As the demand for housing continues to rise, developers and landlords are trying to satisfy the market by offering smaller apartments that allow more tenants per property. As of 2023, the average apartment in the US was about 900 square feet. This represents a shrinkage of around 50 square feet compared to the median apartment size a decade ago. Now, while smaller apartments benefit from housing more people, they also mean significantly more compact living spaces. Thankfully, tiny can still mean mighty in your home’s style and substance. If you’re living in a modest apartment, here are a few ways to elevate it.


Get yourself a versatile couch

It is best to have a dedicated lounging area to work or hang out, regardless of your apartment size. This way, your bedroom can be a sacred space for sleep and relaxation. In a smaller apartment, the key to making the most of a compact living room is via a versatile couch. Rather than getting separate pieces you need to work around, opt for one that will adapt to your needs. Given their modular design, an L-shaped sectional could do the trick. As seen in models like the Bonaterra and the Emery on retailer Living Spaces, L-shaped sofas can come in smaller sizes, perfect for limited-space homes. More importantly, because they comprise movable sections, like an ottoman, chaise, and armchairs, you can reconfigure them to be one long sofa, separate seating solutions, or even a makeshift bed. With a couch like this, you can use your living room for more activities without adding too many extra elements that eat up space and cause clutter.

Add an accent wall

Small doesn’t necessarily mean you’re forced to adopt a minimalist style. Instead, it’s all about more mindful placement. To still add personality to your apartment, try adding an accent wall. This way, you don’t need to worry about using precious floor space. Since many apartments are often in the middle of concrete jungles, try creating a vertical urban garden. As seen in the plant wall by Coffee Home Bea, adding greenery in a space helps add a sense of calm while providing great pops of color. In a small home, these touches of nature can even help prevent the space from feeling too claustrophobic and sterile. Depending on the layout of your apartment, an accent wall can even double as a privacy screen or as a divider to add more flow and security. Just remember to choose plants that don’t grow as quickly, like Bird’s Nest Fern, so they don’t overwhelm your apartment.

Choose the right lighting

Lastly, be mindful of your lighting. For starters, go with a softer light. Anything harsh, like white or blue light, will create too much glare and emphasize the limited space. Comparatively, warmer lights add just enough soft shadow that there is almost an illusion of the walls extending farther than they do. Aside from this, lighting can also double as decor. For instance, beautiful lamps like the BLÅSVERK from IKEA can give a room a modern mid-century vibe while illuminating it with your preferred light temperature.

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