Apartments are a reality of modern-day living, particularly for first home buyers. Unfortunately, they keep getting smaller and prices grow in the other direction. There’s no need to live like caged birds, however – with some creativity and flair, small spaces can become smart spaces. In Scandinavia and parts of Asia, where people are used to high density, space-saving innovations have been popular for decades, but we in the Lucky Country often still try to fit our suburban lives in our urban confines.
In Australia we have historically been blessed with wide open spaces, and homes to match, but increasing population density means we are encouraged to live closer together, and while this has many benefits, it generally means smaller houses. There are thousands of creative solutions to making the most of a small house or apartment, however. There’s a whole “Tiny House” movement taking off right now, and many of them are adorable. You may even want to go and stay in some first to check them out.
Multi-task your space
But how do we use such a small space and still have all the things we need in a home? The real key is to make things multi-purpose, or being able to move things out of the way when they are not in use. A bed takes up a lot of space which is wasted when there’s nobody sleeping in it, so there are a number of ways to get beds out of the way during the day. In Japan, for example, futons have been rolled up in the morning for centuries. But there are other ways to conceal a bed, by flipping it up into the wall, or by sliding it under something else. If there’s no potential for storing the bed, why not try storing more stuff under it? And loft beds are a great way to maximise bedroom space, especially for kids, making rooms for a desk or a play area.
Be a storage genius
Where to keep all your other stuff is probably the next biggest problem, and in most cases it’s limited either by built-in storage or by wall space to put extra storage against. In most cases the vast untapped space is above our heads. Creative use of vertical space can free up room for actually living in, whether in the bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. If you have high enough ceilings, a mezzanine level can increase the amount of space available for just about anything, without increasing the footprint of the house overall.
A world of pure imagination
Making the most of the space you have means looking for parts of your house that are wasted or not used efficiently, and finding a creative solution – like this can pantry that slides into the useless space next to the fridge. When it comes down to it, making the most of a small house or apartment is limited only by your imagination (and possibly by your budget). But it’s amazing what can be achieved with a little imagination and a creative vision, like this tiny Paris apartment that has everything it needs, once you know where to look.
Even a tiny, humble apartment home can be your castle, and with creative solutions like these, may make the prospect of apartment living just a little more appealing. If you’re looking at buying a little slice of home, jump on our home loans comparison tool and make sure you get the best mortgage for your current needs.
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