Small Apartment Design Tips

apartment-buildingWith real estate prices continually climbing, apartment living has never been more popular. In addition to being cheaper than houses, apartments also offer limited maintenance requirements, making them the top choice for busy people. One downside, though, is that you might have to compromise on space, particularly if you’re living close to a major city centre. If you live in a small apartment and you’re starting to feel the squeeze, here are some simple tips to increase your living space.

De-Clutter

Sometimes, a sense of not having enough space is purely a perception. For example, a small white room with minimal furniture and décor is likely to feel more spacious than it actually is. However, if you start to add more furniture and decorations, this room will start to look progressively smaller. Don’t worry; you don’t have to remove everything and live in a stark, minimalist apartment. The secret here is to improve the storage and layout of rooms so you have more space to move around in, and to remove any superfluous items that are simply taking up space unnecessarily.

Furniture

Selecting the right furniture is absolutely critical for smaller homes. Firstly, size really does matter; large pieces will dominate and make rooms feel vastly smaller than they are. Next is colour: dark furniture can have a similar effect as large items of furniture, making the room appear more compact. You should also factor in removalist costs. Large pieces are harder to get in and out of buildings and, if your apartment block doesn’t have lifts, it’s going to take much longer and be more expensive when it comes time to move. If you’re doing the move yourself, you’ll probably really question why you needed that supersized lounge!

Décor

Similar to furniture, selecting the right décor is critical to increasing or decreasing the sense of space in your apartment. Again, the general rule here is the same: lighter colours increase space while darker colours decrease it. Aim for simple, clean lines rather than ornate and highly decorative pieces. When it comes to window furnishings, go for sleek blinds as opposed to billowing curtains. Keep artwork to a minimum and, if you do have an intricate piece you simply can’t live without, balance it out by only using simple items elsewhere in the room. Another favourite for interior designers is to use carefully positioned mirrors to increase the amount of light that bounces around a room to make it feel more spacious. Lastly, take care with your floor coverings. There isn’t a great deal of difference between hard or soft flooring, so long as you opt for a light colour. If you’d like to use rugs, once again, carefully make your selection based on design and colour.

Extra Storage

If you’ve incorporated all of these design principles and you still feel squeezed for space, you simply need more of it. Rather than upsizing your home, outsource the problem by hiring some room at a local and secure self storage facility such as Fort Knox. You can hire different sized spaces on a temporary or more permanent basis and will be able to access your stored items seven days a week.

Small apartment living doesn’t have to mean limited space. Just stick to some classic and simple interior design principles as well as the cost-effective option of storing some of your things off-site in a self-storage facility and you’ll be feeling less cramped at home in no time.

6 Tips to Help You Through a Divorce

divorceDivorce is difficult for everyone involved and it’s made even more difficult when people don’t know what to expect or how to handle what’s coming down the road. Time may heal the wounds, but getting good advice from the start will make everything a bit easier.

1. Get a support system. It’s natural to want to keep details of your divorce private, but you need to have a few people who you trust to talk with about everything that’s going on. The professionals at a law firm like Cordell & Cordell are great for legal advice, but they’re not going to offer the hand holding that your best friend will.

2. Crunch the numbers. Divorce is expensive and can cost around $20,000 – sometimes more. From lawyers to real estate costs, be prepared to drop a bundle on your divorce. If you know this early on, the price tag won’t come as such a shock and you’ll have time to prepare.

3. When it comes to alimony, do what your lawyer thinks you should, whether that’s paying it or collecting it. If you’re the one collecting the alimony, you may feel like you don’t want the support of your soon-to-be-ex spouse. You’re going to need the financial help, though – remember, divorce costs a lot. Don’t let pride get in the way of making sound business decisions.

4. Make a copy of all your financial records and keep them somewhere that your spouse doesn’t know about. Income tax returns, business records, bank statements, pay stubs, life insurance information, etc. should be filed away safely, even if right now you trust your spouse completely.

5. Figure out the division of your belongings on your own – don’t bring those conversations into court. You may think that your collection of pots and pans is really, really important, but a judge doesn’t want to bother with trivial issues. Save the “stuff” conversation for your living room.

6. Accept that it’s going to take a long time to recover, both emotionally and financially. It’s normal for it to take time to get your life back on track – move through the steps at your own pace.

Divorces rarely go smoothly 100% of the time. Talk to other people who’ve been through a divorce – you’ll realize you’re not alone in any of it. Take the advice of professionals who know what they’re talking about.