I moved out at the end of 2018 and for the first time ever, I would be living alone. That in itself is a milestone. I remember feeling excited, nervous, a bit uncomfortable but completely and utterly ready for this next chapter in my life, in my new apartment. I remember seeing it for the first time in person. I knew immediately it was the one. The sunlight came in so perfectly. The ceilings were tall. The closet space – oh, the closet space! It already had so much potential, like it was just waiting for me to move in. I created the layout in my head and re-edited it with measurements to make sure the furniture I’d be buying would fit perfectly (seeing as almost everything was ordered online.) Honestly, prior to moving, I was mentally preparing myself to live in a dark shoe box but deep inside, seeing potential shoebox after shoebox, I refused to settle. I’m a true believer in what’s meant for you will find it’s way to you. And that’s how I feel about my first apartment that I can call my own.
My overall design aesthetic can be described as minimalist, elegant, timeless and warmer in tone. In this particular space, one of the most important things to consider was the size of my furniture and selecting utilitarian pieces wherever I could. Every inch of space is valuable so I had to make the most of it, transforming a studio apartment into a zen home-office.
My best tips for decorating a small space:
- LESS IS MORE: The less you see (as in having many random things laying around your apartment) the more zen you’ll feel. Anything that can be hidden or stored away in cabinets, boxes, or closets – do it! I never leave my shoes out, for example. All my shoes are stored in my closet. The most worn shoes are on shelves for efficiency and the ones I rarely wear are stored in higher up shelves in their boxes.
- STORAGE: Find ways to store away anything you don’t use often. For example, I have two large storage containers under my bed that store clothes for the opposite season, old notebooks, files, supplies, etc. I also keep two smaller boxes under my bed that’s easily accessible and store my blow dryer, flat iron, and curling iron in one box. In another box, I store beauty goods (i.e. masks, extra makeup, supplies of the like).
- SIZE (OF FURNITURE) MATTERS: When measuring your space, remember to always leave at least 3 feet clearance around big pieces of furniture so that the room still flows and ensures you won’t be constantly bumping into things. I bought the smallest love seat couch I could find (that was also very chic in design), and I bought a coffee table that could extend or layer into one so that I wouldn’t be forced to walk around a 3-4 foot long coffee table all the time.
- VERTICAL SPACE: This includes cabinets, utilizing that top shelf in your closet for luggage or storage of shoe boxes, or adding in more shelves for either decor or for storage purposes. Adding in and taking advantage of whatever vertical space you have in your apartment will help keep things off the ground and off tables and it will feel more cohesive. It’s a good opportunity to decorate with greenery or flowers to create a more zen ambience.