How to decorate the interior of a small apartment: a complete guide for those who suffer from a lack of meters
Do you have a limited number of squares at your disposal? Even a small space can be designed stylishly and functionally without sacrificing amenities. In this article, we share ideas for interior design of a small apartment: what style and color scheme to choose, how to properly zone the space, and what can be done with typical layouts.
How to book a small home
Which style to choose
Thinking through the design of a small home, you need to follow a few important principles.
- Everything should work for the visual expansion of space. This will help light colors, plain surfaces (or small low-contrast drawings), mirrors, maximum natural light.
- Furniture should not be bulky. Instead of massive products, choose light and compact models with graceful legs. Use suspended structures whenever possible.
- With limited footage, zoning decides everything. With it, you can turn one room into two or even three. It is important not to clutter up the space and not block the light. Instead of blind false walls and solid partitions, use slats with gaps, low screens or transparent glass screens. Doors can be replaced with arches and wide openings.
- The simpler the finish, the better. It should be a neutral background that blurs the real boundaries and doesn’t draw attention to the actual size of the rooms.
- Make the most of the usable area: mezzanine cabinets in the kitchen, insulated loggia as an addition to the living room, storage under the bed, podiums, niches, etc.
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Choice of style
Not every style is suitable for small spaces: for example, classics in their purest form or high-tech require large spaces and scope. But some destinations feel great on a limited footage.
Minimalism has already become a new classic and is perceived not so much as a separate style, but as a characteristic of any modern interior. It is characterized by practicality and functionality; natural materials; emphasis on forms and textures; restrained, almost monochrome palette; no unnecessary details, a minimum of decor.
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Scandinavian style for small apartments
The Scandinavian aesthetic does not give up and is perfect for small spaces. Residents of the Nordic countries know how to rationally use small areas and what a lack of sun is. Typical features of Scandi can be defined as follows.
- Light palette, calm natural colors and a few bright accent colors.
- Inexpensive but high quality materials.
- Practicality in everything.
- Moderate decor that creates coziness due to pleasant natural textures.
- Mandatory use of wood.
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Despite the fact that the loft is characterized by high ceilings and large open spaces, it is often used in city apartments, including small ones. It is not necessary to embody all the canons — you can take the characteristic elements and recreate the loft style in a small apartment, as in the photo below.
Typical characteristics include brickwork — both natural bricks and decorative replacements can be used; brutal cold textures (stone, concrete, metal, glass); gray-brown color scheme; industrial elements — boxes, pipes, chains, nets, worn leather, etc.
Often this direction is used in studios, using high bar counters, metal partitions and shelving for zoning.
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Unlike the classic interior, neoclassic is not so demanding on space. This is a more modern and lightweight version, which can be arranged in a small size.
- Symmetry — this makes neoclassicism related to traditional interiors.
- The center around which the whole composition is built.
- Smooth lines and rounded shapes.
Stucco — it can be accent and modern (for example, moldings on the walls or ceiling look good).
- Natural materials, marble texture, precious metals.
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The most popular type of small-sized housing is studios. Standard sizes — 20-35 square meters. m, although there are also options ranging from 14 to 45 squares.
The main feature is the lack of rooms as such. The whole apartment is one common space that can be zoned to your liking. There are square and rectangular studios, the latter almost always have one window — this must be taken into account when decorating the space.
Example for inspiration
This studio is an example of how you can arrange housing without separate rooms for a family with a child. The initial data are standard: rectangular apartments with an area of 33 sq. m excluding the balcony, a small corridor and a bathroom, behind them — a living space.
The designers chose a modern style with eco-friendly accents and focused on the hallway, covering one wall with bright wallpaper with a floral pattern. The main storage is also located here — a large floor-to-ceiling closet with an open section for outerwear. The bathroom was able to accommodate a full bath, a sink with a storage system and a washing machine. We chose a model with a vertical drum to save space.
With the help of a wall and translucent glass blocks, the living space was conditionally divided into two parts: a compact corner kitchen and a living room-bedroom. It also housed a nursery: the child was given his own separate bed against the wall and a small workplace.
On the other side is a dining table for three and a large sofa bed. Opposite is a TV and a spacious cabinet for storage.
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Small-sized odnushki differ from studios in the presence of a separate living room and a separate kitchen. In a single room, they combine the functions of a bedroom, a living room and sometimes a study. Housing area can be from 30 to 50 squares.
Example for inspiration
This project is an example of a stylish modern interior for a small apartment. On an area of 41 squares there are: an entrance hall, a bathroom, a kitchen, a bedroom-living room, a wardrobe, a balcony.
