Minimalism is becoming increasingly popular, and more and more people are making the choice to move into micro apartments.

However, design can be a challenge, and it can often be difficult to figure out how to decorate a compact apartment.  How, after all, can you merge a living room, bedroom and kitchen in one micro apartment?

How do you ensure that you not only have all you need, but space to breathe too?  Planning how to design and decorate a small apartment will be well worth the effort in order to create a space you will enjoy.

There are some easy tips which will keep your small space enjoyable.

Venice-Micro-Apartment-by-Vertebrae-Architecture Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Vertebrae Architecture

If you have a micro apartment, choose small pieces of furniture. Bulky pieces will overwhelm your space but when you use small pieces your space will appear bigger.

Keep your small space clean. A small space can appear messy or untidy very easily.

Micro apartments look best when they are uncluttered. By keeping what you need and having a place for all that you own, you’ll keep your apartment neat and tidy.

Plan your storage carefully. Micro spaces often lack storage for all the books, electronic equipment, clothing or work related equipment you need to carry out your daily tasks.  By using modular furniture, you can design your furniture to fit your space, giving you all the storage you need.  A bed headboard, for example, can be designed to store books or electronic devices, and a corner space can be used for a desk or office space.

Compact apartments will benefit from furniture which takes on a dual role. An ottoman which serves as a foot rest, coffee table and storage space makes a great choice.  Likewise, you could look for a sleeper couch and side tables which also offer storage space.

Venice-Micro-Apartment-by-Vertebrae-Architecture-2 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Vertebrae Architecture

Micro apartment furniture is often best when it stands off the floor. Chests or couches with legs give a lighter, airier feel than furniture which stands upon the floor.

In compact apartments, remember that vertical space can add dimension to your home. By using wall space as storage and making use of any height you have, you’ll make your room feel both larger and less cluttered.

When living in micro studio apartments, it is helpful to map out how you use your space. Jot down where you eat work, read magazines or watch movies.  Then look at installing storage space in these areas so you can keep all you need close at hand while simultaneously avoiding clutter.

Enjoy the feeling of small space, where your room is cosy and intimate but well organized.

Invest in furniture which keeps your possessions in one place. A couple of large items like tall bookshelves will help to create a feeling of coherence.  This will prevent your belongings from feeling scattered or cluttered.

Look for bookshelves with a glass front. This helps your micro apartment to feel well organized and tidy without feeling heavy.

If you already own a lot of furniture, it could be helpful to create a floor plan where you can explore the most effective ways to arrange your furniture.

Arrange your furniture so that it looks welcoming when you walk into your micro apartment. When you walk in, you wouldn’t want to see the back of a large bookshelf or wires hanging from electronic devices.  A welcoming, friendly space will help you to feel at home.

When painting your compact apartment, don’t be scared to use color. Although white can be bright and clean, an attractive color, when combined with your furniture, can give an attractive and coherent look to your space.

Micro-apartment-by-AllenKillcoyne-Architects Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Allen+Killcoyne Architects

When furnishing micro studio apartments, it helps to start slowly. Start by purchasing your most vital piece of furniture, such as your sleeper couch.  See how your apartment feels and what would most benefit you as a second step.  You can build up slowly from here.

Focus on how you use the space in your micro studio apartment. This will help you to see the furniture options which are best for you.  For example, if you spend a lot of time working or sitting at a table, a comfortable chair would make a great investment.  However, if you spend a great deal of time on the couch, you could use your coffee table and some comfortable cushions for eating instead of creating a separate dining area.

Don’t make any purchases before you move into a small efficiency apartment. You often won’t realize how little you will actually need, and how the space constraints will limit what you can actually accommodate in such a small space. Buying before you move often results in surplus items that you will have no use for when it comes down to it.

Micro-apartment-by-AllenKillcoyne-Architects-2 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Allen+Killcoyne Architects

If you’ve chosen furniture which can suit multiple purposes, it is often helpful to move it around to suit different purposes. Two side tables which combine as a coffee table can be moved together when you need them combined, and then kept apart when you would prefer some extra floor space.  Select furniture which is not too heavy and easy to move.

In a minimalist apartment, it will help you to de-clutter your space. Micro-apartments are so small that if you don’t use any of your possessions, it will help to donate them or put them in storage.  Only keep items you love or use on a regular basis.

In micro spaces, a storage bed is often a great investment. With a storage bed, you can keep many of your items close at hand.  This will save you from investing in a dresser.

For a peaceful space, keep your look monochromatic. When your furniture blends into floors or walls, your space will appear to be bigger.

Compact apartments often benefit from art or wall hangings which add interest. This will make your home feel personal.  Art in a color such as blue (which recedes into the distance, will make your home feel bigger.  Adding mirrors to your walls will give the illusion of extra space.

Compact apartments can feel cluttered very easily. Unless you are starting from scratch, try to take out something old for every new item you bring in.  This will keep your space clear.

Design your micro apartment for yourself, without worrying about what you will do when guests come over. Any extra chairs, stools and loungers will provide space for guests.

In a compact apartment, clear furniture will make your space look much larger.

Mirrors which reflect windows or an attractive view will add light and give the illusion of extra space.

Use lots of lamps to keep your space bright, cosy and atmospheric.

If you have dark floors, it often helps to paint your micro-apartment walls a light shade. This will give the illusion of space.

Plan your closets well so that you know where all of your possessions are and how they are ordered. Great storage will keep what you need easily accessible, and you can always close the door of your closet to keep your living space feeling clear and clutter free.

Try to use your wall space rather than floor space. Floating shelves beat small shelving units, and hanging your art or mirrors will have more of an impact than standing them against a wall.

Go organic

Your micro apartment’s design will most likely be very boxy.  Adding curves or flowing lines will create a fun, organic feel.

