Tiny apartments are the racing joke of New York real estate. If you live in one, you know that every little square foot counts. To make it a functional yet open space, some creativity is required. Don't have a closet? Find a slim clothes rack. Do you have a tiny kitchen? Maximize your shelf space. And so on. To find inspiration for creating order within a small living area, we spoke to some of the people who would know best: Laura Cattano, a professional organizer in New York City who lives in a small, 335-square-foot niche Studio; Mecca James-Williams, stylist and proud tenant of @ itsapt4; Interior designer Lisa Gilmore; and Emmett Shine, creative director of Pattern Brands, who examines what kind of products attract millennial consumers.
Cattano's philosophy in a small space is about living better with less. "Everyone with a small space should first think about what activities should support their space first, and then set things up accordingly." For her, that meant making sure she had enough desk space, a sitting area, and a queen-size bed, and then working on it. “I wanted everything to feel spacious and still be able to do what I have to do. This should be the basis for every room, but especially for a small apartment in which things should be multifunctional and have a purpose. “Below, she and our three other experts share their preferred ideas for small apartments to beautify a cramped space. We also added a few more strategically approved products based on the wisdom of our experts.
Ideas for small apartments for the entrance area
Leaning Edge matte black wall hook
According to Cattano, an effective entrance is crucial to prevent oversized items from taking up valuable space in your living area. "A couple of hooks or a coat rack are helpful for several reasons," she told us. "Even if you have a wardrobe, most people (especially in town) have no place for guest robes in their closet. And it's great to have a place where you can drop your coat and bag instead of them throw on a chair. "She adds," I've never had a customer complain about the extra hooks I've added. "
School house natural brass J hook
For a slightly more sophisticated look, Cattano recommends this stylish solid brass option, which she thinks looks good regardless of whether there is anything attached to it or not.
CB2 brushed brass U-hook
For a cheap (but expensive looking) metal hook, Cattano also likes this affordable option from CB2, which comes in a similar brushed brass finish.
CB2 gunmetal wall shelf, 24 inches
Keys and emails are other things that can overload (and get lost) a space if you don't have room for them in your listing. For that, Cattano loves to use one of those narrow floating shelves (they're 4.25 inches deep), which she says are "simple, clean, and not space-saving". She adds that you can hang up a few of them – for example, a lower shelf for the mail and an upper shelf for a basket with your keys. They start at $ 30 for a two-foot shelf, but are also available in three-foot ($ 50) and four-foot ($ 60) lengths.
Ideas for small apartments for the living room
Linear lacquer shelves from West Elm
Unless it is a studio, the living room (or living area) of an apartment is usually the next largest room after a bedroom. Sometimes a living room can of course be larger than a bedroom – which is why it quickly becomes a garbage dump on which to clean your bedroom. Both Cattano and James-Williams told us that they added extra shelves to each room in their home to create more storage space, and Cattano recommends this West Elm shelving set. Get a two-foot shelf for $ 29 and a three-foot shelf for another $ 10. West Elm sells shelf brackets separately at the same link. In addition to the $ 34 worth of corrugated cardboard shown, West Elm offers two different types of metal clips for $ 39.
Modern wall shelf by Urban Outfitters
These wall shelves from Urban Outfitters are supplied with brackets, which makes them a cheaper choice. They come from our list of things that can help dissolve a book collection for which the professional organizer Lisa Zaslow also recommended "a kind of wall solution".
Hay box box stripes, set of 4
To keep the shelves clean after installation, both Cattano and Shine recommend using boxes. Note that stylish shelves can also serve as decor. Shine's favorite storage boxes are those from Hay that he uses everywhere in his apartment. "We keep them for papers, receipts and tax files," he told us. "Things that are not pleasant, but they feel a little better in these boxes."
White Nordic storage containers with handles
A real alternative to Hay's boxes would be these container store bins, which Barbara Reich, the founder of Resourceful Consultants, recommended when we talked to experts about the best bins for every room. Through small holes on the outside of each basket, you can easily see what's inside. The boxes are made of polypropylene plastic, so you can mark them with a dry-wipe marker (and wipe them clean at any time). The container store sells the baskets in different sizes. The smallest costs $ 6 and sells the lids shown separately for $ 7.
