11 ideas for the design of small apartments + photos

8 min

Everyone wants to live in a cozy, pretty apartment, where everything is tastefully done, and all items are in harmony with each other, creating together a single stylish space. And if this is not so difficult to do in spacious apartments, then you will have to work hard with miniature ones. Designers unanimously declare that the smaller the apartment, the more difficult it is to equip it correctly, and literally every millimeter is taken into account when drawing up projects and plans, because you need to arrange all the zones necessary for life, not forgetting about storage places, decorations and other elements.

Small apartments are now not such a rarity, so there are already many successful examples, a lot of useful tips have been accumulated that everyone can use if they wish.

# 1. Prioritize light colors

White color and all light colors can work a real miracle, expanding even the smallest space. Try not to use dark and saturated shades, which will only emphasize the main disadvantage of the apartment – the lack of free space. You can use both cold and warm shades: the former are ideal in sunny apartments, the latter will be appropriate in those rooms that face north.

design of small apartments color

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Light shades perfectly reflect light, so the apartment will appear visually more spacious in any lighting. But in an effort to make the room as bright as possible, it is important not to overdo it, and not turn it into a surgical ward, otherwise the room will lose coziness and a sense of home comfort. Therefore, all pastel shades, monochrome, and the use of bright details are welcome. One of the walls can be painted in a different shade, put a bright sofa or hang a noticeable picture, because this can distract the attention of incoming people from the lack of free space.

# 2. Unity of finishing

Adjacent spaces in a small apartment are best done in the same style, so that the feeling of a larger space is created due to the visual connection of adjacent rooms. The first thing you need to pay attention to is the flooring: it is ideal if in rooms, hallways and other spaces it would be either the same or very similar in color. The same applies to the decoration of the walls: the more they look alike, the better.

design of small apartments finishing

A good reception is the absence of doors: in place of doorways, you can create arches, additionally highlight them, in extreme cases, put sliding doors, and when possible, keep them open. This way, the room will receive light from neighboring rooms, and in general it will seem somewhat larger than it actually is.

design of small apartments finishing 2

No. 3. Making the ceiling higher

Low ceilings are a problem in many rooms. You can solve this problem if you use some tricks when decorating the room: try to highlight the ceiling with a lighter color than the walls, even if by one tone. It’s easy to do, but the effect will be amazing.

But there are other ways to make the ceiling look a little higher. So, a vertical strip is used, which can decorate one of the walls, correct lighting, as well as reflective surfaces. If the ceiling is glossy stretch or mirrored, then the space of the room will be reflected in it, which means that it will be difficult to immediately determine where the walls end and the ceiling begins, and this plays into the hands of the owners of small apartments. In addition, being in such, albeit visually, but higher room, will be much more comfortable.

design of small apartments ceiling

No. 4. Lighting

Lighting plays one of the key roles in the perception of space: it is important that all areas of the room, every corner, are sufficiently light. Otherwise, all dark places will emphasize the boundaries of the room, making it smaller than it is. It is also not necessary to overdo it with lighting, so that the room does not look too formal and uncomfortable.

small apartment design lighting

Instead of a large chandelier, it is better to use a flat shade, under which several bulbs can hide: this way there will be enough light, but it will be possible to save useful space. The ideal option is spot lighting around the entire perimeter of the room. By the way, it is often combined with glossy stretch ceilings, which reflect light and make the room brighter and larger. In any case, spot lighting provides optimal light for the room.

design of small apartments lighting 2

Do not forget that each area in the room of a small apartment needs its own lighting: in the living room, for example, in addition to general lighting, lamps are also needed near the recreation area, near the work area, above the paintings or the TV. The same goes for the bedroom, hallway, kitchen, bathroom and other rooms.

small apartment design lighting 3

No. 5. Space zoning

Probably the most ideal option for a small apartment is to dismantle some partitions in it and combine several rooms. So, studio apartments have become not at all an outlandish phenomenon, but a completely normal practice, which is being used more and more often. Combining the living room, kitchen and hallway is very functional, and the absence of walls between them makes the space much larger than it actually is.

Special attention should be paid to zoning in a small apartment, because there should not be rough boundaries between different parts of the room. Everything needs to be arranged so that it is clear where the line lies between the kitchen and the living room, but at the same time try to do it so as not to clutter up the room. That is why you can use pieces of furniture, light screens, bar counters, glass partitions, etc. for zoning. You can even separate the living room with a rug, lighting or a podium.

