Small Space, Big Style: How to Achieve a Magazine-worthy Condo


By Mich Lagdameo

Most families start out with a smaller living situation. Condos and apartments are great choices in the busy Metro, where convenience is key and rent or amortization is easy on the pocket. But while we’re still saving up for our dream homes, it doesn’t mean your small home can’t be a tiny piece of heaven, too. Try these simple ideas to make your small and simple home look straight out of a shelter magazine!

Lighten up.

Avoid deep, dark colors and tones for your walls and furniture. A bright white on your walls bounces light around better, giving your home an airy feel, while lighter furniture makes your space feel less cramped. Invite light into your home by nixing heavy drapes and opting for sheer curtains or blinds instead. Reserve your darker, bolder colors for your accent pieces: a throw pillow or two, mirror or photo frames, or even a small piece of furniture.

Minimalism means maximum impact.

Clear the non-essentials from your home—Kondo your condo if necessary. Clutter takes up too much space! Choose only meaningful or truly show-stopping décor to display, or better yet, combine form and function. How? Choose a conversation-piece light fixture for your dining area, or incorporate a beautiful bookshelf into your living room. Less clunky pieces means putting the spotlight on worth-it items, and also, less things to clean (a big plus for busy moms!)

Build up your walls.

Condos and apartments often lack decent storage space. Study dead spaces you may be able to add some built-ins to—the wall beside your front door can house a small shelf, the areas around your doors can become built-in display shelves, even the wall above and beside your bed can house open shelving that’s both functional and pretty to look at. To keep it from looking clunky, opt for open shelving. And of course, don’t overload any built-ins you choose to add. A few framed photos, nice coffee table books, and a meaningful knick-knack or two are all you need (also, less things for little hands to knock over).

It’s tempting to fill up our home with beautiful, pricey objects. After all, we want our homes to reflect our personalities and our style. But a truly photo-worthy house isn’t the one that is impeccably decorated, it’s the one that everyone in the family is happy to call home. Keep it simple, comfy, and put your family’s needs first, and you might realize your home doesn’t feel small at all.


Mich Lagdameo is a mom to a precocious 1-year-old. She is a writer and editor by trade and calling, and she lives for books, leisurely grocery trips, cups of good coffee, long drives with her husband, and the Food Network. Her days are punctuated by the sound of her computer keys and her daughter banging into things.


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