Friday, March 25, 2011

Lighting for a Small Apartment

My mom and I have been discussing my upcoming apartment for months now. We've been working out what I can take from home and what I'll need to buy. She's using the opportunity to hand me off a leather couch, mattress, and bed box. All so she can buy new furniture. She's thrilled. So over spring break she showed me some of the items I'll be able to haul back to the city. Included on the list are a matching pair of retro black and white speckled lamps. They were my grandparents' from decades ago. And they are wicked sweet. The lamps aren't big, but my apartment has large windows and a skylight overhead so plenty of natural light will be flowing most of the waking hours. Planning what you're going to do to shine some light on your space? Excellent. Read on.

1. Space-saving lighting options

Small apartments mean little room for stuff (did you check out my last post on storage?). Now lighting doesn't have to be included in the limited stuff you let in your front door. Put up track lighting or recessed lighting, if your apartment allows it. These types of lighting give off plenty of light - an amount which can usually be controlled via a switch - all the while saving valuable floor space from being taken over by giant floor lamps.

2. Natural light

Natural light. I can't get enough of it. I absolutely cannot wait till I get to my natural-light flooded apartment. Is your space lacking some sun rays? Maximize what you do get. Light colors reflect light well so opt for a lighter shade on the walls. Mirrors, like light-colored walls, reflect light (literally) but they also serve to make the room feel larger. Double win. Also, make sure that nothing is blocking some of the natural light you get now. I know that seems like a "duh" comment but really. Something as virtually unimportant as an extra-dark curtain or an overgrown plant can strip your space of some valuable light.

3. Cozy feel with smaller lights
If cozy is what you're going for, smaller lights are what you want. You may be wondering why I'm including this tip, considering this blog centers on apartments that are already pretty "cozy" in size. But there is a reason. Oh yes. If you happen to have vaulted ceilings, the space can feel larger but also cooler. Small lamps lower the perceived height of your ceiling, creating a more comforting - and romantic - atmosphere, especially for evenings. It's mood lighting, if you will.

If you have any other suggestions, please post a comment. I'd love to hear them!

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