No. 6. Minimalism in everything

Probably everyone understands that there should not be a lot of pieces of furniture in a small space, they should all perform a clearly intended function, or even better, combine several functions. Discard everything superfluous, and try to place in each room exactly the furniture that is really needed there.

design of small apartments minimalism

For small apartments, the ideal interior style is minimalism, hi-tech and modern. All objects should have clear laconic forms, be as simple as possible, without pretentious details. It’s good if you manage to combine several functions in one item, and there are a lot of such furniture now. Sofas that can turn into beds and still have ample storage space are no longer surprising. You can also pay attention to modern solutions: tables that slide out of the wall, an ironing board, which is compactly hidden in the closet, etc.

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Minimalism must also be observed in jewelry. Without accessories, the apartment will seem uncomfortable, but you should not overdo it. It is better to remove the abundance of souvenirs and other trifles from shelves and other surfaces, as well as huge carpets and other voluminous decorations. It is better to limit yourself to a few accessories, preferably in the same style, so that they really become an ornament, a feature of your apartment. Of course, you can use small artificial and live plants, paintings, photographs, candles, interesting figurines, vases, bright textiles, etc. Please note that it is better to hang one large picture or photograph than several small ones: many small things make your eyes scatter, and one bright noticeable spot attracts attention, distracting from everything else.
design of small apartments minimalism 2

No. 7. No massive curtains

In small apartments, as a rule, there are not enough windows, so you should try to make the most of natural light. And to do this, give up massive heavy curtains that only conceal the room, make it darker and cramped. Today, Roman and roller blinds are gaining popularity, which combine all the advantages of blinds and conventional curtains. They are easy to use, they can be easily raised completely, freeing up the window opening 100%, and just as easily lowered, plunging the room into darkness. With all this, such curtains take up a minimum of space in the window opening and become a stylish interior decoration.

small apartment design curtains

No. 8. Changing rooms

If a small apartment has several rooms, then some can be combined. But if this option is not for you, then try one little trick.

How is the largest room used in your apartment? Most likely, it is reserved for the living room, and this is a very frequent and, in most cases, the right decision. But if you rarely get together with the whole family in the living room, and are forced to huddle in very small private rooms, then why not change the functions of the premises in places. You can move your bedroom into the most spacious room of all, and there you can equip yourself an office, a sports corner or a place for creativity. This can be done thanks to all the same zoning methods, using a podium, etc.

By the way, the use of podiums in the interior is a very interesting solution. Not only does such a space look original, but it also acquires additional functionality, because under this podium you can organize additional storage space.

the design of small apartments is swapped

No. 9. Proper storage

The French and Italians have already become real masters in arranging storage places in small apartments. In their practice, creating them in the most unexpected places: above the bed, in the toilet, above the sofa in the living room. Thanks to this, useful things, souvenirs and other items can be stored without using such valuable square meters.

small apartment design storage

An integrated storage system is another way to save usable space in an apartment, and you can build drawers, shelves and cabinets anywhere, combining functions for different items. Each room needs to have its own storage system, and there is no single way, but still try to make the most of the corner space. It is better to choose a sliding wardrobe with a mirror or reflective surface in order to more than compensate for the space that has gone under the storage system itself.

In many apartments, incl. small, all furniture is located along the walls, but the space can also be used vertically, equipping shelves and cabinets under the very ceiling.

small apartment design storage 2

No. 10. Mirror and glass surfaces

A mirror can work wonders even in the smallest apartments. If it is placed correctly, and it occupies a substantial area on the wall, then the feeling of additional space can be created, as if there is another room behind the mirror. And the rays of light are also reflected in the mirrored surfaces, making the room much brighter. You can use an ordinary mirror, sharpen it in a frame, you can hang small mirrors on the walls, or you can use mirror surfaces on pieces of furniture.

design of small apartments mirror

An excellent way out for small apartments is transparent furniture: glass or plastic. Due to the fact that you can see everything that is hidden behind it, the space is not cluttered, and the functionality is maintained at a sufficient level. Use a transparent kitchen table, coffee table, chairs, partitions, doors, etc.

design of small apartments mirror 2

No. 11. Wallpaper

Wall mural is another effective way to expand the space, and it works flawlessly in any room. It is better to choose pictures with a clear perspective, landscapes, stretching streets, etc., in general, try to deceive your perception. You can glue wallpaper on the entire wall in one of the rooms, you can highlight them a little, but the greatest realism and amazing effect can be achieved if you duplicate some object depicted on the wall with a real one in the room, for example, a flowerpot, a table, flowers, etc.
design of small apartments photomurals


The ideal recipe for small apartments is a minimum of multifunctional furniture, a maximum of mirrors and good lighting. At the same time, preference is given to light colors in the design of the walls, floor and ceiling and the unity of decoration in the adjacent rooms. Minimalism in furniture and accessories and following the above tips will allow you to transform even the smallest apartment beyond recognition.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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