You’ve just poured your life savings and more into your first apartment and taken one giant leap onto the property ladder. The flat may be no bigger than a matchbox but it’s a place to call your very own.
Walking around smugly and gazing at your cream walls and polished wooden floors you realize something is missing: furnishings. It does look a bit bare, but how can you decorate a flat with only a few pennies left in the piggy bank? How do you make the most of the very limited space?
Back to Basics
Unless you’re planning on constructing a fort out of cardboard boxes you’ll need some basic furniture; a bed, a chair, possibly two chairs and maybe a table. Before you embark on a furniture spree however, it’s worth trying to get your mitts on some freebies. Ask friends and family if they have anything loitering in their garages, spare rooms and attics that you can very kindly take off their hands. You’d be surprised at the amount of superfluous furniture floating around. It’s also worth checking out car boot sales and scouring the internet to find local residents giving away pieces for free.
Failing that, stock up on cheap and cheerful furniture that you can decorate later to add a personal touch. If space is particularly tight it’s worth investing in pieces which serve more than one purpose, such as coffee tables and footstools with storage space underneath. If you have your heart set on an expensive piece of furniture and nothing else will do, don’t be afraid to haggle and seek out a discretionary discount.
Make Old Things New
You may have ended up with a random collection of furniture spanning several decades and sporting various garish patterns but you can still work with what you’ve got. Use throws, cushions and paint to cover up any unsavory designs and make everything roughly the same color. If you’re keen to get creative you can even recycle clothes and jewellery to accessorize your furnishings. Got an old megawatt sparkly top from the 90’s? Use the gems to spruce up a plastic storage unit or sew the fabric onto a cushion for a vintage inspired piece.
It’s a Space Jam
If you can’t bear to throw away those childhood toys and clothes that you might just wear one day, store them sensibly. When it comes to storage units don’t waste precious floor space, think vertical and fill your wall space with shelves to display your books and DVDs. Use all available storage space including under the bed, on top of wardrobes and windowsills. You can even get rid of your headboard and affix a few shelves above the bed.
Invest in affordable bathroom suites to turn a cubby-hole into a pamper parlor. With cunningly designed shower-baths and corner basins you can fit your essential amenities into any constricted space. You can also transform your kitchen by adding extra shelving into cupboards and attaching hooks to hang up your pots, pans, apron and chef’s hat.
Create an Atmosphere
You’ve maximized your storage space and sprinkled your cushions with sequins, all that’s left to do is enhance the atmosphere of the room. Whether you want your bedroom to be relaxing or your living room to be warm and inviting, it’s the little touches that count. Use ambient lighting, scented candles, hanging baskets, photos and even music to create a homely and inviting atmosphere.