To visually make the space larger, the designer used translucent partitions with embossed glass. The interior is made in restrained colors, the main accent is a deep olive color. The living room also serves as a bedroom, so a large sofa bed was chosen for it.
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Small spaces can also be two-room. As a rule, the area of such housing is 45-50 square meters. m with two small rooms and a separate kitchen. It can be both new buildings and Soviet-era housing.
Example for inspiration
This small-sized kopeck piece for a girl is located in a 1972 house. The layout is atypical for modern apartments: the premises are not concentrated around the center and are not connected by corridors: two rooms are adjacent. The entrance hall is practically absent: the entrance area is only 2 sq. m, immediately behind it is a four-meter bathroom. Adjacent to it is the kitchen, which can only be accessed through the living area.
For this interior, the designer chose an active rich palette: a deep gray tint as the base, it is complemented by juicy yellow, blue and red. The entrance area and walk-through living room are made in the same color scheme. A large sofa, a TV area, a dining group by the window were placed in the hall, on the contrary — an open bookcase in the entire wall.
In the kitchen, the palette changes a little: white has appeared in the decoration, and a yellow-blue combination creates a rich contrast. The main visual accent is the refrigerator. To visually lighten the space, the upper tier of cabinets was left on only one wall, and one was vacated, leaving only a contrasting black hood.
The bedroom is dominated by a rich coral hue, which is set off by deep blues and grays. In addition to the bed, it was possible to place a small workplace in the room, as well as a spacious dressing room, which the customer wanted. This area is located behind the head of the bed and is hidden behind the wall. Two passages lead inside, covered with a velvet curtain.
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In new buildings, the Euro-dvushka format is increasingly common. Such an apartment is slightly larger than a one-room apartment and smaller than a standard two-room apartment, the average footage is 35-45 square meters. The main difference from the usual odnushki is a separate bedroom and a large common room where the kitchen and living room are combined. This layout reflects the European approach to housing: sleep in the bedroom, and all life is concentrated in the common area. The entrance hall is usually small, there is only one bathroom.
Example for inspiration
The author of this project designed an apartment of 38.5 sq. m for a young man. Interesting features include a gas boiler and a beautiful bay window balcony. The original layout was almost not touched, only two small bathrooms were combined into one to accommodate a sit-down bath — this was one of the wishes of the customer. Another condition was not to turn the odnushka into a studio, so no walls were demolished.
The kitchen was located on the right side of the main room, since it was necessary to take into account the location of gas communications. Their customer asked to hide it as much as possible — this was done with the help of a false apron and a removable box at the top. The boiler was hidden behind the facades.
The bar counter, continuing the work surface, acted as a visual boundary between the cooking and relaxation areas. The hall has a soft folding sofa in case of guests and a TV with compact storage systems. It was impossible by law to connect the loggia with the living area, so the designer made French glazing and hinged doors that do not block the view to the beautiful view balcony.
Thanks to the mustard accent wall, the bedroom turned out to be the most saturated room in the apartment. Only the essentials were placed in it: a comfortable bed, a spacious wardrobe, a chest of drawers for additional storage and several open shelves for books and small things. The wall opposite the bed was left empty so that a projector or TV could be hung there.
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Khrushchevs should be taken out as a separate item, since their typical layouts differ significantly from modern apartments. Here are a number of important features that are inherent in any housing of the Khrushchev era: low ceilings — a striking difference from the stalinok and the old fund; small isolated kitchen, usually 4-5 sq. m; the space is divided into small rooms, there are adjacent rooms.
Usually these are odnushki up to 36 sq. m or kopeck piece 38-48 sq. m. There are treshki up to 58 squares.
To compensate for the lack of space and small spaces, when repairing, Scandinavian style is often chosen for a small Khrushchev apartment. Light neoclassical and contemporary look organically in old buildings.
Example for inspiration
This apartment is located in the I-511 brick building, which was considered one of the best for that time. The owners got a typical Khrushchev arrangement: a five-meter kitchen, two adjoining rooms, a small combined bathroom. The total area is 41 squares.
Despite the modest dimensions, the designer and customers took a bold step — to make part of the walls dark blue. They are balanced by light-colored furniture and warm beige, which is used both in decoration and decor. For a tiny five-meter kitchen, a corner set was chosen. The height of the window sill made it possible to use it as a work surface, which increased the usable area of the room. The dining group was taken out into the living room, leaving only space in the kitchen for the bare necessities.
There was a fairly spacious entrance hall. The author of the project used this feature in order to organize additional storage — a large light wardrobe fit in the corridor. Mirror facades reflect part of the living room, thereby visually increasing the space.
The bathroom is made in a laconic modern style, the colors echo the overall palette. The main finish is light to compensate for the small area.
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