How to Style your Itty-Bitty, Teeny-Weeny Micro Apartment

Words: Robyn Samuels

Upscale micro apartments and studio spaces designed for singles and young professionals seem to be the thing. Living in a smaller space has many benefits; like not having to clean as much surface area, and uhm, not having to clean as much. Ok, let’s be honest, as trendy as your apartment or studio may be, there’s probably room for improvement when it comes to your bed, bath and beyond situation… if you’re a single occupant, you probably don’t need that much space anyway, but your storage dilemma might be compromising your styling preferences. This doesn’t mean that you have to prioritise functionality over style though.

Tips for Styling your Micro apartment

Here are some organisational and styling tips to help turn your teeny-weeny micro apartment into the digs of your dreams.

Go vertical or go home!

Storage can be a massive downside when you live in a micro apartment; one of the best design hacks is vertical storage. Maximise the space in your apartment by mounting floating shelves on walls. Utilising vertical space allows you to free up floor space for furniture items and moving around. Try to install ones without diagonal beams attached to your walls for a clean, minimalist look. This also allows you to showcase your trinkets, books and houseplants, while offering valuable horizontal/floor room. Place everyday items on lower shelves for easy access, less frequently used items should be located on higher shelves.

Style your micro apartment

Implementing vertical storage also lends aesthetic appeal by selecting focal points with a vibrant colour palette, further adding dimension and depth to your apartment.

Woven baskets or crates placed above cupboards allow extra storage. Stow away odd items or extra crockery for those intimate dinner parties you’ll be hosting.

Customise your furniture

If you are buying or renting an apartment and intend on occupying it for some time, consider customising your furniture pieces. It’s a trendy way to incorporate your design preferences while being functional in ‘creating’ more floor space. It might cost a little more than generic pieces from the furniture store, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Incorporate storage solutions into your cupboards, desks or kitchen islands. Think coffee tables with built-in storage or an elevated bed base with pull-out drawers for effective storage.

Minimalism – less is more

Another perk of living in a micro apartment or studio is that it forces you to declutter and keep everything neat and tidy. Spring clean regularly and let go of items you don’t need by donating them. Recycling goes hand in hand with minimalism, and we often bring so many unnecessary things home with us.

Be the Marie Kondo in your life and ask yourself – does this spark joy? If not, then down the recycling chute you go.

If you don’t have enough space in your wardrobe for garments, make use of a portable clothing rack with bottom shelving for extra shoe storage. This could also serve as a place to dry your clothes if you don’t have a clothesline. Coat hangers are also useful for holding your bags – get a couple of removable stainless steel hooks and place them on the sides of your wardrobe if possible.

Create zones

Having a studio or open-plan home basically means that your office area, lounge, kitchen and bathroom are part of one big bedroom. One way to differentiate between these areas could be to create ‘zones’ by cordoning off certain areas with carpets/rugs without creating a divide with screens or curtains.

Style your micro apartment

If you have tiled floors, carpets also invite more warmth and incorporate a homey touch.

Feng shui – rearrange your furniture

Micro apartments can feel limiting in terms of space; a great way to avoid your set-up feeling ‘stale’ is to reconfigure your apartment once every three months or twice a year, depending on how heavy your furniture is – this can be laborious if you live alone. Good feng shui could add a little zest to your home and even uplift your mood.

Feng shui is the art of arranging buildings and objects to create balance in environments by redirecting the flow of energy or ‘chi’.

Feng shui translates to ‘the way of water and wind’. The Chinese believe that the configuration of your home can invite harmony in different frontiers of life such as one’s success, happiness and health. If you work from home, consider moving your desk to a spot that gets natural light during colder seasons – a healthy dose of vitamin D is essential.

Personalise your space

Infusing personality into your apartment makes all the difference. Some places come fully furnished – this is great if you’re looking for convenience or are renting short-term, but if you plan on leasing for some time, it’s worth restyling your apartment. Feature art on your walls, it doesn’t have to be a van Gogh original, it could be a cool find from a thrift store.

Add a splash of colour

Pre-furnished homes often have two-toned neutral colour schemes like white, grey or black, which can feel devoid of personality.

Style your micro apartment

Think of moving homes as your wedding day – make sure to get something new, something borrowed like a memento that reminds you of family/friends; and if blue isn’t your favourite, get a statement piece for a splash of colour – it could be the colour of your couch, kettle, toaster or throw pillows for your bed.

Houseplants for a homey touch

Another way to infuse life into your living space is getting a couple of houseplants, based on what’s feasible space-wise. Also, consider the type of plant you get for easy maintenance and watering needs; they should also be positioned in an appropriate spot depending on the growth requirements of the plant.

House plants can improve the quality of air in your home.

Everything has its place

This tip might be useful for any home and isn’t necessarily specific to styling micro-apartments, but it’s generally useful to have a designated storage for frequently used or important items in your home. Organisational tools like boxes will allow you to easily locate items and avoid frustration when trying to find your phone, keys or wallet just as you’re about to leave the house – we’ve all been there.

It’s all an optical illusion

Creating a bigger space is all an optical illusion. Play around with lighting and space by using certain colours that invite natural light and reflect off the walls.

Style your micro apartment

Lighter and more neutral colours allow more natural light or give the illusion that there’s more space than there actually is. Large mirrors also create the illusion of a larger space; mount one on your wall or plaster it on the side of your cupboard.

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