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Small Space Tips From Someone Who Lived the 700-Sq-Foot Apartment Life

Living in a small space — with just a few hundred square feet to work with — doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for functionality. But it does mean you should be willing to think outside the box.

Designing a smaller apartment or house comes with a fair number of challenges. More often than not, you have to figure out smart storage solutions, configure your layout to prevent things from looking too cramped, and still find a way to infuse your personality into the space. It’s a tall order!

Here are some tips from someone (me) who learned how to maximize living space — especially when you have minimal square footage to spare.

Make the most of vertical space

Don’t have a ton of room on your floor? Use your walls instead! Invest in shelving and mounted bookcases as a creative way to store things like books, records, and baskets.. Installing hooks inside closets and behind doors can also give you plenty of extra hanging space. Not to mention, thinking vertically can also make your space appear larger than it is!

Invest in multi-use furniture

Everything — well, almost everything — can be used for storage if you plan your space right. Closed consoles can conceal clutter, storage ottomans and benches can tuck away linens, and nightstands with drawers can hide cords and miscellaneous items. Multi-use furniture that offers sneaky storage can be a game-changer in a small space.

Keep things light

Furniture that feels “heavy” can make a space feel a bit crowded. Instead, consider opting for slimmer silhouettes, like armless dining chairs, sleek pedestal tables, and pared back accent chairs. Glass shelving units and side tables can also help you to maintain an airy look.

Make storage stylish

When you don’t have a lot of built-in storage to work with — limited kitchen cabinets or closet space — put your items on display. Move your plates and glassware into storage cabinets with glass fronts, and put your favorite wardrobe items on a standalone clothing rack or shelf.

Pare back

It’s true what they say: Less is more. Instead of having a lot of little furniture in your space, invest in a few key, larger elements to ground a room. The key is to make sure the elements in your room make sense scale-wise, — nothing makes an already-small space feel smaller than a too-large coffee table.

Stay organized

Ultimately, when you live in a small space, it’s easier for messes to pile up — and that means they’re more likely to have a bigger impact on the overall feel of your home. This may sound cliché, but a place for everything and everything in its place is the motto. When I lived in a small apartment, it was important to have an organized closet, furniture with space underneath it for storage and a bed that sat fairly high off the ground. When all of your belongings have a “home” keeping tidy feels like a more doable task.

- Rash