Nowadays, apartments have become some of the most popular types of properties to be purchased in Malta and Gozo. That said, there are still a select few who are somewhat wary to opt for such a property, since it might be limited on space. Any living space can be great, with some thought, tidiness, and inventiveness. That’s why we wanted to list 7 handy tips on ways to maximise space and make use of every last inch of your place.
1. Organize Your Space
It’s vital to know how much space you’re working with and utilise it accordingly. You need to know how much you have. Measure the height of each room and see how high or low ceilings are, since this can affect the amount of space you have. Having a floor plan is also very helpful, because a room layout is of equal importance to its size.
Go for multipurpose workspaces; ask yourself - where do I spend most time in the apartment, and where do I store my day-to-day work and entertainment? For instance, if thought-out wisely, a reading corner, computer station, and work desk can all be in the same corner. A bookcase can be a perfect way to split a room, creating some division while also providing shelf space.
2. Think Vertical for Storage
Think vertically: make use of space right up to the ceiling. Choose tall furniture as opposed to lower, wider pieces. Why not install two rods in your wardrobe? Hang shirts from the top one and longer clothing items from the lower. Opt for "floor to ceiling" bookshelves, and take up as much space as possible and extend all the way to the ceiling instead of shorter shelves that only go up a little way. If you have a media cabinet, choose one with smaller measurements on the floor but extends, again, to the ceiling (or close to it).
Stack shelving units on top of each other, or have two or three units side by side with a third sideways on top. The key is to stretch that storage space upward where it makes sense so that you’re taking up vertical space, not floor space.
3. Choose furniture mindfully
Collapsible furniture is worth consideration: a bed can take up an enormous amount of room in an apartment. If you're willing to replace it with a sofabed, you'll have much more space during the day. Similarly, a bed with a trundle underneath it lets you use space that would otherwise have nothing but dust. Try putting some bins and boxes underneath your existing tables and beds. If your bed is too low to put things under it, try buying a bed lift to raise it up. Just a few inches can create extra space for boxes and containers. There are containers that you can buy specifically made to fit under beds.
What’s more, you can even buy chairs that fold up under the table, or footrests that slide under the sofa. Use storage furniture. An ottoman piece with space for storing cushions or books serves two purposes. A coffee table or end table with drawers gives you even more space in your living room.
Another good idea is to purchase fewer but larger furniture pieces. If your home is limited in space, you might believe the misconception that small furniture is the right choice. The problem with that is, you’ll end up choosing many pieces of small furniture to take care of their needs, while said pieces end up taking up more space and being less functional than larger ones. Larger items might take up more floor space by themselves, but you won’t need multiples of them. A large piece of furniture that replaces two or three smaller pieces usually ends up saving you quite a bit of space in the end.
4. Don’t be economical with wall and surface usage
Virtually anything can be mounted onto a wall or placed on a newly installed shelf or surface, which means that you’d be freeing up floor space. As storage space, bookshelves are a great place to put decorative objects, and more space-efficient than end tables. For instance, you can replace a floor lamp with a smaller lamp on a shelf.
Use shelf dividers to organize your things, or create smaller, shelves to maximize the space you’re using. The inside of wardrobe doors can provide additional space to hang or mount items. A spice rack looks good, and can be very convenient on the inside of a pantry door, besides, you’ll look like a serious home cook! Hang pots and pans in your kitchen to save cabinet and drawer space. If you have a flat screen TV, hang it on the wall, but don't get rid of the TV stand, instead, use it for more shelf space.
5. Less is more…
Focus on less, but classier décor. Sure, you might be tempted to fill the limited wall space you have with pictures and other items that you’ve always wanted to have on your walls, but the problem is that it leaves your home feeling constrained and tight. So, to avoid that overstuffed and crowded feeling, choose a bold statement piece. Stick to items that are genuinely meaningful to you or offer set a tasteful ambience to the room. If you have a lot of items to showcase, store the rest in a wardrobe and rotate them habitually instead of having ten things on the wall, you need to give the walls some room to ‘breathe’.
6. Choose natural lighting and wall colours wisely
If you want to give your home a more spacious feel, use lots of natural lighting whenever possible. Allow your rooms to be lit with natural light as much as possible. Use thin curtains, preferably white ones, since they can easily be opened to allow the view out of the window, but when you want some privacy, they still allow plenty of sunlight to come through, brightening the room. Open windows also have the bonus effect of allowing a view to the outside, subtly adding more space in your mind, it’s a little optical illusion, but a very handy one at that!
Using bright, natural light makes a room seem bigger and essentially the same rule could be applied by painting the walls a light, solid colour. It creates a slight mental illusion of distance and openness, which makes everything feel bigger. A light colour makes the rooms seem bigger than before and thus makes limited space seem bigger. If you want colour, go for it, but choose a very light shade of that colour when painting the walls and avoid patterns, since they tend to add visual clutter and make a room feel tighter.
7. Put mirrors on doors and in other places
Mirrors trick your eyes into thinking that you’re looking farther than you are. Placing mirrors in several areas around your home can fool your eyes repetitively, making everything seem a little larger. One great place to do this is on your wardrobe doors. Place a mirror on each door and you’ll quickly gain the illusion that your bedroom is far bigger. Large bathroom mirrors – and even mirrors on bathroom doors – can create the same effect, introducing a sense of largeness and openness that was previously lacking.
Think of smarter space rather than more space. Always look for ways to use space consciously in your home, rather than just adding more space. Find ways to maximize area wherever you can by having storage space in unexpected places and efficient use of shelving and combine that with some careful tricks to add a sense of more space in your home.
When shown its merited appreciation, an apartment can have great potential especially when the proprietor in question is able to maximise on space to the best of their abilities. Remember apartments can be found in various sizes throughout virtually all towns and villages around Malta and Gozo.
So if you’re interested in purchasing a great apartment, contact us at 77 Great Estates. Our agents will gladly show you our portfolio of amazing homes on offer to suit your particular budget.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.