San Francisco is definitely a thrilling place to live – it’s a world technology hub, an arts and festivals hotspot and a foodie’s paradise, all packed in unique architecture, striking views, and year-round pleasant weather. As with all popular cities, San Francisco does have its downsides – and the size of apartments is one of them.
Apartments in San Francisco tend to be on the smaller side, which poses certain challenges for the renters. However, there are several interior design and organization strategies that help you make the most of small spaces and enjoy your apartment and life in San Francisco to its fullest.
Here are some simple ways to compensate for the lack of space in a small San Francisco apartment:
Organization always starts with decluttering. One obvious solution for enjoying more space at home is to get rid of all the things you are not really using. Reserve a day – or even an entire weekend – for going through all your possessions and deciding which ones should stay, and which ones must go. A good rule of thumb is to ditch everything you haven’t use in the past 12 months. Still, there are many things you might not use every day, but you still need – which leads us directly to the next solution for maximizing your space at home.
Keeping your stuff out in the open will make your small apartment look even smaller and claustrophobic. Instead, try to have dedicated spots for storing all your items, big or small. Double-duty furniture is a huge help – a lidded ottoman can hold blankets and pillows, a coffee table with drawers will contain the clutter in that area. Boxes and baskets help you organize your belongings and keep them out of the way.
In the case of studio apartments, you can also use room dividers to hide the sleeping area, which tends to be messier, from the living area. Another solution is to employ floor-to-ceiling shelving units as room dividers and solve two problems at once – you’re getting extra storage space, and you’re also concealing those areas of your apartment where you need a bit more privacy.
3. Get self storage
A self storage unit located close to your home is an excellent solution for keeping those items you use occasionally or seasonally – sports equipment, extra furniture, clothing, shoes, holiday decorations and so on. A 10×10 storage unit in San Francisco costs, on average, $210 per month – and it provides plenty of storage space. Many storage facilities have 24-hour access, so picking up and dropping off stuff can be done easily, regardless of your daily schedule.
4. Organize the entryway
The entryway sets the tone for the entire apartment – if it’s well organized and you have space to store your bags, coats, umbrellas, and so on, there will be a lot less clutter in the rest of your home. Mount wall hooks for your clothes instead of a bulky cabinet unit and add a bench with storage racks. Hit Cort Furniture Outlet to find gently used storage furniture that will turn your entryway into a neat and sleek space.
Install high, near the ceiling shelving – it’s a great solution for storing shoe boxes or hats and bags you’re not using on a daily basis. A pegboard fitted with S-hooks and baskets is great for organizing small items – sunglasses, keys, scarves, mail, and so on.
5. Enhance vertical space
Floor space is limited in a small apartment, but you can make the most of vertical space. Install shelves wherever possible, including on top of drawer chests or cabinets. Don’t neglect corners – there are different types of furniture (shelves or cabinets) designed for corners to help you make that space truly useful. Hanging racks in the kitchen add storage and allow you easy access to your cooking gear. Using simple, inexpensive over the door hangers on all the doors in your apartment creates precious extra storage that allows you to keep your home tidy and neat.
6. Create a green oasis
Do you have a balcony, even a small one? Many apartment dwellers tend to use their balconies as extra storage space, which is truly a shame. Instead, make it cozy and inviting – add a table, a couple of chairs and a few pots with herbs and flowers, and create an area where you can really breathe, relax, read or enjoy your daily coffee. If you don’t have a balcony, you can use a windowsill for greenery – it brings a touch of freshness and warmth to your interior, making it look bigger and less confining.
7. Get as much natural light as possible
Bright spaces seem larger than they really are, so make sure that natural light enters unobstructed in your apartment. This means using light and airy curtains and drapes and keeping large pieces of furniture away from the windows as much as possible. Other strategies include placing a large mirror on the wall opposite the window, amplifying the natural light, and avoiding dark-colored furniture and decorations.
8. Use large, eye-catching art and wall décor
This might seem counterintuitive, but in small rooms, one large piece of art on a wall looks better than a gallery wall with pictures, paintings, and so on. The latter risks giving a stuffy, busy vibe, so you’re better off with oversized pieces of wall décor featuring bright, luminous colors.
9. Avoid bulky furniture
Favor sofas, chairs, beds or nightstands with exposed legs that allow light – and your sight – to go unobstructed around the room. Mid-century inspired furniture design is a good idea for small apartments, as it generally features skinny, slick contours that don’t overwhelm the space. You can check out Zozi’s Loft for cool pieces of furniture and accessories that will look amazing in your San Francisco apartment.
10. Arrange large furniture against the wall
Put the big pieces of furniture, such as the bed or the sofa, against the wall. This creates a better flow inside the apartment and prevents said furniture from becoming a roadblock.
And, of course, one great for maximizing the space in your San Francisco apartment is going out and enjoying everything that this amazing city has to offer!