6 Things Everyone Seeking a Small Apartment Should Know

published Dec 13, 2018
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

If you’re in the market for a small apartment—whether it’s your choice or not!—rest easy. Small living is trending and, anyway, who needs all that extra space? More room, more collected clutter! That said, there are a few fundamental attributes of a space that, while small in size, can actually feel larger than a floor plan can make it appear. We asked the experts for what to look for when shopping small. Read on for six key apartment features to consider:

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

1. Ceiling heights can make or break an apartment

“Low ceilings can make a large apartment seem small and tall ceilings can make a small apartment seem larger than it is,” says Jason Bauer, a residential agent at DJK Residential in New York City.

2. Look for the light

“Windows and lots of sunlight open a space and make apartments feel larger than they might if there was no opportunity for sunlight to filter in,” says Zach Daniels, a leasing consultant at Spaces Real Estate, a residential real estate company in Chicago.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

3. No closets, no worries—if there’s storage elsewhere

“It’s particularly helpful to have storage available in the building for larger items and seasonal things you don’t need on a day-to-day basis,” says Ericka Rios, co-founder and director of leasing at Downtown Apartment Company in Chicago. “For example, some buildings have free bike storage on the ground level, while others have basement storage units for larger or less-used items.”

If these amenities aren’t available, it may make sense to rent a nearby storage unit for all your extra stuff rather than search for a bigger apartment.

4. Be prepared to get creative about space

“I once had a client who lived in a long and narrow apartment that had barely any storage,” says Chelsea Hale, an agent at Triplemint. “However, I noticed that there were fireplaces that weren’t functional and I suggested he build shelves inside them for extra storage. It’s so important to think outside the box!”

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

5. Maintain a light palette

“To transform space into one that feels bigger, you want to look for apartments with light colors on the walls and floors,” Rios says. “This makes a small space feel more open.”

6. Avoid hallways

“When it comes to searching for a small apartment, keep in mind that hallways take up unnecessary square footage,” Bauer says. “Seeking an apartment with fewer hallways will help add the extra square footage to the actual room sizes since that’s where you need space the most.”