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Julie Mott Reveals 5 Fabulous IKEA Furniture Hacks for Small Apartments

Originally published on

It's common to assume that it's easier to choose furniture and decor for a small apartment than a large home. With less space to fill, you have fewer decisions to make.

But designing for small spaces has its challenges. Here, Julie Mott, IKEA enthusiast, shares her techniques for making the most out of tiny spaces.

Use Unconventional Furniture to Make Rooms Multifunctional

Are you torn between turning a second bedroom into an office or a guest room? You don't have to choose! IKEA has several furniture options for people who require some flexibility.

Selecting a loft bed is a great way to maximize your floor space. When you lift the bed off the ground, it gives you ample room to set up a small office underneath. Some loft beds have desks and shelves already built-in, while others leave the space empty so that you can personalize it with other furniture.

Utilize Multiple Storage Solutions

One of the most common complaints about small apartments is their lack of storage. Selecting furniture with built-in storage is a creative way to address the problem. Beds with built-in drawers underneath can hold anything from kids' toys to out-of-season clothing.

Decorative items can also serve double-duty as storage options. Small hanging baskets are a cute way to display toiletries in a tiny bathroom, while items like the Lurvig cat house combine a practical side table with a feline retreat.

Customize Furniture to Your Space

If your couch is too large for the living room, it can make your entire layout feel cramped and uncomfortable. IKEA offers the capability to customize several of its sofas so that the proportions will be perfectly suited to your floor plan. Modular furniture is a game-changer when space is at a premium.

Take Advantage of Outdoor Spaces

Even small apartments often have balconies or patios. If you have access to a feature like this, make the most of it by turning it into a bonus room that just happens to be outdoors. Stylish weatherproof rugs and interlocking patterned decking provide a high-end look at a low price point and are quick to install and disassemble.

When you design your outdoor space, think about what you would use it for most. If you want to curl up with a good book, a chaise or sofa might be preferable. If you like dining al fresco, go with an outdoor table and chair set instead. Don't forget to add ambiance with strands of outdoor lights.

Trick the Eye Using Clever Design Elements

No matter how cleverly you design for a small space, it may still feel rather cramped. Playing with perception can help. Hang several mismatched mirrors on the living room wall across from a window. The reflective surfaces make the room feel grander, and natural light is amplified, which creates an airy feel.

When decorating a home with limited square footage, it can be challenging to balance comfort, style, and functionality. You may think that you'll have to make sacrifices, but that's not the case at all. By using a little creativity (and these Julie Mott's tips from her IKEA-dedicated blog), you can ensure that your design meets both your wants and your needs.

About Julie Mott

Julie Mott is a Chicago-based IKEA fan and interior design enthusiast. Ms. Mott is an avid reader of interior design books, from which she draws inspiration. Her favorite interior designer is Joanna Gaines, and "Magnolia Home" is her go-to source for design ideas. Julie aspires to create an interior design hub for stay-at-home moms who shop on a budget.