Here are some tips from Abbey Slitor and Warren Weixler that will help you make the most of your small apartment.
1. Avoid table lamps. Use pendant lights, sconces and other wall-mounted lighting wherever possible. They take up less space. Slitor and Weixler found a standing arc lamp for the living room on Craigslist and a perforated bronze pendant from World Market for the bedroom.
2. Embrace multitasking pieces. The generously sized Kivik ottoman from Ikea opens to provide storage, can be used for extra seating and serves as a coffee table if topped with a tray. Pushed against the matching Kivik modular sofa and chaise, it can be part of a guest bed. In the bedroom, Weixler’s Ikea Hemnes three-drawer white dresser does double duty as a nightstand.
3. Remove interior doors. If a door gets in the way, take it off. That’s what Slitor and Weixler did with the door to the laundry closet in the den so they could fit the extra wardrobes in the room. Make sure you stash the door somewhere safe to reinstall when you move.
4. Use your washing machine as a hamper. If you are lucky enough to have your own washer, use it to store dirty laundry. Just sort when it’s time to run a load. It eliminates the need for a freestanding hamper.
5. Coordinate colors of bedroom walls and furniture . If you have a small bedroom and a king-size bed, like Slitor and Weixler do, there isn’t much room for anything else. Because they had white walls, they installed two basic white dressers that blend in and make the room seem larger.
5. Find easy ways to purge stuff. Weixler and Slitor downsized by selling on eBay and Craigslist, giving away to friends or donating to charity. Their building had an internal e-mail group, an uncomplicated way to find new homes for unwanted items. Weixler says, “What could be easier than selling things to people on our own hallway?”
6. Consider the building’s amenities. You can save space in your apartment if your building offers such things as a gym, dog-washing facilities and a lounge you can use for parties, as Slitor and Weixler’s does. A grocery store downstairs means they can shop daily and don’t have to stockpile food and supplies.
7. Ignore the rules for furniture placement. Imagine new uses for standard pieces. This couple used a low dining room buffet as a food pantry.
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