Getting your first apartment is exciting. You spend tons of time picking out your color palette, obsessively scrolling through Pinterest, and searching for the cutest (and cheapest) home décor online. Everything is great until you show up to your new abode and realize your room is barely big enough to hold a queen size bed, let alone the canopy-draped, furniture filled, heavenly paradise you’d envisioned. But never fear. While having a tiny apartment can be a challenge, there are tons of functional and gorgeous ways to maximize your space.
1. The Walls Are Your New Best Friends
Everything is going to go up on them. You may not have a lot of floor space, but wall space—you’ve got plenty! Shelves are the way to go for functional, stylish, and customized decoration. You can buy some and mount them on the wall, or you can create your own.
To make these boho hanging shelve you will need trays, twine, and Command Hooks. You can purchase cheap trays from Target or Walmart, or go antique and use some retro metal trays. You can even use rectangular mirrors or picture frames, as long as you can drill a hole through them. Start with some sort of rectangular or square surface that either has small holes drilled on the sides or has handles.
Next, string the twine through the sides of the tray. You can keep the twine long if you want the tray to hang down low or keep the string short if you want the shelves to stay higher up. Make sure they are each the same length, cut the twine, and tie the ends in a knot or bow.
Here’s where the Command Hooks come in. You can also use nails if your tray is too heavy and you’re allowed to put holes in your apartment’s walls. First decide where you want the shelf to be and how high on your wall you’d like to place it. Keep in mind the length of your string. Make sure the hooks aren’t crooked and secure them to your wall. Then suspend the twine on the Command Hooks and let your shelves hang. You can stick some thick double-sided tape to the back of the tray to your wall for more durability. These laid-back one-of-a-kind shelves can now decoratively display your most prized picture frames, plants, and knick knacks.
2. Vanity Corner
No walk in closet? No problem! Yes, it would be great if your apartment came with a huge walk in closet full of never-ending shelves for your shoes. But if that isn’t the case you can still dress up a corner of your bedroom to create a little space of luxury.
We’re going to utilize those walls again! Hang two full-size mirrors on two different walls in a corner of your room. You can hang them up with hooks, nails, or use thick Scotch double sided tape. Secure Command Hooks or nails to the wall where you will put your hangers, one on each side of the mirror. You can also hang up a jewelry holder or place a shoe rack on the floor—whatever you have room for. Mount a light on the wall or ceiling above the corner. And viola! You have a glamorous spot to hang up your outfits and check yourself out.
If you’re not fond of the off-white ambiguous shade of grey-yellow paint your apartment walls came with, invest in a tapestry. Giant wall art is the best way to hide a lot of ugly wall space quickly and easily. If you’re on a budget you can find some beautiful tapestries on Amazon and eBay, it’s also a good idea to use the tapestry as the color focal part of your room.
If your tapestry is big enough and you want the bohemian floaty look, hang the top of the tapestry with push-pins or small nails. You want the top to be secured to the ceiling, not the wall. Then, pin the next section of the tapestry to the wall so that the tapestry disguises the corner of the wall and ceiling meeting. Continue to attach the tapestry to the wall loosely so that the fabric hangs over the thumbtacks. The bigger the tapestry is the looser you can hang it and using more tacks will create more overlaps of fabric, which will give your room that dreamy look.
4. Cover those walls!
You’ve got some shelves, some mirrors, and a tapestry. Now it’s time to cover the rest of that square footage! Use pictures, posters, any kind of hangable décor. Clumping four our five picture frames in one area looks put together, especially if the frames are different sizes. If you don’t have frames, you can also tape just the pictures to your walls and create a design with them, or string them across your wall with twine. If you’re allowed to, another way to dress up a wall is to paint it!
With a little work you can transform a small space on a tight budget into a room that fulfills your interior design fantasies in a way you thought only Urban Outfitters could. Enjoy!