Decorate & Design Your Apartment
There is no denying that smaller apartments are a BIG thing for 2024 in both Malta and Gozo. Compact properties are more affordable whether you buy or rent and in order for them to work well, the seeming lack of space can be overcome or compensated for in clever, innovative ways even on a budget. If you have been at a loss as how to make the most of your smaller apartment’s appearance and the usage of space, then read on! Having limited space by no means should ever result in a lack of style. We share the top 10 tips from professionals on how to make your compact pied-à-terre look like a million euros.
1. Neutral, light colours will do wonders
Painting is one of the most effective and budget-friendly ways to update the interior of any small apartment. Keep to neutral colour palettes with creams, light greys and soft whites. If you are after some drama in any room, choose one accent wall and paint it in a dark hue from within the same colour family. Many people are of the perception that rooms have to be painted completely white in order to appear bigger, but a dark accent wall will surprise you with its illusion of making the room look much bigger than it is.
2. Always pay attention to the world at your feet
Floors are a very important component of any property, big or small! It does not matter whether you have parquet, wood, linoleum or tile floors: always make sure you have no holes, burn marks or chips to start with. In smaller spaces, the secret is to “group” or demarcate furniture groups by uniting them with an area rug, as this will help in defining where the particular space starts and ends. You can have a small rug that groups your lounge furniture or dining room table and chairs for instance.
3. Firmly planted in the idea
If you need focal point to draw attention across an entire room and make the space look bigger, plants are an affordable and easy way to do this. Place plants on a stand in the corner of a room or end of a passage to draw the eye in. Make sure to choose plants that need no or little amounts of sun and require less watering. Plants are also mood enhancers and through photosynthesis absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
4. Minimal is better
In a small space things can quickly go awry when your knick-knacks and other possessions start piling up. Get rid of clutter as soon as you can and keep surfaces neat, simply and tidy. Less is more in this case and banning clutter will make any room feel more spacious.
5. Multi-purpose storage solutions are essential
Everyone needs storage solutions and especially so when it is a smaller apartment. Here the drawback is that space is limited, therefore one needs to be clever in every way you can. The layouts and design of rooms need to be thought through and functional, multi-purpose furniture is a must. Think of sleeper couches, banquette seating with storage underneath, fold-out or extending tables that can disappear against a wall or be reduced to half the size in the blink of an eye. Many beds are available with built-in storage space or pull-out drawers in the base and even modular sofa units nowadays have storage boxes built in.
6. Having your back-up against the wall
People tend to overlook walls as ideal storage spaces. Floating shelves are easy to install and very affordable solutions to add more storage space. A popular trend is to have hanging bedside lamps which frees up your bedside tables. Instead of having your TV on a stand on top of a bulky sidewall unit, why not mount it on the wall, freeing up even more space?
7. A real curtain raiser
We know high ceilings can make even the smallest of spaces feel light and airy. One of the best tricks of the trade is to elevate a curtain rail as far up as you can above a window and then to hang floor-to-ceiling curtains. Also go as wide as you can with the curtain rod and fill it up with extra drops of curtains, as this will create the illusion of covering a large window or door behind it. You may even consider pushing the envelope by installing curtains that have a vertical striped pattern, but it has to be of elegant design and stay within the room’s colour scheme to promote harmony and unity.
8. Who is the prettiest of them all?
This is the staple of any interior decorator: the mirror. Mirrors create the illusion of more space, bigger rooms and bounce the light around making everything brighter. Place mirrors at the end of a hallway to make it seem twice as long, install it in your entrance so people can see their reflections when they walk in. Even the tiniest of bedrooms can make use of a mirror in many ways: have one mounted on a wardrobe to save on space and the bonus is that it will double not only the amount of light coming into the room but seemingly also the square meterage in an instant.
9. Foldable and Stackable Furniture
Invest in foldable or stackable furniture that can be easily stored when not in use. This is especially useful for items like chairs or tables that you may not need all the time.
10. Use Strategic Lighting
Use a variety of lighting sources to create a well-lit and visually appealing space: consider wall sconces and pendant lights to avoid cluttering surfaces with table lamps.
11. Scale Furniture to Fit
Try and choose furniture that fits the scale of your apartment. Avoid oversized pieces as that will most likely make the space feel cramped. Furniture with exposed legs helps to create a sense of openness.
Don’t cramp your style
Even the smallest of apartments in Malta and Gozo should feel like home and not only act as an overnight pit-stop…after all, you are going to be living there for some time! Give some proper thought on how you are going to arrange furniture, choose wisely on the colours and patterns of walls and carpets as well as the soft furnishings. It does not matter whether it is a studio apartment, a bedsitter or even your own room in a bigger house, if you make the right choices you will love your space and see it as a tranquil place of safety and rejuvenation. Applying these design principles will also ensure that landlords attract tenants in a jiffy for their rental investments and if it is a resale you are after, your stunning small apartment will most likely sell sooner if it comes across as simply stunning and irresistible. Call on any of our offices in Malta and Gozo and remember, if you want to get some inspiration on what to do with the interior of your small apartment or rental investment, we have a whole interiors team on standby to help you!