Interior Design

A Little Corner of the World: American Apartments Versus European Flats

american european streets

Now more than ever, your home should be your refuge. It doesn’t matter whether you’re living in a charming bungalow you just purchased with your life savings, the family home that you were born in, or a quaint rental apartment on the outskirts of the city, your home truly should be where your heart is. 

Regardless of whether you rent or own your apartment, though, where you live is going to have a major impact on how you live. Although each home is different and it speaks of its inhabitant’s style, this article discusses some interesting differences, as well as similarities, between American apartments and European flats. 

What’s Different 

When it comes to apartment living in Chicago versus flat letting in London, there are some pretty stark differences.  

The first is the question of space. Unless you’re jockeying for rare and precious real estate in an American megalopolis like New York City, chances are, your American apartment is going to be a lot bigger than your European flat. And it’s not just size that’s different, but also what’s included in your living space that will vary greatly between Europe and the U.S. For instance, closets are not really the thing in Europe, but they’re considered a virtual necessity in America.  

Since space is at such a premium in European apartments, you’re probably going to have to get creative when it comes to storage. Fortunately, there are a ton of space-saving storage hacks to help you make the most of the space you have.  

extra storage under bed

For instance, you can buy corner clothes racks to give you a place to hang your clothes so that you won’t look like you’ve just rolled out of bed with the clothes you slept in! You can also capitalize on under-the-bed storage space by getting your hands on bed risers and plastic storage totes. 

Another big difference between American and European apartments is that Americans tend to enjoy comfy, oversized seating, sumptuous rugs and draperies, and an overall rich, warm and cozy feel. And this is true even in the tiniest of apartments. The “homey” feel is usually the go-to in American design.  

Europeans, on the other hand, generally gravitate toward minimalism, reminiscent of the Scandanavian style. The goal is clean lines, neutral interiors and lots of natural light, whenever possible, and when light is not enough, plentiful lamps and overhead lighting. The priority is functionality and utility, as well as an open and airy ambiance. 

What’s the Same 

While there are lots of differences between American and European apartment living, there are some things that are universal. 

seaside apartment

Perhaps the most important one is — of course — location, location, location. No matter whether you’re living in Miami or Marseille, Atlanta or Rome, people are going to pay a premium price for a premium view. For instance, ocean-front and waterfront properties in general, attract renters and buyers the world over. Similarly, the majority of renters and buyers prefer to live at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac rather than at a busy street corner. While it depends on personal preferences and priorities, where a person chooses to place their home is an important factor in the decision-making process.

The Takeaway 

Whether you’re loving life in Liverpool or kicking it California style, your home should be a place of peace and joy. It should be a reflection of who you are and of the life you want to live. Yet where your home is will play a big role in defining your lifestyle.  

If you’re living in a European flat, your home is probably going to be short on space but long on character. The goal will likely be to get creative with your storage solutions while capitalizing on that clean, crisp Scandinavian style of common European flats. 

On the other hand, if you’re renting an apartment in the U.S., you’re probably going to have a good deal more space, but probably a lot less character and history. You can always turn toward the cozy, homey feel, with rich fabrics and draperies, large and cushy furnishings, and lots of personal touches, from wall decor to collectibles. 

About the author: Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. 

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RENTCafe.com is the only platform where renters can find an apartment, submit an application, and sign the lease completely online. Moreover, we strive to help renters get the most of their apartment hunting experience by providing useful tips and tricks on how to find the best rental, finance and ways to manage money, roommate issues, design ideas, as well as relevant real estate news and rental market snapshots. Need assistance in finding your next rental home? Drop us a line.

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