“One of the most important things required when maximizing the space of an apartment is organization. The smaller the place, the more organized it should be.” Lisa Babincsak, director of Cielo Azul Home (a recently created company in Puerto Vallarta that offers interior design services), received us with this statement when the Vallarta Real Estate Guide editorial team asked her for some tips to make the most of smaller units through decoration.
“With a little creativity, you can turn your property, whether it is your first home or retirement residence, into the space you have always dreamed of,” she added.
To begin, Babincsak shared the importance of storage and how to obtain it in an original way. “When space is limited and buying new and/or bulky furniture is not an option, you can use a cabinet with drawers like the classic console table behind the sofa. This way, certain things can be stored or kept discreetly.”
“Because the entertainment center often ends up being in the living room, the best option to save space is mounting the screen and sound system on the wall. This solution will eliminate the need for a multimedia table,” she explained.
Pieces that can serve multiple purposes are key. “Find a table that also functions as a desk, or a sofa that easily turns into a guest bed. Cubes that serve as additional guest seating are a must. Another idea is to opt for additional seats that can be folded and are compact so that they can be stored when not in use.” She added that you should choose furniture that offers maximum functionality in minimal square footage. “Without a doubt, built-in and/or custom-made furniture helps to provide additional storage that, in small spaces, becomes very valuable.”
On the other hand, our expert noted that the dining room, as the main element of any home, stands out more in a small apartment when it includes a round table, which will provide more space.
Bedrooms with uniform wall tones give the impression that they are more spacious than they actually are. “Be sure to add a series of textures to prevent the spaces from becoming flat.”
In relation to this, Babincsak recommends using larger pieces of furniture instead of opting for smaller pieces. “It may seem contradictory, but equipping a small space with just a few large-scale pieces—rather than a mix of small pieces of furniture—will actually make the unit feel bigger.” Resisting the temptation to place all the furniture against the walls, instead creating space behind each piece, also is highly recommended to provide a sense of spaciousness.
The director of Cielo Azul Home explains that in small units it is very useful to take advantage of the often underutilized space between the top of the furniture and the ceiling with hanging and/or high-mounted elements. “Bringing the shelves and cabinets up will make the unit feel taller.”
It’s easy to overlook a bedroom when it’s very small, especially since it seems there isn’t enough usable space for decoration, but it’s definitely possible and worthwhile to enhance and personalize these areas.
The objective of using mirrors in the decor is to provide personality and character to the property. “Using them in specific areas of the unit will contribute to making the space feel larger, lighter and more airy.”
Sliding doors with glass windows allow shared light to flow throughout the space, while creating separation. “By sliding directly onto the wall when not in use, they take up much less space.”
“As in small and tight spaces, the installation of good lighting will make any bedroom, large or small, stand out and feel a little larger than it really is.”
The installation of glass walls and doors, as well as enlarging windows, will help to open up the apartment’s views and, above all, connect adjacent spaces in a comfortable and elegant way.