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Rruga "Dervish Hima", Rezidenca “Ambasador 3”, kati 17, nr. 134, Tiranë, Shqipëri

How to decorate a small apartment – 5 lessons


As an interior design writer, understandably, the decor of my own home is something I take great enjoyment in. I live in a fairly small apartment, around 700 square feet, and so something that’s always been central to how I approach its decor is considering how to balance functionality and style.

I would say that for the most part, I’m more of a minimalist than a maximalist, which no doubt helps when working with a smaller space. That doesn’t mean I don’t love decorating with color, I just like my home to feel understated with a focus on standout pieces.

I’ve lived in my apartment for over two years now, so I thought I’d round up what I’ve learned along the way with decorating small spaces. I’ve followed these five simple apartment decor ideas which have allowed me to create a home that feels personal and homely while maximizing on space.


The type of furniture you choose is arguably the most important decision you’ll make when decorating a small apartment. The walls can be changed over time as color trends change, but furniture is costly so it’s not something you should switch often. I’m a huge fan of midcentury furniture, and this is reflected in almost every room of my apartment. Not only do I love the understated look of midcentury furniture, but I find that its low profile works incredibly well in small spaces.


As with many rentals, decorating with paint on the walls is off-limits for me. While I’m lucky that the backdrop colors of my apartment are soft neutrals, the ways of incorporating color can feel limiting. I’ve found that decorating with art is an effective way of uplifting a space with bold colors, and have hung artwork in most rooms of my home, even the kitchen.

I’ve opted for graphical artwork with bright colors to add a point of interest to each room, but you can choose so many different styles depending on the look you want to create.


As someone who naturally loves a clutter-free environment, I’ve definitely seen the benefits of this approach when living in a small space. Storage ideas can often be limited in small apartments, so I find that being as organized as possible and not keeping excess items really helps to keep the whole apartment looking tidy.

This approach also works well for any open shelving. I have open shelves in my kitchen and living room and while they’re of course a practical storage solution, keeping items limited means they don’t end up looking cluttered and can be stylishly arranged.



Not only is decorating with mirrors a practicality, but it’s also a great way to maximize natural light and make a space feel larger, perfect for smaller spaces. In my apartment, I have a large mirror above the fireplace and find that this acts as a focal point in the room while helping to create the illusion of more space. ‘Include mirrors to make the place look bigger and even more bright,’ says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky, founder of NYC-based Arsight.


Lastly, adding different patterned textiles to your small apartment can elevate each room while of course helping to create a cozy feel. I’ve opted for an oversized rug in my living room with a subtle pattern, and I find it’s a great way of adding interest to the space without decorating the walls. Alternatively, choosing patterned and colorful bedding or other smaller furnishings such as cushions allows you to break up the neutrals, and they can easily be swapped out over time if you fancy a change.