Apartment living can be a tremendous experience. You could be part of a huge community of residents, some of whom you will be friends with for life.
There are a multitude of features for modern apartment living these days, too. Not only are they ultra secure, but they also offer a huge range of facilities, from gorgeous rooftop gardens through to in-house gymnasiums, swimming pools, and even movie theaters.
However, it’s not all sweetness and light when it comes to apartment living – particularly when you are trying to design and style a comfortable and unique home that shows off your personality.
Let’s take a look at some of the common issues with buying or renting an apartment when compared with a detached house.
Apartment Living: Space is at a premium
Obviously, there are some large apartments out there, but the reality for most people is that space will be at a premium.
If you are trying to raise a family in an apartment, it can cause untold problems! We all know that kids love to explore outside space, for example, and a balcony is a long way off from a lovely big garden or backyard.
However, if are super organized invest in plenty of savvy storage solutions. Stackable boxes for kids rooms, under-bed storage, or chic fabric or wicker cubes that fit into free-standing IKEA shelves are perfect for apartment living.
Teach children to put away their toys and involve them in the selection of storage for their bedrooms.This will help if you want to keep your apartment free from the inevitable mess that children make.
Tea chests and ottoman are great double duty furniture items because you can use them for storage, as a coffee table, or for extra seating. Just add chic cushions. For some great small-space options see Pottery Barn.
Apartment Living: Cookie cutter design
Unless you are blessed with a large amount of serious money, it’s likely that when you buy or rent an apartment, it is going to be new build rather than an old, big, refurbished space.
And let’s face it, when it comes to creating new condo or apartment blocks, the vast majority of developers are more interested in repeating the same design over and over again to maximize their profits.
It means that your actual apartment won’t have any of the charm or elegance of an old home, and may lack central features that are essential when planning your designs.
Rooms are often boxy, with no nooks and crannies, and everything looks the same as any other modern apartment you have ever been in. There are solutions, of course.
Large, boxy rooms can be broken up with dividers. Open bookshelves make for the perfect room divider between living spaces – such as between dining an lounge areas – or even between living and bedroom if your apartment is big and open plan.
You can also use beautiful fabrics to divide areas. Simple hang a dowel or curtain rail on the ceiling between two spaces, and voila! A delienated area that’s chic and interesting.
Apartment Living: Outside space
You can design the inside of your apartment to perfection – but there isn’t much you can do with the outside.
Take your windows as the perfect example, if you are living in a high-rise apartment block. As Flash Window Cleaning points out, high-rise buildings require a different type of cleaning process than your average property, and it’s not something you will be able to do yourself.
It’s the same for other areas of shared space, from your external walls to the corridors, lifts, and garage.
Ultimately, it will be down to your tenant or homeowner association to arrange all this, and there will be limits to how often cleanups and renovations will take place.
However, you can brighten up even small balcony space with a vertical garden, built-in bench seating (which can double as storage) with colourful cushions, and a cute 3-piece table and chairs set with a beautiful bonsai.
If you need extra privacy, plant fast growing hedge bushes such as Pittosporum in long rectangular containers and edge the railing with them, as seen below.
Apartment Living: Lighting
Lighting is an important part of the design process when it comes to interiors. And when you live in an apartment, it can be hugely problematic – particularly when it comes to natural light.
In a multi-unit apartment, you might not get any natural light at all, especially if you live on the ground floor, or are opposite another unit across the road.
You will need to invest heavily in indoor lighting if this is the case. Make sure you think about installing things like dimmer switches so you can set the mood according to the time of day.
Also consider investing in plenty of lamps to dot around the rooms at different levels for a better effect.
Apartment Living: Renovation
Finally, if there is something you don’t like about your apartment, it’s unlikely you will be able to change it all that much.
In fact, if you move into a new build, you have to wait a year or two for the building to settle before you even invest in any decoration. A splash of paint here or there will be OK, but there’s no point in splurging a fortune on expensive wallpaper as the chances are that cracks will appear in your plasterboard as the building settles.
Do you live in an apartment? If so, how do you solve these issues, and do you experience any others? Let us know in the comments section below!