Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based freelance writer and blogger. She's passionate about health, wellness and style, and you'll often find her reading self-help books in nature, catching a yoga class or writing in Toronto cafés.
Condo living is awesome for so many reasons: it’s convenient, usually close to civilization, and relatively affordable. But that doesn’t mean that living in a small space doesn’t bring its own set of challenges — especially when it comes to decorating.
Configuring your studio apartment in a way that feels cozy, yet still spacious can be tough, but there are plenty of decorating hacks you can use to your advantage so the space flows. Here are 10 tricks for decorating a one-room apartment without breaking the bank.
1. Use mirrors to your advantage
The benefits of mirrors when it comes to maximizing the usable space in your condo can’t be stressed enough. They trick the eye into believing the room goes on forever, and depending on the frame you choose, they can really add personality to a home. Add a few decorative pieces in varying sizes to your walls and watch the space grow before your eyes.
2. Use light, airy colours
Decorating your room in a palette of whites, greys and light blues will give the room an open, relaxed feel, which will make your studio apartment feel much less tight and cramped.
3. Declutter once a week
Doing a major clean every week may seem like overkill, but you’d be surprised at how quickly junk can accumulate in a small space. Choose a day like Sunday to get rid of clutter, and be ruthless with this: no, you don’t need that pair of sneakers from high school!
4. Let the light in
When you can, make sure the space feels as bright as possible by going drape-less and letting the natural light in through the windows. If you do decide to add some curtains to dress the windows, make sure they’re sheer or light-coloured so they don’t make the room feel dark and heavy.
5. Choose furniture pieces with sleek frames
Instead of picking chairs, couches and tables with thick, bulky legs or ornate details, opt for pieces with a more modern and compact aesthetic to make the room feel lighter and less bogged down with stuff.
6. Make sure there’s a clear path from one end of the room to the other
If you can’t make it from the door of your apartment to the back wall without tripping over something, you may want to rethink your layout. The space will feel much more breathable and open if you’re able to move around freely in it.
7. Make use of glass where you can
A glass coffee table, chair or desk is a great way to create the illusion of more space because it offers a less dense look than wood or metal.
8. Use multi-purpose furniture
Pull out couches, folding desks and coffee tables that double as storage space are lifesavers for studio apartment dwellers. See how many uses you can get out of one item to maximize its potential and save more space.
9. Install floating shelves
If you find your space is cluttered with books and objects you just can’t part with, try loading them up onto a floating wall shelf to free up more space on the other surfaces of your apartment.
10. Get rid of non-essentials
In addition to decluttering once a week, take the time every so often to decide what you really need in your space. Watch Netflix on your laptop mostly? You can probably free up more space by donating your TV set. Practice the art of non-attachment and toss any items that aren’t serving a legitimate purpose.