So you’re thinking of moving into an apartment. Maybe you’re attracted to the cheaper costs. Maybe you’re after a killer view only achievable from a 10 story building overlooking the city. Whatever your reasons, you want to know the ins and out of living in an apartment before you actually move in. And while that may not be possible if you haven’t lived in an apartment before, the next best thing is doing your research.
Apartment Living Pros and Cons
Here are the main pros and cons to apartment living.
Keep costs low
Whether you’re renting or buying an apartment, you’ll generally find that the cost associated with apartment living are cheaper than those of living in a house. If you’re buying, the initial purchasing costs will be lower and renters will generally be charged less per week.
Living in an apartment can come with extra perks a house might not have. You might have access to all sorts of the complex’s facilities like pools, gyms, covered parking, bbq areas, shared gardens and even tennis courts.
In an apartment you’re less likely to need to spend your sunday mowing the lawn or ripping out weeds from your back garden. You can enjoy all the facilities your apartment complex has to offer with none of the maintenance issues which is usually taken care of by body corporate.
If you have a preferred suburb or location that you’re looking to move to but are priced out of the market for houses, living in an apartment can enable you to still enjoy the benefits of the area. Moving into an apartment can mean living within your preferred school district and being close to public transport and shopping centres.
One of the main drawbacks of living in an apartment is the dreaded body corporate. Made up of all of the owners of the apartments in the building, the body corporate can have a huge impact on what you can and can’t do in an apartment. From restrictions on noisy activities to rules on decorating the exterior of your apartment to owning a pet on the property, the body corporate can be as strict or as lenient as it likes.
Whether you’re the type to tuck into bed by 8 on the dot or you’re a fan of playing heavy metal music at 2am, living in an apartment means you’re going to spend a lot of time being aware of the noises from your neighbours or the impact your noise might have on them. Noise will not only travel through the walls but also through ceilings and floors so if you’re particularly unlucky you could be completely surrounded by noisy neighbours.
If you’ve always dreamed of a big backyard and a house big enough to swing a cat in, an apartment might not be the best choice of living spaces. Unless you’ve moved into a mega apartment, you’re more than likely downsizing from the space you’ve been used to living in which will impact how much furniture you have and how many people you can have over to stay.
While it may be a compromise between what you want and what you can afford, there are always creative ways to make the most of living in a smaller space.
How to Maximise Your Space
1. Come clean
This one might seem as though it’s too obvious to even mention, but the reality is that many small living spaces end up looking significantly larger once all of the clutter has been cleared away. So, begin your journey to a larger flat by giving your home a good thorough cleaning.
Pay special attention to any items or piles/stacks that have accumulated on the floor itself, as well as surfaces such as countertops and tables. Consider investing in space-saving storage that can fit under furniture or in cupboards or wardrobes, so that those items which would otherwise sit on your floor can be packed away out of sight.
2. Unify your colours
Having too many different colours in your home can make it appear jumbled and disorganized, and by extension much smaller than it actually is. Instead, match your furniture and decorations to the basic colour scheme of your walls (or match your walls to your furniture and decorations). You can take it a step further by choosing light colours for your walls and floors, which create an added sense of openness.
3. Let the sunshine in
Speaking of light, the more of it that you have in a room, the larger that room will seem. And, there’s no better light source than the one that rises every morning and sets every night. By drawing your curtains and opening your blinds, you’ll not only allow more of that room-widening sunlight inside, but you’ll also be creating the illusion of depth by opening up views to the outside world.
4. Reflect on your mirrors
Another way to create the illusion of depth is to use large mirrors. When placed across from windows, these mirrors not only reflect more light, but they also make it appear as though you have an additional window. Likewise, large mirrors can effectively double the apparent size of a room when placed along a blank wall. Remember, the larger the mirror, the greater the effect.
5. Hit the ceiling
Chances are that the restrictiveness of your apartment doesn’t extend all of the way to the ceiling. About halfway up the wall, most of your furniture disappears, and you’re left with open space. Take advantage of this and make an effort to draw the eye upwards. By painting or wallpapering your ceiling, you and any guests that you have will instinctively begin to notice the higher spaces in your home, and will thus feel as though the room itself is larger.
6. Shrink your furniture
Sometimes, a space only seems confined because it’s filled with overly large couches, tables, armoires, etc. You can solve this problem by selecting smaller pieces of furniture, or by getting rid of furniture that you don’t need. Alternately, consider investing in furniture which can be easily moved and stored away (such as collapsible or foldable furniture), and then retrieved when it is needed.
7. Give stripes a try
Stripes have a unique way of attracting the eye and making things appear longer. Take advantage of this phenomenon with a striped rug oriented so that the stripes follow the length of the room. You could also consider striped wallpaper or furniture covers to try to achieve the same effect.
8. Keep things dynamic
Lastly, if you feel as though your flat is starting to feel cramped, you might just need a change of scenery or some spare room ideas. By redecorating your apartment’s interior a few times a year, rearranging the furniture layout, or possibly trying a new colour of paint on the walls, you can make the space that you do have feel fresh, new, and open. So mix things up and see just how spacious your flat can be, even if you’re living in a room the size of a car’s boot.