Adesso WK2444-22 Alice floor mirror
When we looked at the best renovations for $ 100 or less, architecture student Emily Wisseman told us how a floor mirror can create the illusion of extra space. This floor mirror from our list of top-rated full-length mirrors on Amazon has been praised for how high quality it looks for the price.
West Elm Sunkissed landscape carpet, 5×8
Gilmore told us that when customers have small apartments, they often make the mistake of buying a small carpet that is “dwarfed” by the furniture around it. Instead, Gilmore recommends buying the largest carpet your room can fit into. "It grounds the room and makes everything look more uniform," she says. Gilmore says she likes to use West Elm carpets in customers' tiny homes. The retailer sells them in different sizes depending on the room you work with.
Ideas for small apartments for the kitchen
Tower small stackable basket
Similar to the living room, a tiny kitchen can quickly become littered with things (not to mention that in many small apartments the kitchen and living room can be one and the same). To restore order, Cattano recommends stowing some of these baskets over cupboards and the fridge, otherwise people "just throw things up and it looks awful". Each basket is made of steel, which means they are easy to clean if food or liquids are accidentally spilled.
Ikea Hallbar am
If you have a small kitchen, James-Williams recommends putting your trash can under your sink to save space and hide something that is usually unsightly. "It compacts the garbage in the kitchen area," she told us, and since it is practically not necessary for a hidden trash can to be aesthetically pleasing, she opted for this very simple model from Ikea, which has an upper handle that makes it easier to grip a touch more hygienic.
Lynk roll-out base 14 inch single drawer
Cattano recommends installing such a roll-out drawer to tame any recalcitrant stacks of pots and pans that overtake the precious closet space of a small kitchen. "Customers call it life-changing," she says, adding that they appreciate never having to crawl around on the floor again to find an old pan. "Just make sure you measure the distance between the cabinet hinges and the back of the cabinet to ensure a good fit," she adds. James-Williams also likes to roll out shelves and notices that she has installed a similar one to make access to her trash can even easier.
Home Depot triple pull-out trash can
If James-Williams did it again, she would tell us that she would buy this Home Depot roller unit, which contains three trash cans (with lids) and a steel shelf. The device is delivered pre-assembled and installed with just four screws. So you need to be reasonably comfortable with a screwdriver (or have to call a friend), but you don't need to hire an installation guru.
3M Command Clear Caddies
Cattano also likes these clean kitchen caddies, which she says stick to the wall quickly without the need for installation. While she recommends them for the inside of kitchen cabinets, "so people don't have too many packets of tea and spices lying around," we think they're also good for additional shelf space in the bathroom (or shower).
Ideas for small apartments for the bathroom
As our own Rio Viera-Newton said, creating smart storage solutions in the bathroom is an art form. Cattano swears by these acrylic risers to create more space in the medicine cabinet. "You can stack them on top of each other to have more space on the shelf," she said, adding that the sizes four by two and six by three fit in almost all cabinets. (They are also available in sizes 8 x 4 and 10 x 5.)
Ikea Godmorgon closet
If you need more space in the medicine cabinet, you can always attach a second one to your wall, according to Cattano. "I often add extra closets in bathrooms, usually over the toilet to get extra toiletries, or to separate roommates so they don't have to share storage space," she told us. If this is the solution for you, she recommends the Godmorgon cabinet from Ikea, which comes with four tempered (i.e. stronger) glass shelves and can be opened from the left or right. She adds that "the high gloss means it fits better into the wall than a mirror cabinet."
Goodfellow & Co Oliv diagonal zipper kit
Shine told us that a hack he found for smaller bathrooms is to have a few toiletry bags on hand. “People usually only use them for travel, but you can pack lotions, makeup, and dental items in different bags and keep them on a nearby shelf. So if you need to dive into your backups or secondary items, they're right there and easy to get to. "When we asked experts about the best double kits, men's fashion author Tim Melideo praised them for his" premium look " affordable price, and the fact that its unique diagonal zip allows it to open much wider than other double kits (which, if you use it primarily for storage, means that you can probably push even more into it.
Lighting ideas for small apartments
Beistle Jumbo paper lantern, 30 inches
"Lighting is so important in every room, especially in small rooms," says Cattano. "It helps create a mood, and who couldn't use more light in their homes?" But according to her "many apartments are not equipped with ceiling lighting, so I will always add some." (Cattano told us that she moved to a location with 9 light sources and now has 16.) A paper lantern that also made our do-it-yourself list under $ 100 saves floor and table space without breaking the bank.
Casper Glow Light
If the smaller size of your home means less natural light, lamps that artificially mimic the sun can help simulate daybreak or darkness – even in bedrooms with brick walls. That's why Shine Caspers likes the new Glow Light. According to him, it emits soft light that slowly goes out and brightens, which can help you sleep better at night or wake up in the morning. The Glow Light also has a dedicated app with a timer, so you can set it to turn on at the same time (or before) when your alarm goes off every morning. "It's great to wake up," he told us, "to get melatonin going when you first open your eyes."
Ideas for small apartments for the bedroom
Wayfair Bianca white under drawers
While many of us hate storing things under their beds ("For many, it's like putting things in the basement," says Cattano), sometimes in small apartments you just have no choice. "If it has to happen," says Cattano, "can we make it beautiful?" She recommends these rolling under-bed drawers from the Wayfair children's line, which she believes are suitable for anyone who wants to convert their under-bed area into additional, efficient storage space.
Ikea Malm underbed storage box, 2-pack
If your bed frame has legs in the middle at the four corners, James-Williams suggests these two-piece underbed storage containers from Ikea. "I have four under my bed," she said to us, "and I use them for my sweaters, off-season clothes, and workout clothes."
Mainstays Home bookcase with 8 shelves
If your bedroom closet isn't the largest – or if you don't have one at all – James-Williams recommends purchasing a bookshelf that can serve as additional storage for clothes and shoes. When we searched Amazon to find the top rated bookshelves under $ 50, this elegant Étagère style bookcase was added to the list. One reviewer noted how it can be used "for proper storage and decoration".
Yamazaki Home Tower leaning ladder rack
In the same way, a wall ladder can also perform a double function of decoration and storage, and it may be just right for anyone familiar with the concept of a "dress chair" for bedrooms, where the outfits are on one during the week ever larger piles are becoming busier. This is a favorite of writer Laura Perciasepe, who says it's like an extra closet.
Nest camp bed
If you're moving into a brand new, cozy room and want to be pampered, Cattano loves this Nest storage bed, which they say helps keep the things you store dust-free as the mattress acts as a seal over them. "I don't believe in keeping things under the bed because people don't clean under the bed," she says. According to Cattano, this bed is particularly suitable for people who live in climates where wardrobes have to be changed constantly, or for children, so that parents can stow their toys and bring them back easily.
Cupboard ideas for small apartments
3M Command Nickel modern hooks
Cattano says that too many small apartment owners don't use the inside of their closet doors enough. "Adhesive hooks are game changers," she told us. "Use them in closets for belts (the small utensils) or larger ones for handbags, tote bags, hats, scarves, umbrellas and necklaces." She swears by 3M's collection of adhesive hooks, available in all sizes.
Fayleeko ultra-thin stainless steel metal bracket, pack of 40
"Felt hangers are not the be-all and end-all," explains Cattano, noting that despite their space-saving thinness, many users complain that they find it difficult to put on and take off clothes. Instead, she suggests using some equally slender tubular metal brackets, a style she says has been in her closet for 20 years.
AmazonBasics velvet suit hanger
While Cattano may be against fabric hangers, strategist Hilary Reid swears by it. She explicitly swears by these velvet hangers from AmazonBasics, which she praised for their durability and the fact that they helped her "fit about 25 percent more clothes in my closet".
Cotton softbox with lid
If you want to maximize storage space on a cupboard floor or built-in shelf, Cattano recommends using these softer zippered storage boxes from Muji. "I like them for blankets, for out-of-season clothes, for everything really," she said, adding that they also look a lot nicer than the average box.
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