In an essay for The Atlantic, environmental psychologist Susan Clayton says that for most people, the home is part of self-definition. Our home is significant to our daily lives, not just because it supplies some of our basic needs but also because it is an extension of who we are.
Let’s face it, even those who take the path of minimalism define their lives by the conscious effort to have less. No one is absolutely free from the social or physical environment. Homes are an extension of who we are and how we want to be seen by others.
That is why, no matter how small your condominium is, it’s about reclaiming your space. Transform it into a home that reflects who you are as a person. That design principle is as important as having a roof over your head.
It’s easy to move around things and place furniture in a spacious room. But designing a small condominium unit is not for the faint of heart! There are building regulations to consider, space limitations to factor in, and budgetary constraints that all require careful planning.
Before you start dialing a contractor or open your DIY toolkit, first take these decorating tips. Let’s discover how you can decorate even with small spaces, and then we will explore how you can turn your small condo into a nature haven.
The Exciting Journey Of Decorating Your Condominium
Small spaces are like puzzles. You can’t just leave it at chance hoping for the furniture to sort itself out. With condominiums, we need to fit as much in as possible, but space must not feel cramped. As a home, it needs to reflect our layered interests and passions, but it must not be cluttered.
Just because you are moving into or living in a small space does not mean you have to sacrifice personal style.
1. Let there be light. Most small spaces feel even darker because of the absence of natural light. But you can make up for it by adding plenty of light sources. Some condominiums have low ceilings, so chandeliers or pendant lighting fixtures might not work for you. But table lamps and wall sconces are elegant and do the trick.
2. Clear the floor. Anyone who has ever stubbed their toes on a piece of furniture knows how important floor space is. No matter how stylishly decorated your condo is, there’s no use if it isn’t accessible. Floating pieces such as shelves, coffee tables, and nightstands clear the ground of obstacles. Choose hanging fans or lights instead of floor lamps or standing fans.
3. Invest in a good carpet. Just because your condo is small doesn’t mean you skip this luxury item. The right one makes any room cozy and pulls the look together. Don’t go for a small carpet, that will only make your space look even smaller. Go wall-to-wall or pick a floor covering that’s large enough for your furniture to sit on.
4. Install ergonomic and folding furniture. Small spaces often do not have the luxury of full tables. Dining tables and desks are usually one and the same. And they’re often in the same space like your living room and kitchen. To have the area to move around throughout the day, install furnishings that can be folded up when not in use. Also, think of folding doors that can hide clutter when you have surprise guests.
5. Mirrors Are The Game Changer. Become an illusionist and make your space feel larger than it really is. Situate it where the light can reflect into the room and bring more brightness into space. Line the wall of a dark bathroom or corner in a gallery style.
When we’re trying to maximize our space, one of the best ways to make it feel less cramped and more breathable is when we incorporate nature-inspired colors and materials in. Swap velvets and damasks (these heavy materials fill up the room) with natural materials like rattan that lighten up space.
Furniture with a bamboo, cane, and rattan furnishings are now more ubiquitous than ever. Wicker chairs beside snake plants are the aesthetics here. You can mix and match your mid-century modern types of furniture with rattan pieces. Use materials that are multi-purpose, like a bookshelf that can also be a bar.
Neutral and earthy colors, as well as mustard, terracotta, and dark green, make for a sophisticated but relaxed look. You can also use wall decals and nature-inspired wallpapers to bring the outdoors into the house.
Mix Woods and Textures
Mixing wood tones and textures was once taboo in decorating. But with the right textures and matching, it can look very natural and breathable. Even if you choose furniture, floors, and pieces of different wood color stains, set it against white walls or anchoring furniture to create a cohesive look.
Crystals and Rocks
Here’s a unique way to bring a piece of the outdoors. Salt crystals, pebbles, and gravel tastefully decorated in your area can make it a peaceful sanctuary. Think of a tropical jungle bathroom. Or even as bookends or coasters, these rocks will pretty up your condo.
Obviously, houseplants are the ultimate way to liven up your home. Have one or two exotic plants, or if you’re ready for it, a tiny portable greenhouse. We recommend this, especially for the condos, who do not have a view. The greenery improves the air and your living condition.
If you can’t create your own indoor jungle just yet, nature motifs are the second-best thing. Add curtains or pillows that are tropical themed. Mirrors with vine accents, vases, or pictures that are nature-inspired are quick and affordable options.
In the end, what is important is that you create the space exactly the way you imagined it in your head. From the paint down to the tiny details, each fixture and furniture should be a reflection of all that you are. Living in a condo does not have to be generic and bland. Bring joy into your life; bring nature in!