15 Small Apartment Storage and Decor Ideas to Maximize Your Space

living room with gallery shelves and l shaped couch
Photo: Dylan Chandler

Small apartments can be especially tricky to decorate, thanks to unique layouts and tight corners that require clever planning. Finding room for furniture, clothing, storage, and more can be overwhelming. Luckily, decorating a small apartment is easier than you might think thanks to these renter-friendly decorating hacks and simple storage tricks that make the most out of your space.

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Add an Entryway Bench

hallway with patterned rug and wooden bench
Annie Schlechter

Small apartments are notorious for having awkward entryway areas or none at all. Adding a narrow bench provides a spot to slip on shoes. Place a few baskets underneath for storing footwear or accessories and hang hooks above for jackets. Finish your small apartment entryway by laying down a rug or runner for a welcoming, cozy environment.

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Use Removable Wallpaper

bedroom with antique chest table and tropical decor
Hector Sanchez

If you're renting your apartment, you might not be able to paint your walls. Turn to removable wallpaper to bring some personalization into your small space while avoiding damage to walls. There are so many fun patterns and prints to choose from when it comes to temporary wallpaper. Try a statement print with a graphic design, or opt for a minimalist pattern, like delicate florals, for a subtle update.

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Loft Your Bed

kohlhepp house bedroom white loft
Erin Kunkel

Capitalize on space in a small apartment by lofting your bed. This frees up a ton of floor space for storage. Add a ladder and place a desk or small dining table underneath to create a workspace or lounge area for guests. This small-space solution is especially helpful for studio apartments, where it's necessary to carve out separate zones in a single room.

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Use Temporary Decals

bedroom with graphic wall and striped bedding
Edmund Barr

If temporary wallpaper seems like a bigger job than you're ready to take on, opt for removable decals. Transform your small space by adding vinyl decals that put the finishing touch on your bedroom or living room. Try cutting the vinyl into different shapes for a unique design or add a piece of art with your decals for a renter-friendly finish.

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Incorporate Poufs

small sitting room with cozy couches and colorful decor
John Bessler

Poufs are a great small apartment accessory that can serve as an extra seat. Find one that matches your aesthetic and use it as a coffee table or footrest in your living room. Next time you host a gathering, there will be plenty of seating available while not having to store anything.

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Display Art Damage-Free

living room with gallery shelves and l shaped couch
Dylan Chandler

Want to hang artwork but also avoid adding too many holes into your walls? Instead of hanging each individual piece, try hanging floating shelves and setting the art on top. This way, you can layer different pieces and prints while reducing the number of holes in your wall. Or look for adhesive strips as a renter-friendly solution for hanging art.

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Employ Storage Containers

small black and white kitchen with open shelves
Brie Williams

Sometimes storing ingreidents on your kitchen counter is inevitable, especially if your historic apartment is tight on (or absent of) built-ins. Using small storage containers, baskets, and bins can help keep your counters orderly. Shop for containers at thrift stores for a cost-effective option and personalized kitchen.

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Use a Dresser as a Nightstand

black and white bedroom with vintage accents
Brie Williams

Small apartment bedrooms are often cramped and adding more furniture than you have room for impedes traffic flow. For storage and display space, repurpose a a dresser as a nightstand. Designate the drawer closest to your bed for nighttime essentials, and use the rest of the dresser as you typically would. Add a lamp, some artwork, and plants for a finished look.

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Hang Shelves in Kitchen

kitchen blue cabinets and white subway tile
Stacy Goldberg

Counter space can be limited in small apartments. If your kitchen has a small surface area, it's important to keep as much of the area funtional as possible. Hang shelves in your kitchen to keep items off your counter and store cookbooks, dishware, spices, and more.

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Display Storage in Plain Sight

striking living room with black gallery wall and white couch
Brie Williams

When it comes to small apartment ideas, clever storage is a must. Try incorporating storage that not only works for displaying decorative items but also stowes items until needed. For a tidy look, use bins and baskets to collect like items and store them on shelves until you're ready to pull them out.

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Incoporate an Eat-In Kitchen

small modern kitchen with light wood and white cabinets
Lincoln Barbour

Many small apartments lack a dining room, but a small bistro set can transform your kitchen. Just two chairs and a small-scale table for two is often all you need for a quick meal. The best part about eat-in kitchens is that your dining table is never too far from your cooking space, making cleanup a breeze.

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Let the Light In

apartment white couch and leather chair sitting room
Emily Minton-Redfield

To make your small space seem bigger and brighter, allow for as much natural light as possible. Natural sunlight can transform a small apartment and requires no extra cost. Throw back existing blinds or curtains during the day to let in sunglight and visually expand your space.

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Hang Statement Art

bright colorful sitting room with decorative pillows
Annie Schlechter

Sometimes creating a gallery wall isn't an option, but that doesn't mean you can't incorporate art into your small apartment. Statement art pieces are a simple way to decorate your space by filling up a wall. Plus, they draw your eye up to help your small space to look larger.

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Add a Gallery Wall

sitting room with leather chair and gallery wall
Edmund Barr

If you have the wall space, gallery walls are an easy way to decorate a small apartment without taking up too much space. Pick a color palette that matches the rest of your room and find artworks in varying prints and patterns.

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Utilize Empty Corners

breakfast nook with wood table and framed artwork
David A. Land

Awkward spaces and empty corners can be hard to figure out in a small apartment. Utilize these corners with a bistro dining set or small bench to avoid dead space. Adding a small dresser with some plants and artwork is another simple way to utilize a corner and increase storage in a small apartment.

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