45 Design Ideas For Small Apartments

Every home has it’s own unique design challenges. This is especially true for small homes and apartments. With cities allowing ever-smaller micro apartments, more people than ever are learning how to live comfortably, and stylishly, in a small space. These design ideas will help you conquer clutter, make smart furniture choices and find more storage space.

Plan, Prioritize and Purge

photo credit: Will Scullin

If it doesn’t make your life better, let it go. Assess your needs, prioritize your wants and make a regular schedule to edit the items in your apartment. Still have too much stuff? Rotate your favorites seasonally.

1. Edit your accessories. Check out Are Your Accessories Dated? on Colour Me Happy.

2. Make a plan. Have a system. Follow it. Check out The Organizing Process is Your Force, Use It on Organizing Junkie.

3. Joining in a “Challenge” offers accountability as well as guided steps to help participants meet the goal of an organized home. Check out 52 Weeks To An Organized Home on Home Storage Solutions.

4. Make the most of every space. Check out Our New Kitchen Built-In Desk! on Decorchick.

Cabinet Organizations

photo credit: Pieter Pieterse

Cabinets have a way of getting out of control very quickly. However, it is possible to tame unruly cabinets. Start by thinking about how the space will be used, then organize it according to function.

5. Get creative and squeeze more space out of cabinets. Check out Under Sink Organization on Eat Sleep Decorate.

6. Organizing the spice cabinet is a small job with big dividends. Check out How to Organize Your Spices in Four Easy Steps. on Simplify 101.

7. Tired of being attacked by towels? Wire racks can do wonders. Check out Get it Organized: Linen Closet on It’s Overflowing.

8. All it takes is a little planning and a wire rack to make better use of wasted space. Check out Organizing the Cleaning Closet on Yellow Bliss Road.

9. Magnetic bars are an efficient way to sort items that need to be accessed often. Check out Organized, Functional Medicine Cabinet on Simplified Bee.

10. Videos, CDs and games have a way of expanding. Use these clever ideas to make your media cabinet more user-friendly. Check out Creative Ways to Organize Video Games on Cool Mom Tech.

Take Control of the Closet

photo credit: Rubbermaid Products

A place for everything and everything in place. That’s the secret to organized closet. Well, that and using the best tools for the job — hooks, hangars, drawers and shelves.

11. Sort seasonal items by month to make it easier to find rarely-used items. Check out Seasonal Items Closet Makeover on The Country Chic Cottage.

12. The smaller the space, the more important it is to be organized. Check out Pantry Before and After on Handy Man Crafty Woman.

13. Take control of your closets. Check out Make Your Closets Look Larger on DIY Home Staging Tips.

14. Fit more in small closets. Check out The 5 Major Must Haves For A Clothes Horse’s Small, Organized Closet on The New Yorkies.

15. Clever idea for organizing shoes – sans shoe rack. Check out How’s it Hangin? A Flop Tutorial on Epbot.

16. With the right tools, anything is possible! Including an organized closet. Check out Tips & Tools for Affordably Organizing Your Closet on Mom Advice.

Storage Solutions

photo credit: PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast

Corralling the clutter may seem like a never-ending job in a small apartment. Use attractive boxes, matching crates or stylish baskets to organize smaller items. A coordinated collection of storage boxes can turn an eyesore of “stuff” into a pretty wall with pops of color.

17. Handy pre-cut boards form the foundation for these rustic crates. Use this simple DIY project for building custom storage that fits your exact needs. Check out DIY Homemade Vintage Wood Crate Storage on The House of Smiths.

18. Turn a collection of mis-matched boxed into high-gloss solution to messy storage. Check out DIY Lacquer Lookalikes on Centsational Girl.

19. Putting toys away while also keeping them within reach of little hands can be a challenge. Tackle it head on with these storage ideas. Check out Creative Solutions for Toy Storage on Makely School for Girls.

20. Combine several pieces for a single purpose. Like this vintage credenza and storage ottoman duo turned into a crafty place for supplies. Check out Stylish Storage Solutions on Our Fifth House.

Multi-Function Furniture

photo credit: Elwell

Furniture that is multifunctional is the key to living large in a small space. Like the layout of a boat or RV, it’s about smart design. Look for double-duty pieces that hide extra storage, turn into additional seating, or fold and expand to fit your needs.

