How to Decorate a Small One-Bedroom Apartment

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Decorating a small, one-bedroom apartment is an opportunity for you to hone your decision-making skills. When space is limited, consider what you can do without and what you absolutely need. Make the most out of your one-bedroom apartment with furnishings that are stylish, suited to the space and serve more than one function.

The Living Room

  • With the proper furnishings, you can create a multipurpose room that functions as an entertainment space, dining area and guest bedroom. A sleeper sofa offers both seating for you and an extra bed for guests. And when paired with two butler trays, it can also become the dining area. When not in use as eating surfaces, the butler trays can function either as sofa end tables or occasional tables in the apartment's foyer. Table lamps offer ambient lighting and style, especially when paired with complementary accessories such as picture frames. Don't neglect the tiny nooks often found in older apartments. You can decorate them with a prized collection of knick-knacks to make the entire space feel loved and lived in. If you have hand-me-down, gently used or not-so-stylish furniture pieces, cover them with neutral slipcovers that match the room's decor. Add continuity to the entire apartment by using the same color window treatments in each room.

The Kitchen

  • Outfit your kitchen with tools and accessories that offer function and a dash of glamour. Seek out pieces specifically designed for small kitchens, such as metal dish racks that can be mounted over the sink. Increase the functionality of empty wall space with a metal rail system that requires a minimum of drilling four holes into the wall. One metal rail can support hooks for whisks, a cup holder for cutlery and a three-tier shelving unit for spices. If space exists between the top of the upper cabinets and the ceiling, put it to work. Buy wicker or cloth baskets to stylishly store your extra paper towels, toilet paper and other necessities.

The Bedroom

  • Make your small bedroom appear larger with white furnishings that blend in with the standard apartment white walls. Position your bed against an empty wall and decorate it so that it commands attention, either with a solid, dark duvet cover and striped pillows, or with a bold pattern and solid-color pillows. Use white bookshelves, tall or short, wherever space permits for extra storage space. On the shelves, you can add storage containers, such as sturdy canvas bins and clear acrylic totes. To reduce clutter, store your incoming bills and outgoing paperwork in clearly marked metal magazine folders. Look for window coverings in a neutral tone that won't clash with the furnishings. Thermal curtains will help reduce heating and cooling costs.

The Bathroom

  • Outfit the bathroom with storage that speaks to your personal style aesthetic. A wooden crate, either hung on the wall or stored in an empty corner, will add storage for extra toilet paper. Add whimsy to vanities with a plate stand, complete with plates, to store soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Decorative jars placed on a Lazy Susan offer another fun option. Bring in additional storage space with a cabinet system that fits over the toilet, or with a narrow bookcase in which you can store extras, like towels, hand towels and soaps in glass jars.

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