I’ve successfully moved from a super-small NYC apartment to an averagely-small apartment, and in an effort to upgrade my new space without filling it to the brim, I’ve been implementing the very best small apartment decor ideas as I make my new living room feel like home.
When it comes to furniture, decor and what I like to call random knick-knacks, what you put in your space can definitely affect how large it looks. My apartment’s living room isn’t huge, but it has high ceilings and big windows with tons of natural light, so knew I could implement a few good small apartment decor ideas to make it look spacious and inviting.
A few art prints, some well-selected furniture, a great rug and tons of plants later, I couldn’t be happier with my space, and I’m here to share the tips I learned that really made it all come together. It didn’t take long to achieve what is basically my dream space, and I highly recommend all the items and tips on this list.
With that, read on for five small apartment decor ideas that made my new apartment feel bigger and better than I ever could have hoped.
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Go For Furniture With Exposed Legs
Prior to this move, I never thought much about the legs of my furniture, but it turns out they can really make or break your space. Exposed legs give the illusion of more space, while bottom-heavy furniture makes your floor space look crowded and cramped.
I knew for sure I wanted a leather sofa for my space, so when I realized Allform lets you customize their gorgeous ottomans from fabric to wood finish, I knew I could create one that complimented my couch perfectly without being super matchy-matchy.
After ordering their complimentary swatch book, I went for the Sand fabric and Walnut leg finish, and I couldn’t be more pleased or impressed with the quality. My custom, made-in-the-USA ottoman arrived quickly and with no issues, and it only took seconds for me to screw on the legs and have it ready to go.
Use Art To Draw The Eye Up
I don’t have a TV in my living room for two reasons. First, because I honestly prefer to do my Netflix binging in bed, and second, because I don’t think televisions look all that aesthetically pleasing. I’d rather use the space for some gorgeous art! My go-to spot for shopping art prints is definitely Desenio, and I hung two of their gorgeous prints in the 19 3/4 x 27 1/2″ size above my couch to draw the eye up.
I chose The Nap Poster and the Up Her Sleeve Poster, and I love how playful and fashion-forward they are as a pair, especially in Desenio’s gorg minimalist copper frames. I made sure to hang both prints about a foot or so above the top of the couch, since hanging them just above it would shrink the look of the wall, and I like to show off my decently-high ceilings. Hanging large-scale art a little higher on the wall creates the illusion of an even bigger space.
Side note—this article is all about my living room, but in the name of amazing art, I had to share the above peek at my bedroom as well. I incorporated four more Desenio posters for this mini-gallery moment, all of which I’d highly recommend: the Fontana Di Trevi Poster, the Pink Fire Escape Poster, the Ciao Bella Poster and The Weekend poster.
Make The Most Of Natural Light & Bright Colors
I’m majorly #blessed to have hella natural lighting in my space, and because of this, I wanted to keep my decor bright and cheery. In my previous apartment, my color palette consisted of dark navy and rich burgundy tones, but for this space, I lightened things up with greens and neutral hues. I still have some navy to keep things grounded, but my white walls, tan sofa and smattering of plants feel vibrant and fresh, neither too saturated nor too heavy.
My Mistana Indira Oriental Green Area Rug really pulls all the colors in my space together, thanks to its mostly green-and-cream colorway with hints of brighter hues like sky blue and reddish-orange. It gets complimented pretty much every time someone new walks into the space!
Opt For Furniture With Multiple Uses
As you might’ve noticed, I don’t have a coffee table in my space, and I’m honestly more than alright with that. My Allform ottoman is basically three pieces of furniture in one—I kick my legs up on it when I’m lounging on the couch, use it as a table if I’m snacking or even extra seating when I entertain friends. Allform’s performance fabrics are also super stain-resistant, so I don’t have to stress about making the most of my ottoman, even though it’s white.
I also have a few stackable lucite tables like these from Plymor in the room, and I can use them as stools or small tables when needed. Since they stack and are clear, they take up little room and won’t make your space feel cluttered, but they’re endlessly useful for sitting, serving, and snacking if a huge, bulky table isn’t for you.
Get Creative With Storage Displays
I’m notorious for having too many books (a good problem, says the college English major!), and in an attempt to keep them off my tables and windowsills, I snagged a few floating bookshelves for a smaller wall near my couch.
These Storage Maniac Floating Bookshelves were a Game. Changer. Not only do my books now serve as wall decor, but they’re easy to reach up and grab when I want to lend one to a friend, making this the ultimate small apartment decor idea and storage solution.