21. Create a Murphy-style bed to save space in the bedroom. Check out Wilding Wall Bed DIY Kit on All Things Thrifty.

22. Turn your bed into a smart storage unit with lots of extra space. Check out Expedite Storage Bed on Ikea Hackers.

23. Multipurpose furniture. Shoe rack bench. Check out Closet Shoe Rack on All That Brings Joy.

24. This expandable gem goes from desk for one to table for six. Check out Multifunctional Desk on Shoebox Dwelling.

25. Daybeds make an easy transition from sofa to sleeper making them a great choice for rooms that need to do double duty, like an office/guest room. Check out Daybeds: Delightful and Dreamy Decorating Ideas on Decorating Files.

26. Keep your favorite reading materials within reach in this cozy, all-encompassing chair. Check out OpenBook by Tilt on StudioTilt.

27. Narrow desks along the wall don’t take up much room, but offer plenty of work space. Check out A Place to Craft on Clean Smart Simple Style.

Make More Space

photo credit: Jesicka

Think it’s impossible for a small apartment to have enough storage? Then, think again. Turn a seemingly wasted space into a useful storage area with smart shelving, rolling crates and vertical built-ins.

28. DIY some clever built-ins like this wall shoe rack. Check out To Make: Shoe Rack on Not Martha.

29. Create more space with hanging baskets. Check out Design solution: Wall baskets for bath linen storage on I’m Busy Procrastinating.

30. Increase your storage space with floor-to-ceiling “built-ins.” Check out Billy Bookcase DIY on Just a Girl.

31. This cute DIY unit adds chic shelving in the bathroom – or any room. Check out Bathroom Storage Shelf on Infarrantly Creative.

32. DIY crates make great rolling storage for under the bed – just add wheels. Check out DIY Rolling Storage Crates on Teal and Lime.

Expert Design Ideas

photo credit: R0b1

From paint color to furniture arranging, make a small space feel larger with a few design tips from the experts.

33. Color can make a room feel larger or tie together various rooms to make a disconnected layout feel more open. Check out How to Use Color in Small Space Decorating on Decorating Your Small Space.

34. It doesn’t matter the size of your home, lighting is an essential element. Creative ideas like fairy lights and pendants to set the mood to cozy. Check out Lighting a Small Space on Intentionally Small.

More Tips for Small Apartments

photo credit: Wonderfully Complex

These bloggers know a thing or two about turning a small living space into a functional, stylish home. The articles below list their top tips.

35. A collection of unique furniture pieces that offer extra storage for small items. Check out Small House Solutions for More Space on The Inspired Room.

36. Jane literally wrote the books on stylish, small space design. Gathering on a wealth of experience, she offers tips for small space living. Check out Top Small Space Design Tips on My Cool.

37. From the importance of using a floor plan to choosing furniture, get advice from the style-savvy readers of Apartment Therapy. Check out 33 Reader Tips for Small Spaces on Apartment Therapy.

38. Check out decorating tips then and now with a blast through the archives of House Beautiful You may be surprised by how little has changed. Well, at least the fundamental ideas are the same. Check out Tips and Aspirations for Decorating a Tiny Place on Curbed.

39. Even if the decorating budget is smaller than the apartment, it’s still possible to create a comfortable living space. Check out Tips for Decorating Small Rented Spaces on A Beautiful Mess.

40. Effeciently living in a small space doesn’t have to mean giving up style. This decorista offers tips for maxing out style with minimal square footage. Check out From House to Home: Decorating Small Spaces on The Peak of Tres Chic.

Inspiration to Live Small

photo credit: Twolittlemoos

It’s not the size of the space that counts, it’s how you feel when you come home. Get inspired to see how stylish small can be with these amazing micro-apartments and tiny homes.

41. This Parisian apartment requires creativity and a willingness to think inside the box in order to fit everything into just 130 square feet. Check out 130 Square Foot Apartment on HomeEdit.

42. This airplane designer could be the king of compact living. He fit eight different living spaces into just 182 square feet, and still had room for two bikes! Check out DIY-Crafted Seattle Micro Apartment: 8 Spaces in 182 Square Feet on Fair Companies.

43. Ready for retirement, this couple found their new dream home in just 800 square feet. Check out Small House That Feels Big on Tiny House Talk.

44. Inspiring photos of 30 different small apartments with big style. Check out Best Small Apartment Design Ideas on Freshome.

45. Just 52 square feet, this tiny living space feels quite homey. Check out Living Stylish in a Shoebox on Design Heaven.

When it comes to living in a small apartment, it’s important to have a strategy. Effectively managing clutter, chic storage solutions and creative furniture are excellent techniques to take even the tiniest space from crowded to cozy. Do you have any decorating ideas for small apartments? Share your top tips in the comments!

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