The Window Daybed from West Elm is a great fit for small spaces. (West Elm)
There is only one person who can make me come out of decorating retirement and that would be my mother, who recently moved to Michigan with my stepfather while their Florida condo complex is under construction.
Furnishing a small apartment is never easy. Adding a tight deadline with just a few weeks to get the key pieces in place further complicates the task at hand. On the upside, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the experience, and everything seems to come together in the end. While we continue to fill in the blanks as far as furniture and accessories are concerned, this is what weíve discovered or rediscovered.
Not all daybeds have the same dimensions. In fact, most were far too large for the spare bedroom that my daughter has already claimed for herself. The one we chose from West Elm is the perfect fit.
Bolster pillows, ordered from the same source at a later date, will make it even better.
Scale is everything. While overstuffed sofas may be too much for tight quarters, you donít want to go with something too small either. Filling each room with significant statement pieces is a wise move.
Though itís hard to imagine, most rooms really do seem more spacious when the right furniture is in place than they appear when empty.
Donít be fooled by descriptions. White is rarely white in person, but most neutrals play well together, even for my mom, who is a stickler about this particular shade.
Whatever you need the most will be the last to arrive.
Read the details and customer reviews before ordering from an online source. For instance, delivery-to-door can mean outside the building instead of inside the apartment.
Never underestimate the power of measuring. Boxes provide a great visual for furniture when you want to know how something will look in a specific spot.
Furniture on legs appears to float in a room, giving the illusion of more space. Solid pieces work, too, as long as they donít dominate the space.
Quirky nooks and crannies can be friend or foe. Either way, they force you to get creative.
Space savers, such as slim hangers, over-the-door-hooks, shower caddies, baskets and trays, come in handy.
Clever products get everyone talking, like the pivoting toilet paper holders that came with the apartment. Unlike the spring-loading varieties that often come loose, these are pure genius.
A clothes hamper with a flat surface can double as a nightstand in a tight space, as can a garden stool that supports a small lamp. This scenario is doable until the permanent pieces arrive.
A desk can serve as a temporary dining table.
Expect shipping delays, especially during the holiday season. Save receipts, instructions and warranties.
As we age, less is definitely more.
Decorating can be rewarding at any stage in life despite the challenges, especially when your new place starts to take shape and you can see the potential.
Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at email@example.com.