If you’re looking for inspiration to decorate your new apartment, look no further – you have come to the right place. Here at ARA (Amoda Rathnayake Associates), we understand that converting your small apartment into a livable home is not an easy task. With each year, the value of real estate skyrockets creating smaller and smaller living spaces towards the cities. However, for young modern families, limited space seems like a small compromise for the convenience and lifestyle that metropolitan apartments offer. But don’t lose heart – you just might be able to have your cake and eat it too. Many modern interior design ideas for apartments focus on many of these space-related problems.

The main problem with apartments is no doubt the limited amount of space that you have to work with. The challenge you face is trying to cram everything that you need to live, into this tiny space. Moreover, you want your new home to have the aesthetic appearance of your choice, no matter how small it is. On top of that, if you are just renting the apartment, you can’t really make any permanent changes as well. With all these restrictions, you need to think out of the box to create a beautiful and functional apartment for you and your family to live in.

To help you in your endeavour, we have decided to put together a list of interior design ideas for apartments that you can use as inspiration to create your own home.


It’s important when designing an apartment to trick the eye into believing that a space is much larger than it actually is. There are no rules that prevent small spaces from being comfortable, or stylish.  Let take a look at some of the things that you can do to create this ‘apparent spaciousness’.

Keep your palette light

Nothing brings in that roominess to a tight space as light colours can. This is due to the ability of lighter coloured surfaces to reflect larger amounts of light than darker colours do.  While white works wonders here, light greys, or other light colours of your choice would have a similar effect on your apartment.

The airy spaciousness created by a light colour palette.


However, don’t shy away from darker hues either. When used sparingly, for instance as an accent wall, it can create an apparent depth giving the room a larger appearance. You can also utilize this on walls and/ or floors to create visual partitioning. Again, this will contribute towards creating a larger-looking space.

Apparent spaciousness created by a darker accent wall.


Looks can be heavy

When designing a small apartment, pay special attention to the furniture that you pick. While the actual space that your furniture takes up needs to be at a minimum, the design of the furniture can visually add to or take from the spaciousness of your room. A bulky floored sofa takes up way more visual space than one sitting on long legs. However, a bed propped up on high legs will occupy more space in your bedroom than the same bed placed closer to the ground. Glass or acrylic tables look less cluttered than heavy wooden ones in tight spaces. Therefore, it is always crucial to consider the ‘visual weight’ of your furniture before adding them to your apartment.

Transparent furniture contributes towards a roomy environment.


Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Mirrors are a great way to add that apparent spaciousness to a small room. They visually exaggerate the space of a room by reflecting light. As a result, rooms with mirrors look larger and brighter. Tall mirrors can also make the ceiling feel higher. Remember, mirrors work best when placed near a window, at an angle or opposite to them.

A large mirror creates space by dissolving solid boundaries and reflecting light.


Divide and conquer

Find creative ways to functionally and visually divide small spaces without solid partitioning. These subtle partitions will create that apparent spaciousness that you are aiming for. For example, a rug or carpet zoning out your living room can make that space look much larger. Accent walls or floors can also easily contribute to a similar effect. Similarly, you can utilize your furniture placement to partition your open floor plan. The backs of sofas, cupboards or bookcases can come in handy for these kinds of arrangements.



Now that we looked at a few ways to create visual spaciousness or make the existing space ‘look/ feel’ bigger, let’s explore how to utilize the space that is available to us, without wasting an inch of it.

Think out of the box – Smart furniture.

In a small space, everything needs to be functional. Modern interior design ideas for apartments seem to revolve around this golden rule. At ARA we love finding creative solutions to solve the space problem. As a matter of fact, if you think about it you will see that the possibilities are endless.

Built-in storage

Storage can become a headache when you live in a small apartment. Storage can be built into pretty much anything like dining or coffee tables, sofas, beds. These can be hidden, or even visible, adding to your overall design for the apartment. You can even create partitions or dividing walls out of storage cupboards. These options can take away the need for separate shelving cupboards, freeing up much-needed space in cramped apartments.

Freeing up space with built in storage.


Hidden furniture

Hidden furniture is another way to save up on limited space. Modern apartment designs always utilize at least a few creative ways to store away space-consuming furniture when they are not being used. For instance, Sofas and beds can be collapsible, folding or sliding back into walls. Stairs that can be pulled out are great for adding storage below them as well. Tables can be moved and concealed with cupboards and pantries.  If you don’t mind going a bit high tech, movable walls can be used to hide away entire functional areas.

Furniture that can be creatively hidden away after use can be an asset to an apartment with limited space.


Multipurpose pieces

Another great way to save up some essential space is to use furniture that can be used for multiple purposes. Again, the options are limited only to your creativity. A popular trend is to use cubes or ottomans that can be used as a coffee table as well as for seating. Dining tables can be used as work desks or even an extra pantry top for your kitchen for heavy cooking. Similarly, Collapsible sofas can serve as excellent guest beds.

A stylish multipurpose coffee table is a trending interior design idea for apartments.


Expand vertically

In an apartment where your horizontal space is limited, it is always a great idea to build vertically. This can drastically free up your floor space, and allow you full utilization of your walls. Elevating your bed is one of the greatest ways to achieve this. This will free up space for you to add anything from some extra storage cupboards to a fully usable living space. Another neat trick is to create a loft that could be used for reading or as a workspace. This will also allow you to shift your bookshelves higher up on the wall. Floor to ceiling storage shelves can provide much-needed storage space in a small apartment. As a design element, you can hang things from the ceiling. Not only does this economize your space but also adds character to your deco.

An elevated bed creating space for an entire working desk/ dining table beneath it is certainly a space saver.



Pick a colour – any colour

For space limited apartments, we have noticed that a neutral or monochromatic palette works best when it comes to colour themes. Earlier we discussed how a small space could benefit from a light colour palate. Apart from that, the monochromatic palate is a growing trend in interior design ideas for apartments. Working with varying shades of the same hue throughout your small home creates a minimalistic consistency. Consequently, not only does this add to the aesthetic beauty of the apartment, but also gives it an uncluttered look. You can always spice it up by accenting it with an opposing or complementary colour. A great way to do this is to use a bright bold piece of furniture or an accent wall.

Exploring the dark side

While we did say a lighter colour palette works best with a small apartment, this may not be your preferred choice. Some of us are naturally drawn towards darker palettes and the mysterious appeal they have on us. Even though lighter colours reflect more light, you should not let that deter you from expressing yourself with darker colours. When using a dark palette, always remember to use ample reflective and glossy surfaces and textures. As we discussed earlier, you can use mirrors, and also make sure that you have ample natural and artificial light.

Even a dark colour palette can work in a small apartment when used along with plenty of reflective surfaces.



The hardest thing about moving from a suburban house with a lush garden to a cooped up apartment can be the lack of green. Today, even the layman understands that nature plays a crucial role in reducing the stress that we build up in our hectic lives. The colour green itself is one of the most soothing colours to the human eye. So it’s fitting that our last but most important interior design idea for your apartment is to have a few indoor plants. The green colour of a strategically placed plant can beautifully accent many colour palettes. Moreover, the plants will add life to your small home bringing in an element of freshness.

Bringing a bit of nature indoors with plants.


We  hope you found some inspiring interior design ideas for your apartment, that you can use. For more ideas, check out our blog or go through our extensive portfolio.


Share post: