4 Practical Living Room Ideas for Apartments

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on September 4, 2019

Let’s be real. In today’s era of renting apartments and having one (or three) roommates, space can seem hard to come by. Oh, and for all those 90’s babies whose childhood bedrooms are larger than their current studio apartment, this one’s for you. But living small doesn’t mean you can’t make your space look larger than it actually is. And for those of your who think that living small means sacrificing your interior design, think again.

Here are four tips that will help you take advantage of every square foot your space has to offer and make your apartment a home.

You heard it here first: less is more, especially when it comes to designing for a smaller space. Do checks and balances of your belongings and figure out what furniture pieces are necessary to keep and you can get rid of. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get rid of everything. Be a little pickier with the wall art, get rid of clutter and before long, your space will feel like a zen haven. If you’re still feeling cramped, try going for a neutral-toned palette, making sure that your decor theme is simple, using natural tones and neutrals that are that’s easy on the eye. Painting a room white is one known way to accentuate furniture and cultivate relaxation.

Shelving can be the perfect way to fill a small space without taking up much space at all. Floating shelves can help uphold your minimalist aesthetic while providing a functional and easy-to-install solution for storing picture frames, artifacts, or just keeping clutter off of countertops. Dividing rooms and setting visual boundaries for spaces can be a great way to avoid the kitchen-meets-bedroom situation that becomes all too familiar in studio living. Plus, room dividers provide a great way to fill gaps and omit negative space. A shelving unit like the West Elm’s Zane Wide Bookshelf provides the perfect way to separate your spaces by decorating with books, baskets, candles and, of course, plants. 

Functional furniture finds are going to be your friend when making the most of your space. Stackable nesting tables like these simple Scandinavian tables from Target store away by stacking on top of each other when not in use. If your space is prone to clutter (or if you just have a lot of stuff), a more industrial coffee table like this find from West Elm might be right for you, with a deep storage space for blankets, board games and anything else that you’d just rather have out of sight and out of mind.

A media center is another great way to hide all of the unwanted clutter found in the living room like remotes, gaming consoles and those annoying TV cables and power cords. The Peggy Media Center is a perfect functional storage solution for any budget. Anthropologie’s Handcarved Samuel Cabinet is another glamorous, versatile piece with tons of room for everything that nobody really needs to see.

Ceiling height is another factor that determines how big your space feels. If you haven’t been blessed with tall ceilings in your current dwelling, here are a few tips to help make your walls look taller:

  • If it isn’t already, paint your ceiling white or another light neutral. Having a dark space above only makes things feel smaller and more stuffy.
  • Choose low furniture. This can create the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. The Lotus 109” Low Grande Sofa is the perfect height to get the most out of your wall space without feeling like you’re sitting on the floor.
  • Into wallpaper? Experiment with a vertical wallpaper design to stretch your wall space.
  • Tall artwork and mirrors are a great way to draw the eye upward. Be sure to fill space above doorways to continue the illusion of high ceilings. 

Ready to take the next step and transform your living room?  Get inspired by these living room designs

Words by Morgan Ernest Hitz