Make the Most of Your Apartment's Cramped Quarters


Renting an apartment has its advantages. When something goes awry, such as a leaky faucet or a hole in the roof, tenants aren't responsible for addressing the situation. Nor are they required to pay for it.

One notable disadvantage to renting, however, is the all too common issue involving space. Many apartments simply can't provide the amount of space most tenants would prefer. And as a result, tenants are routinely looking for ways to make the most of their existing spaces.

For those of you domicile-restricted dwellers, the following tips can help make even the tightest of quarters much more livable:


* Embrace function over fashion. Multifunctional items and rooms are an apartment dweller's best friend. When buying furniture, look for items that can serve multiple purposes. A storage ottoman, for instance, makes a great place to put your feet up, but it can also store a host of items and save space in the process.

Certain rooms, such as an eat-in-kitchen or small dining area, can double as a home office for anyone whose laptop computer is their primary tool for connecting to their office's network. Those who call a studio apartment home might consider a futon that pulls double duty, working as a couch by day and a bed by night.

* Think vertical. Traditional storage space, like closets, is typically limited in apartments. But vertical storage units -- be it tall bookshelves or even open shelving above doorways -- can make up for that lack of closet storage space.

For those without adequate room in their bedroom closet, look to an armoire to make up for that missing space.

* Go sparingly on the furnishings. One advantage to a smaller apartment, is that it doesn't cost nearly as much to furnish.

If an apartment is on the smaller side, go easy on the furnishings; it's not necessary to purchase an entire living room set. Instead, a couch and an armchair might be good enough.

Filling a small apartment with furniture will only make the place uncomfortable, so leave some room to breathe and walk around. A good rule of thumb many apartment dwellers operate by is to limit each room to one large piece of furniture. In the bedroom, the large item is the bed, while the living room features a couch with some smaller additional seating (i.e., an armchair).

* Become an illusionist. Mirrors can make a small room appear larger. A mirror reflects part of the room, making that room appear larger even though it's not. Floor-length mirrors tend to work the best, but wall mirrors can also make a room look and feel larger than it really is.


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