Drape it

A great way to add height to a micro apartment is to play on height.  Using long drapes will show of the height of your space, making your room seem bigger.

Stick to light colors and hang your curtains from floor to ceiling for maximum impact.  Drapes are an effective way to show off your windows, but you can hang them on a bare wall too for added drama.

Layer it

Add depth to your micro apartment by adding multiple layers in single colors and a variety of different textures.  This will make your small home appear bigger.

Your bed is a particularly good area to add layers.  From soft fleece to velvety throws, the largest piece of furniture in your room will have depth and interest.  This will make your home seem larger than it actually is.

Keep your furniture proportionate

Micro-apartment-by-AllenKillcoyne-Architects-3 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Allen+Killcoyne Architects

As mentioned earlier, your furniture will always look best when scaled according to the size of your room.

Of course, you can always make a statement by adding a large couch to a compact apartment, but this is often not the best way to go about finding micro apartment furniture.  Instead of adding bulky furniture, scale your furniture to your overall look.

Keep it transparent

City-studio-apartment-by-Black-and-Milk Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Black and Milk

Clear surfaces reflect light, making your space feel bigger.  When you use glass table tops or reflexive surfaces, your micro-apartment will appear bigger.  This is because see through furniture or reflexive surfaces do not add bulk, but light.

Decorate according to your needs

Micro-apartment-by-AllenKillcoyne-Architects-4 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Allen+Killcoyne Architects

Although micro studio apartments may come with a standard furniture plan, your apartment should be tailored according to your individual needs.  If you are frequently host dinner parties, a dining area may be incredibly important.

However, if you are a big fan of movies, you’ll want to make comfortable couches a priority.  If you work from home, you’ll need a great office space.  Decorating your micro apartment according to your individual needs is therefore crucially important.

Create separate areas for your furniture

You may have fallen in love with open plan living when deciding on your micro apartment.  However, this rarely offers the ability to meet your needs.

Lack of clear spacing can leave your apartment looking messy and cluttered. By dividing your apartment into separate sections for working or sleeping, you will be able to keep your apartment feeling orderly or contained.

Placing your dining area next to your kitchen, and then creating a clear divide for your entertainment area will create order to your small apartment.

If you know you can sit and read a book next to your bed, you can also add bookshelves to this area.  This way, your compact space will feel organized and easy to live with.

Keep your furniture dual purpose

Boston-urban-micro-apartment-62-by-Reverse-Architecture Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Reverse Architecture

When deciding on micro apartment furniture, it is often easiest to invest in pieces which serve a dual purpose.  A bedside table with a small cupboard which holds your books, magazines, candles and a burner, will come in far more useful than a straight bedside table.

Likewise, a coffee table that can serve as an eating area or a table which also serves as a desk will keep your micro apartment feeling functional and uncluttered.

When choosing dual purpose furniture, remember to keep it looking proportional.  It won’t help if your furniture looks bulky or over stuffed.

Rethink unused spaces

Primrose-Hill-Apartment-by-Amos-Goldreich-Architecture Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Amos Goldreich Architecture

When you live in a micro-apartment, it is important to think about unused spaces, and how they can be put to work to keep your apartment orderly and functional.

Modular furniture can be added to unused corners to create storage space.  A large window sill can be used to store books.  Baskets could be placed on top of your refrigerator or small cupboard to add storage space to your home.

Use your wall space

NoHo-Duplex-by-Raad-Studio-2 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Raad Studio

When living in a small apartment, it is often easy to forget how much vertical space you have.  A loft bed in a tiny sleeping area can create additional space for a desk.

Stacked book shelves create storage space for photo frames, books, magazines, music equipment and work equipment.  Floating shelves add storage space.  By using the height of your room as a part of your room design plan, you will make your living space far more efficient.

Keep your space organized

Boston-urban-micro-apartment-62-by-Reverse-Architecture-2 Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Reverse Architecture

When looking at the joy of tidying up, Marie Kondo found that a great organisation system assisted with living in small spaces.  When you have a well organized system, know how to find what you are looking for, and value what you own, you’ll feel comfortable living in a small space.

Creating order doesn’t have to be difficult.  A series of small baskets could be used to hold stationary, socks and underwear, grooming products and even skin care products.

Micro-Apartment-by-Organised-Interiors Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Organised Interiors

Lining up your baskets will create a neat, orderly appearance which adds to the aesthetics of your room.

Living a healthy and orderly lifestyle may take a little time at first, but it will quickly become a habit.  In the long run, the time invested into creating an orderly home will be paid back in an efficient and attractive home.

Choose a light color palette

Carmel-Place-by-Resource-Furniture Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Resource Furniture

When decorating your microapartment, keep your colors light and airy.  Light colors make a space look bigger, while dark colors make a space appear small and intimate.

Your color palette does not need to be limited to white.  Light colors which recede (such as blues) will make your home look bigger.  Pale greys create a tranquil space.

Micro-Apartment-Mud-RoomHallway-Storage-by-Organised-Interiors Micro apartments decorating ideas to make your small space feel greatImage source: Organised Interiors

If you are tempted to use warm, dark shades such as deep chocolate, you could always introduce them as accent colors.  Chocolate colored swirls in scatter cushions or a deep burgundy throw will add richness without overpowering you.

Alternatively, if you do want to add large areas of deep color to your apartment, try to limit your choices to a single area.  A deep chocolate couch in a pale room will add interest, but too many different colors can become overwhelming in a small space.

Ending thoughts on moving into a micro-apartment

When creating a minimalist space or moving into a micro apartment, it can often feel as though you will be giving up on aesthetics or design.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.  By plotting out and arranging your micro-apartment, you will be able to live according to your needs while keeping your space clean, uncluttered and attractive.

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