Small homes that are big on style.
7 Compact Apartments to Pull Design Inspiration From
Small homes that are big on style.
From affordability to location, there are plenty of reasons why you may choose to live in an apartment rather than a house and an increasing amount of us are turning towards this style of living.
Residing in an apartment does mean you have less space to work with and this can make things seem quite limiting. But it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice on style—you just need to get creative.
Whether you're renting or you're an apartment owner, take design cues from these petit yet chic spaces that make the most of their real estate.
1. Loui Burke's zen retreat
This zen space presents a successful homage to wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in the imperfect. The building’s industrial warehouse design is warmed up by an aesthetic that features neutral tones and a materials palette of timber, jute, linen, and hammered brass. “What lacks in colour, I like to think I make up for in texture,” he says.
The space itself looks much larger than it actually is thanks to high ceilings and expansive windows.
2. Zara Seidler's Peaceful Mid-Century Apartment
The former political advisor's charming home feels youthful yet refined. The abode leans towards a relaxed mid-century aesthetic with its stereo players, retro lighting, and vintage chairs. Lashings of pastel hues enliven the apartment from the Slim Aarons' print which hangs above an aqua sideboard in the open-plan living area, to the Pink Clay and Terracotta linen in the light-filled bedroom. Elegant details like leadlight windows and an ornate ceiling design bring further character into the home and elevate it to a more sophisticated level.
3. Artist Ashleigh Holmes' Wabi-Sabi Apartment
This home's dialled down colour palette taps into the hues of the landscapes with warm neutrals and varying shades punctuating the otherwise white scheme. Ashleigh wanted to draw from Japanese design elements in the styling of her home. "I’m in awe of their craftsmanship and eye for the finer details of objects," she says. Rustic timber beams salvaged from an old wharf were placed above the sheer curtains in the living room and main bedroom, bringing a wabi-sabi touch to the home.
The curved walnut table and walnut wine rack in the dining space are design-savvy, space-saving solutions and add a wonderful handcrafted element to the apartment.
4. Madeline Jovicic's Sunny Sydney Apartment
The Australian artist’s playful and whimsical painting style - with references to street food, sardines and gelato stands - directly translates into her home’s interiors. Just take her living room as an example. If you picture yourself sitting on her fresh white boucle armchair with her sand-coloured rug, a gallery wall of her own pastel paintings and natural sunlight beaming in through the open glass doors, you could almost be relaxing beachside, indulging in scoops of gelato and sipping on Limoncello.
5. Lia Townsend's Monochrome Apartment
Lia's eye for detail extends to her home's chic interior which utilises a layered, neutral colour palette. The current look is minimal and deftly blends contemporary and classic décor. In the open-plan living and dining room, upholstered seating in the form of a white linen sofa and dining banquette bench keeps things classic and comfortable while contemporary artworks, including a piece by Caroline Walls, add a modern edge.
6. Nam Vo’s "Glowy" Loft Apartment
From the flooring to the walls, everything is swathed in warm neutral shades. The dialled down palette combined with curvaceous furniture and decor creates a look that's utterly soothing and acts as a calming retreat and workspace.
The pared-back hues and comforting aesthetic continue in her loft-style bedroom which overlooks the dining space and can only be described as a glowy sleep sanctuary. Here, white, Oatmeal, beige, and tan offer up a dreamy palette that looks carefully curated to create the cosiest of spaces.
7. Jessica Marak's Kaleidoscopic Apartment
Introducing lots of colour into a home can be a tricky undertaking but as a graphic designer, Jess is no stranger to pairing hues perfectly. A kaleidoscopic range of modern furniture, décor, and wall colours brings life and youthful energy to her home which she shares with her husband. "When I'm buying furniture or picking out paint colours I'm in Photoshop," she shares.
From the vibrant blue dining chairs to the peach-toned office nook, each space boasts a unique aesthetic. "We ended up with a lot of quirky shapes, rounded corners, and squiggles, but mixed in natural woods, marbles, and sophisticated colours to balance out the playfulness." It's a design-led home but it feels anything but pretentious.