Thursday, April 18, 2024

How To Pack Style In A Small Apartment

By now, we know that the people in Scandinavia are amazing when it comes to their small space living. At some point of time in my life, I was living in the US, albeit in apartments and not in McMansions. However, even my apartments were spacious and they came with built-in closets, pantry, entryway-closet, and even a linen-closet. The kitchen was fair size with a huge refrigerator. Fast forward a few years and I found myself living in a tiny apartment near Dusseldorf in Germany. Our family has grown as well – we have become three from two. And we had an under the counter refrigerator with NO freezer. My quest for living with style in small spaces began. As I searched for small space living ideas, I became aware how the people in Scandinavia are so good at this.

All the houses and apartments I have seen so far in my life (online – I never had a chance to visit this beautiful part of the world), they are incredibly stylish and they pack all the style in such small spaces without compromising the function. It’s a seamless harmony of both form and function. The Scandinavian design never overwhelms me, it rather calms me down, but it’s also not bare to the bone. It’s minimal, but it’s the right proportion, it’s the balance that stands out. Here is one fine example of small 1 room Swedish apartment from Entrance. It’s just 55 square meter, that is approximately 600 square feet. Let’s dive in.

1.The flow is just right – I have never lived in a railroad apartment, and I am honestly never a fan of this. However, I see this layout in so many Scandinavian apartments. This layout definitely offers considerably more space at a lower cost.

2. Some amount of open shelving – When I look at the Scandinavian design, I do see it as minimal, but I can also see some stuff scattered around. Stuff that are pleasing to eye, stuff that you really like or that hold meaning to you, or stuff that you need on a daily basis. That makes the space more lived-in instead of a staged space.

3. So much natural light – I absolutely love the big windows and all the natural light. I have so far never seen a dark and gloomy Scandinavian home. And considering the fact that the winter months can get so drab and dreary, all these natural light do make sense and is very much needed.

4. A styled windowsill, always – While you can not do much about the flow and the natural light situations of a home, you can always get some inspiration about styling your windowsill. And honestly speaking you don’t really need a lot of stuff as is evident in the picture below.

5. Negative space in the bookshelf – This really works wonders. If we can resist the urge of filling the bookshelves and making it look overcrowded, we have indeed professionally styled bookshelves without the cost of it. And bookshelves are not just for books. As you can see below, this bookshelf contains a plant, a light, a radio and some other interesting stuff and it makes the bookshelf looking more intentional – natural but stylish.

6. Place for art in a room – However small the footprint might be, there is always some space for art in Scandinavian design. It can be a gallery wall or just one big focal point, but there is definitely some art and that shows your taste.

7. Some beautiful light fixtures. It is integral part of the Scandinavian design to include some beautiful light fixture along with natural light through those big tall windows. You might not have much control on the size of your window, but you can definitely squeeze in some tasteful light fixtures to enhance the design. If you do not have space for stand lamps, you could go for chandeliers too as we see in the photograph below.

8. Always a cozy and inviting bed – I have seen the emphasis is on the coziness and not on how immaculate the bed is. I usually hate un-made beds, but all the ravishing pictures that I see online, even the un-made beds look inviting. I feel like spending the entire day on the bed with a book. Perhaps it’s the linen bedding that’s make it more inviting. I used to love light color when it comes to bedding, but after seeing all the images of Scandinavian styling, I am now leaning more towards dark solid color linen to create the cozy mood.

9. Plants are an integral part – It’s true. You cannot spot a Scandinavian space without a plant or two. Some amount of greenery uplifts your surrounding in turn uplifting your mood. And a bonus point – all the ceramic and porcelain vases and sculptures as you can see in the photograph below.

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