Making the Most Out of a Small Apartment

Small apartments are all the rage these days on interior design blogs. But to many of us, while they are fun to look at, they are not somewhere we could consider ourselves realistically surviving in. Today we’re going to show you some ways to get the most out of a small apartment, and use that space to your advantage!

Get in the Zone!

CHIC_INTERIOR_DES_PORT_5 One of the best ways you can make your apartment seem larger than it is is by zoning off certain parts of your space for specific purposes. Give yourself a dedicated laundry area, a dedicated kitchen area, and a dedicated sitting area. Having a place for everything will help make it seem like there are distinct rooms for everything. If you live in a studio apartment, this is even more necessary!

Find Pieces with Multiple Uses

One big way to save space is by giving something multiple uses. If you find that you don’t really need a dining room, get some bar stools for your kitchen counter or use your coffee table and couch for eating meals. The less items and pieces of furniture you can have in your apartment, the better, and figuring out alternate uses for things can be a lot of fun, too! Additionally, finding furniture that can fold up smaller when not in use is a great way to save space!

Use Visual Tricks

CHIC_INTERIOR_DESIGN_PORT_1_MAIN Trick your eyes and those of your guests to make the most of your small apartment. Using mirrors, long curtains, and glass fixtures. Want to make your kitchen seem bigger? Use glass on some of your cabinets! Want a room to seem larger? Strategically place mirrors on a wall! There are easy ways you can make your space look bigger on the inside!

Go Vertical!

Sheehan_BR_toward_Wall_IMG_0074 When there is not a lot of floor space, the only place left to go is up! Take advantage of vertical space by storing items out of sight on top of high cabinets and bookcases that do not quite reach the ceiling. But if you can, make sure your bookshelves and storage units go all the way up, so that the eye is drawn upward. And then use an eye-catching light fixture to keep the eye there!

Clear the Clutter

Nothing makes a space seem small like clutter! The first thing you should do to make any space (especially a small apartment) seem larger is to clear the clutter, and keep everything streamlined. The cleaner and simpler everything in your space is, the better. Display your collections elegantly rather than randomly, and don’t overdo it. There is room for a certain amount of knick-knacks that enhance your style, but overall you should be clear and concise!   If you live in a small apartment, we hope these tips help you in your quest to get as much space as possible! Not only will some of these tips make your space look bigger, but will in fact save you valuable space! Let us know how you conserve space in your home!
If you live in a small apartment, we hope these tips help you in your quest to get as much space as possible! Not only will some of these tips make your space look bigger, but will in fact save you valuable space! Let us know how you conserve space in your home!

 

Tips & Tricks: Make Your Interiors Seem Bigger Than They Are!

Plenty of us are plagued with a small room that just feels a little cave-like. It can be hard to make it feel more open and exciting, but today we are serving up some simple interior design tips and tricks to make your room spacious and fresh!

Paint the Trim

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Differentiating the walls and the ceilings is a great way to make your space look bigger and better! Painting the trim (or even just painting a line on the wall itself) in between the two will make a big difference. Simply find a great contrasting color that works well with your look, and it will provide a nice visual barrier for your room.

Use Light Colors

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

A dark colored room feels like a cave, and you know what caves are? Small and claustrophobic! One good way to make your room feel more open and big is to use light colors and let the light in. White or off-white are of course the preferred wall colors for this, but they will not reach their full potential unless you get some light into the room! Opening up the windows is a crucial step in making sure your space does not look like a cave!

Stop Using Overhead Lights

portland riverside apartment, use of lamps, natural light

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

Overhead lights draw the eye to the ceiling, which is the last thing you want if you are trying to make your space look big.  Try to avoid using a bright overhead light, and focus more on wall sconces and lamps so that the light is coming from the sides rather than from above. And as mentioned above, don’t forget the natural light source revealed by opening the windows!

Use Clear Shower Curtains

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Your bathroom needs attention too! The same rules about lighting and wall color apply to a bathroom, but in a room that may or may not have any windows, you need to get creative. One of the easiest things that you can do is to use a clear shower curtain. If you already have a shower with a sliding glass door then great job, your bathroom is already looking more spacious than it would otherwise! A clear curtain sacrifices privacy, but when you walk in you will love how much space your bathroom seems to have when you don’t close off the entire shower.

Avoid Using Boxy Furniture

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

This is an easy one! Don’t get furniture with skirts around the legs. Find couches and chairs that are comfortable for you but do not take up a lot of visual space. Buying furniture with exposed legs, minimally puffy cushions, and light colors will help the most in making your furniture take up as little space as possible.

 

Hopefully these quick and easy tips and tricks help you out in your small space! Whether it’s an apartment, or just a small home, we hope that this will inspire you to get working to perfect your space!

