Can you give me tips on how to love living in a small apartment? I had a very large home and decided to down-size so I could travel more. I sold the house and opted for an apartment. What I didn’t consider was my love for grand scale pieces and how stuffy it would feel because I didn’t want to get rid of all of my furniture – only some. I really enjoy traveling more often but I want to love my little place as much as I once loved my big house. What advice can you offer?
– Regards, Ebony Jones
Congratulations on traveling more often! That must be exciting! To answer your question – How to Love Living in a Small Apartment – yes! I do have some really wonderful advice! I think that the most important things are to firstly be proud of yourself for making that move! It’s definitely not an easy one since down-sizing isn’t a simple task but we really should give ourselves a little more credit where credit is due. You aren’t thinking Keeping up with the Jonses, you’re thinking of Ebony Jones! That deserves a round of applause!
Since we are on the topic of thinking of Miss Ebony, the next thing I want you to do is accept that you no longer have a big house but what you consider a small apartment (in comparison to that house). You know you don’t have the same square footage, you know you don’t have the space you had to house all of those pieces, so accepting that fact is very important.
What to do next? Check into your new place. What I mean by that is to plan – and decide – to make the most of it by accepting that things have changed. Change is one of the hardest things we deal with but having a good sounding board to bounce things off of can make loving that little apartment much easier!
Here are some additional things I would suggest you do:
- De-clutter – Get rid of things you don’t need. You’ve opted to switch from a large space to a small space so keeping only what is necessary is important. Get rid of the clutter and reclaim that extra space!
- Get the right sized furniture – We get used to big tables, big sofas and bigger beds than we need. The time for that is over. Let’s think of what we (you) need. You need your apartment to feel bigger, better, spacious and usable, right? Getting the right size pieces makes a really big difference! We will cover more when it comes to color.
- Clear your wall space – Don’t hang too many small pieces and don’t create a gallery in your apartment, in every room’s walls nor its hallway(s). Why? Because you want to see wall-space and you want it to feel bigger. If you want to hang any art, make sure they are light, the right scale or one large piece that doesn’t take over the entire room with color.
- Be careful with color – Some spaces look wonderful with lots of color. If you want to make a statement, great but make sure it works for you – mentally and emotionally. Make sure it helps you feel better and sleep better when you are home, not the opposite. Being that it’s an apartment, you may not have the freedom to paint walls but honestly, take the time to ask about the rules and if you can paint, be ready to prime and repaint if you ever have to move. *Regarding furniture, lets just say that the furniture itself should be lighter in scale and appearance if you want to really make the rooms look bigger.
- Don’t opt for heavy window coverings – Where you may have had heavy window coverings for privacy before ,in a small apartment you may decide to go with lighter window coverings – in fabric, color and texture. Full, sheer draperies in softer colors to brighten up the space can make a big difference on the way a room feels.
- Consider lighting – One of the things we often overlook is proper lighting. Big house, small house, mansion, apartment – it’s all the same. If you can add lighting via lamps on end tables, nightstands or floor lamps, maximize your lighting. Go with LED bulbs with a higher lumens to really brighten up spaces where you really need to see things better than you do now but don’t forget to keep the lumens low on lamps near the bed or in the living room so that they can help you wind down at the end of the day.
- Make it pretty – There’s nothing like walking into your apartment and being met with pretty things you love. Make your bedroom a haven, make your living room a place to sit and relax, make your eating area simple yet functional.
Last words: Classy isn’t always found in expensive, over-sized pieces. It’s about scale and proportion, the layout, the color, the shapes, the lighting and your subjective personal style. Once you get one room done, you may find yourself wondering why you didn’t start sooner. Be okay with laughing with yourself and friends over small pieces you may have never considered before. Or a style you may have never considered because your perception of a great space was different. Now you don’t have a castle that takes seven days to clean but you do have less hassle to deal with, they are less taxing on your bank account, the ability to make a room feel fresh, lite and airy, and the freedom to love living in your little apartment because it doesn’t feel so little anymore.