7 Small Space Decorating Hacks Every Apartment Dweller Needs to Know

Lauren Powell

Pottery Barn

Fact: Small space decorating is a challenge. But far from impossible. Especially when you enlist the help of genius functional products and a little help from the experts. Enter, Pottery Barn. The retail giant has just launched small space collection to rescue those in space-challenged spaces—apartment dwellers, rejoice!  

Rhys Duggan, Pottery Barn Australia’s Field Visual Manager and small space master, has revealed his top hacks for decorating a petite home so you can take your digs from tiny to stylish. Over his career, Duggan has heard an abundance of common small-space dilemmas, concerns, myths, and misconceptions. The interior guru has not only revealed them, but he's worked his design magic, and solved them for us. Read on if you’re lacking in space and dreaming of style.

1. “Lack of kitchen storage and bench space is my biggest bugbear.”

“For an instant and affordable reno-free kitchen upgrade, draw on the services (and industrial good looks) of a rolling storage cart or unit. Add labelled baskets or galvanised containers for a glamorous way to hide unsightly essentials like cereal boxes or appliances, or simply stack neat piles of everyday dinnerware and save the cupboard space for the uglier stuff! The wheels mean you can readily push it out of the way when you need room to extend your dining table or entertain guests.”

2. “A dining table would never fit in our place so we eat on the sofa instead.”

“Nutritionists and social experts agree—regularly eating on the sofa isn’t great for you. Gathering around the table to eat enhances the enjoyment of your food and promotes interaction with your loved ones. All you need is to find a table sized for your space—whether it’s tucked into the corner of your kitchen or on the edge of the living room. This gateleg dining table can seat four people when both of its drop sides are extended, but it folds down into a cosy table for two, and down further to become extra prep surface and storage.”

3. “Too much furniture will make my small space feel smaller.”

“Avoid this dilemma by choosing well-designed, carefully considered furniture. One oversized sofa sitting on its own is going to dwarf the room far more than the right sized sofa + coffee table + rug + side table + stool + armchair. Furniture should be proportionally sized to your space, and it should work harder, too. The compact silhouette of a sectional will fit into small corner, plus hidden storage in its chaise can store everything from spare blankets to board games.”

4. “Built-ins are but an impossible dream for our bedroom.”

“If your room isn’t ready for built-in storage (maybe windows and doors are in the way, or you’re renting) then instead of hauling in a bulky, inefficient armoire, keep things airy with a modular clothes rack or two. Yes, you’ll need to keep things neat, but the benefits are manifold. First, a clothes rack fits into any narrow corner. Second, you’ll be able to see everything you have at a glance, making the morning rush a whole lot faster. And finally, it’ll encourage you to continually edit your wardrobe—especially now that it also constitutes part of your décor!”

5. “Linen closet? I barely have room for my clothes!”

“Instead of a standalone linen press, opt for under-bed rollaway storage—or better yet, select a bed with built-in drawers especially designed to house your doonas, quilt covers, and spare towels.”

6. “I can’t damage the walls in our rental, so open shelving is out.”

“Don’t despair, your vignette-creating days aren’t over. Create vertical display and storage surfaces with open, stackable shelves which you can add to and arrange—and rearrange—to perfectly suit the needs of your space.”

7. “Minimalism is the only answer to small space living.” 

“So not true! The cosiest, most sophisticated spaces can also be the most modestly sized. The key is to stick to a single palette (neutrals are a safe bet, especially as a base colour), layer in texture (woven storage baskets, soft knitted throws, tactile cushions), play with height (add floor lamps and side tables at varying heights), and make functional objects (umbrella and hats hanging on a wall hook, say) feature as part of your décor.”

Ready to update your space challenged space? Shop the problem-solving Small Spaces collection from Pottery Barn.

Read more stories about décor and follow us on Pinterest for more interior inspiration.

Add a Comment

More Stories