Whether you’re a tenant living in a tiny apartment, a landlord looking to sign a rental agreement on a small furnished (or not) apartment, or the owner of an “intimate” condominium or house, you probably want to make that space seem as large as possible. Here are a few tips, tricks, and techniques to effectively add volume, real or perceived, to your home or rental agreement property.
Tip 1: Be Discriminating
You don’t have the space for a closet devoted only to shoes, or a three-ton entertainment center. Instead, choose slim, compact furnishings, and multi-purpose objects that save you the need for buying more junk. Look for ways to utilize wall space instead of precious floor square footage, such as a hanging rack for that shoe collection, that hangs inside the closet door.
Tip 2: Futons, Futons, Futons
Likewise, futons can be used as both a bed and a couch, which makes them perfect for studio apartments. Don’t discount that affordable rental agreement on the perfect block just because the space is tiny; go buy a comforter that you can interchange as a blanket and sofa cover, and enjoy all the space you’ll be saving in your little studio.
Tip 3: Coffee Tables Are the Enemy
Coffee tables are great for things like magazines you don’t read, putting your feet on when no one’s around, and generally taking up space unnecessarily. You can’t afford the space for one, so forget the coffee table, and if you absolutely need to show off your subscription to Wine Advocate (which we both know you don’t actually read), you can put it on the end table.
Tip 4: TVs: Flatter is Better
Flat LCD or plasma TVs aren’t expensive anymore, so there’s just no excuse for wasting your valuable floor space on your uncle’s old behemoth. If you’re a landlord, hanging up a plasma TV on the wall is an unbelievably effective way of securing a high-end rental agreement – just make sure you secure it well, and collect an extra security deposit.
Tip 5: Desks Are So “The Office”
Why do you have a desk? For two reasons, probably: to house your desktop computer, and to store work or financial files that you almost never reference. Sell the desktop, buy a laptop, ditch the desk entirely, and put the files in a box in the closet. You’ll feel less stress, take up less space, and be more comfortable on the couch anyway.
Tip 6: Mirrors
You already know this one: mirrors make spaces look bigger. Sure, it’s an illusion, but it also makes the apartment feel less cramped and claustrophobic, which is great news no matter which side of the rental agreement you’re on.
Tip 7: Lighter, Brighter, Bigger
Dark colors, whether on the carpet or walls, bring attention to the confines of the room. They’re also oppressive and unpleasant, but light colors make spaces feel roomier because they’re less imposing. If you’re a landlord, these are easy changes to make, and if you’re a tenant, be sure to read your rental agreement carefully to see what updates it allows you to make in the apartment. As a final note, light throw rugs are cheap, won’t violate the rental agreement, and can help considerably.
Landlords, tenants, and homeowners all have good reasons to try and make their spaces seem larger, whether to be able to charge for a premium rental agreement, or simply gain the maximum enjoyment and livability from a small living space. Stop buying so much junk, throw out most of what you have, and enjoy cheap and pleasant living in your little studio.
Author Resource:-> Brian Davis is a landlord and former small-space occupier, having shared a tiny home with a platonic friend (and usually her boyfriend). He writes for a slew of online real estate resources, and consults for EZ Landlord Forms, a provider of custom state-specific rental agreement forms.
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