Pro Organization Inspiration For A Better Home Office

If you’re like me, your home office is the space that needs the most love. I love all things organization, but for some reason my office space always tends to be a little…well, let’s be honest, disheveled. But that’s about to change! I went on a hunt for some inspiration for all things organization and I’m going to share them with you!

If your Office Reflects Your Style, You’ll Be Excited to Pay Your Bills!

Make sure your space reflects you and your work. If you are a creative person use bright colors and unique art. If you are a minimalist person use softer tones and more bins to keep everything in it’s right place. Whatever the case, make sure the space functions for you! After all, an office is for being productive, so it should actually promote productivity!

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Lack of Space? Not Anymore!

Whether you live in an apartment or a full sized house, space always seems hard to come by, and the office is often the room where all of the overflow ends up. take advantage of a tight office space by using creative storage solutions. If you need things handy, get a desk chock full of drawers. If you like minimalism and a clutter-free work space, get a lot of built in cabinets and a plain glass desk. Or get even more creative and get a cabinet unit with a pull-out desk, optimizating floor space when you’re not at the desk!

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Garrison Hullinger Design Photography by Blackstone Edge

Sharing Space With Style

Sharing a space with another person can be tricky, especially when it comes to your personal work area. There are numerous solutions to this problem but the easiest is probably to have common storage for basic supplies such as tape, staples, and note pads, and distinct personal storage areas for each individual’s documents and supplies. This will make it seem like there are two distinct work stations, and nothing should get mixed up when you’re both hard at work!

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Make It A Space That You Will Want To Never Leave

Don’t be afraid to make a place in your home you will never want to leave. Work and paying bills can be daunting, why not do it in a space that you love and inspires you? Fill your office with your favorite artwork, a comfortable chair, or pick a room with a view! (Just don’t get distracted by the view!)

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

 

Let us know how you combat disorganization and clutter in your home office, and if these GHID designs look like great inspiration for your next office!

Catch Spring Fever with These Simple Home Tips!

Spring is in the air, but is your house ready? Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter essentially never came, and the sun has been shining (no, really!). We have been in the spring mood for months, but now we’ve got spring fever! Soak in the sun and the cool breeze as we go through some ways to welcome spring into your home this year!

Use Cool Natural Colors to Refresh Your Space

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Colors that are cool and relaxing are the best way to ring in spring. Think of the beach, but not in a nautical sense. Neutral beige colors reminiscent of sand, paired with pastel blues and greens will bring a refreshing look to your home. Spring is all about feeling refreshed and like you’re outdoors, and these more natural tones will help you get in the mood.

Bring the Outside In!

2014 Street of Dreams Aquarium

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

A great way to bring Spring into the home is to literally bring it into your home! Pick some fresh, bright flowers from your garden and use them as a centerpiece for your dining room table, or wherever you please! We here at GHID love terrariums, which would also be an excellent choice for any tabletop or shelf to add a bit of nature to your interiors.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

2014 Street of Dreams Rec Room

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Why pay to light your space during the day with light bulbs when you can take advantage of the springtime sunlight? Keep the blinds open or invest in some sheer curtains to take advantage of the light coming through. This almost seems too simple, but it really makes a world of difference to open the curtains, and even open the windows, to let the air and light in. Spring just isn’t spring until you can breathe the fresh air in (and hopefully not sneeze!).

Decorate With Softer Shapes and Patterns

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Hard geometric lines are not conducive to spring. Spring is about feeling refreshed, and nothing gets that across better than a focus on rounder shaped in your interior design. Nice fluffy pillows, rounded tables, floral and circular patterns, and rounded furniture can give any room a relaxed feel that you want to just hang out in. As great as a white room full of straight and modern shapes can be, it is just not as warm, refreshing, or inviting in the springtime as a room optimized for the season!

Don’t Forget to Do Spring Cleaning

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

More important than any design tip for spring is spring cleaning! It is hard for your space to feel refreshing to you when you don’t refresh it! Switch up your furniture layout, clean the floors, and organize the nick-knacks you’ve collected over time. If you let the light in a dusty room, are you really going to like it? Some of you may love cleaning, but to all of you that hate it, just remember that it will be worth it in the end to see your sparkling clean space! Break out the mops and brooms before summer comes!

 

We hope you enjoyed these simple tips to get your home in the mood for spring. Let us know on Twitter if your house is ready for nice weather and how you are preparing for the season!

Designer Insights with Garrison Hullinger

This week on the blog we thought we’d do something a little different. Garrison was just featured in Terrys Fabrics’ Designer Insights, so we thought we’d share it with all of you! Take some time and learn a bit about Garrison and find out his top picks for this season.