By Molly Hammond, Storage.com
Here at Storage.com, we want to help people get their homes organized and clean, whether through the use of self-storage or helpful online tips and hacks that you can try yourself.
For young professionals in urban areas, lofts are the name of the game. There’s something charming about living in a place that’s at the heart of everything—even if you have to pay more money for less space.
But just because your loft or studio space seems to redefine the word small—or because “It’s cozy!” was the nicest thing your mom could say about your living room/kitchen/bedroom combo when she visited—doesn’t mean that your apartment can’t become everything you need it to. A few simple changes can make your downtown apartment feel more spacious! That’s why we’ve rounded up four of our favorite hacks for studio spaces that you can help you DIY, get ideas for how to use your space, and make worthwhile investments.
1. MOVE OUT OF THE CLOSET.
When you’re looking to live downtown, location and price are probably higher on your list than the walk-in closet you’ve always dreamed of. But the lack of space to hang your stuff can actually be a good thing! Exposed closets are incredibly easy to install, and they allow you to use your duds as decoration.
You can build your own open-concept closet by installing a clothing rod to existing furniture, like this idea from IkeaHackers. Or you can wheel in a clothing rack for a chic piece that’s also a space-saver. If you’re really cramped, ditch the dresser and dress up your unused corners with this idea from mint love social club.
2. BE YOURSHELF.
It’s easy to drive yourself crazy tripping over shoes or making monstrous mail piles on kitchen tables, but lots of lofts run really short on built-in storage. One of the easiest solutions is to install some shelving! Freeing up the floor will make your space seem bigger almost instantly, and it usually looks pretty great, too.
For really tight spaces, a floating shelf can make the perfect nightstand. Or if you’re sharing a small sink, keep jewelry and makeup out of the way with a shelved beauty station. Really, there are tons of ways to up your bathroom storage game, from spice racks to mason jars. You can even make end tables do double-duty by corralling couches with bookshelves or snagging/building a coffee table with extra space.
3. RUGS FOR EVERYONE.
One of the most important pieces of apartment décor is the area rug. Whether you have spiffy cement or hardwood floors that need a little warmth or carpet that could just use a little extra flair, rugs are a great way to visually delineate one “room” from another in studio. A statement rug can also be the perfect piece to tie together a color scheme in an apartment that has a lot going on.
However, some area rugs are notoriously expensive, which means that you when you’re ready to make the investment, you’ll want to get the right size and put it in the right place. Don’t be tempted to make a small rug do all the heavy lifting. Spring for the size that can accommodate your couch and coffee table or whole bedroom set with ease—a too-small rug will not help your place look more spacious.
Seasoned decorators will also tell you not to let standard setup get in the way. Try furniture at an angle, move couches out of corners, and really explore what space you do have. You might be surprised! If multiple rugs aren’t in your budget, shades and screens can do the same thing for a lower price tag.
4. GO GREEN.
Living in an urban jungle is great, right? And the exposed brick and industrial duct work is all just part of the loft living feel. While it’s great that you never have to worry about mowing a lawn, there’s something to be said for bringing a little wildlife into your home. You probably won’t be able to sow your own vegetable patch (unless you have a rooftop garden), but there are plenty of creative ways to bring flora into your flat. Plus, adding a little life to corners and counters can make your loft feel less crowded almost instantly.
Even the most inexperienced gardeners won’t be able to kill low-maintenance succulents. Leave them in simple pots or create your own sleek terrariums like this one. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, a vertical herb garden will be as gorgeous a kitchen fixture as it is a helpful one. This tutorial from Camille Styles can tell you exactly how to make your own. It’s also an easy project to put your own spin on. And don’t worry about your security deposit! You can hang it up with a pair of command hooks!
Loft and studio apartment renters are constantly coming up with new ways to rock their homes, so be sure to check back for our next roundup of favorite loft living fixes!