevaya, do not open another one, advises Olga Kosets. It is better to supplement it with Moyka or a small cafe, or both. It is likely that such a format will grow in the future, and in symbiosis you are more crisis-resistant, and you have more chances for survival and success.

Another criterion for a successful business idea for both small and large cities is its demand among a wide range of potential consumers. Ideally, your business should solve some kind of massive problem that torments the majority of the city’s residents.

But what this problem is, in each case, you have to solve it individually. There is no single universal answer for the average small town.

Look around before you start looking for a business idea. Perhaps you will immediately see that your city lacks, for example, inexpensive entertainment venues.

Take a closer look at potential customers. This should not be some narrow group of the population, but the vast majority of the inhabitants of the city. Who are these people? What are their interests? What do they need?

If you have noticed some need of the population, on the satisfaction of which you can make a business, conduct benchmarking*.

*Benchmarking – finding the best companies in a particular industry and implementing the solutions they use in their practice.

Dmitry Kobets

Group-inform business consultant

See how similar demand is met in other cities. If stories and examples are repeated often, you will surely identify a viable option.

In a small town, it makes sense to think about a business based on some kind of consumer goods.

Victor Erofeev

Technical Director of CG Projects Group

The lion’s share of successful small businesses around use products and needs that have not changed in any way for almost a century.

Grocery, hardware, construction, clothing stores, small vegetable stalls, farm shops, mobile mobile shops with a set of essential goods may be in demand.

The same applies to the service market. In small towns, standard options such as laundries, dry cleaners, ateliers, shoe and clothing repair, and car repair shops may be in demand.

Olga Kosets

President of the Interregional Public Organization for the Protection and Support of Small and Medium Business “Business People”

I recommend paying attention to the demand in the development of services for parents and children – these are private kindergartens, entertainment and educational institutions, circles and sports sections.

When looking for a business idea, try to start from the peculiarities of the labor market. Few highly qualified lawyers or programmers? Give up on the idea of ​​launching your own website or opening a legal services agency. Instead, try focusing on things people can do with their hands, such as fixing phones, computers, motorcycles, or cars. If there are enough personnel with such competencies, open a service center or service station. Such a business may also be in demand in a small town.

Your business idea can be either very simple or have some “chips”. For example, if you’re thinking about opening a farm products store, try developing an online store and arranging delivery. This will immediately set you apart from your competitors, and at the same time will provide additional opportunities for business scaling, which are so necessary in a small city.

If you decide to open a business in a small tourist town, this can also be used to your advantage. Look at the cozy private shops, workshops and family businesses of old Europe. You can open something similar in your city by making your small business a local attraction.

Another coup for a tourist spot is to pay attention to local traditions and crafts. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to open another store with souvenirs. Try organizing traditional entertainment, such as falconry or fishing tourism, Anatoly Churgel advises.

So, small towns have certain specifics that also affect the conditions for doing business in them. Not every institution can be opened in a small town. When choosing an idea for a business in a small town, consider the economy, the living conditions of the population and its mentality.