26 Feb 2013
As the years come and go family needs change and garage apartment living offers a great solution.
If you have an elderly parent who wants to live independently but needs a little assistance or if you have a child home from college and looking for their first job, an apartment garage may be the answer.
The concern about a garage apartment is making the space feel comfortable and functional. After all, you don’t want it to feel like you’re living in a garage.
Picking out furniture
Apartment garage spaces have different challenges than a traditional apartment or home.
The use of the square footage needs to be maximised to its fullest. There’s no question that most apartment garage spaces are small, this means that every square foot of the floor plan needs to be carefully considered when selecting and positioning furniture and fixtures.
There might be furniture you love, like that oversized comfy sofa or L-shaped sectional but once you get them in the space you realize just how big they are.
Furniture pieces need to be selected carefully so they are comfortable and multi-functional. A good example of furniture that is versatile is a futon or sofa-bed. These pieces not only offer a place to sit and entertain or relax but also offer additional sleeping space for guests.
Another great example of versatile furniture is an ottoman which can be used as a stool for seating or to prop your feet up on. Some ottomans have a hinged top so you can use the inside for storage. Or consider adding a tray on top so you can use the ottoman as a table.
Using multi-functional furniture allows you to add function to your space without overcrowding with too many furniture pieces.
Another challenge to garage apartment living is a lack of storage space. Instead of large walk-in closet spaces, apartment garages usually have small closets, if any at all. You will need to be creative to add storage spaces throughout the floor plan.
Adjustable rods can be purchased and added to the existing closet to create extra rows of hanging space. Pullout rods, which don’t require much wall space, can be installed in the bathroom and quickly pulled out for a handy space to hang a robe or towel.
It can be tricky to find a place to hide bigger items, such as seasonal decorations and things that you don’t use on a daily basis. Don’t forget about the valuable space under your sofa as well as your bed which can be used for additional storage.
A bed can be raised higher off the floor using bed raisers or even cement blocks. Simply prop the bed up and then use a longer bed skirt to hide the blocks. The extra height you gain adds a little more storage space and can also make your room look more elegant.
Another way to add storage is to find interesting and stylish shelves that will not only add storage space but will be functional. Shelves allow the floor space to remain open and add places appropriate for collectibles and functional items.
Perhaps it’s a shelf in the bathroom with a nice stack of folded towels and some pretty soaps, or a shelf in the bedroom above the bed holding books, photos and an alarm clock, these shelves not only add function but architectural interest.
Estate sales, flea markets, garage sales or even your local resale store are great places to find inexpensive one-of-a-kind shelves that will create lovely focal points allowing you to display your things.
Open the space with accessories
Many garage apartments have open floor plans where all of the living spaces are open to each other. This type of floor plan has its benefits because it allows the space to feel a little bigger while additional walls separating the spaces would make each area feel even smaller.
However, with all of the spaces open to each other it is often necessary to create some kind of visual separation so the spaces can function properly and so the space makes sense.
An easy way to create separation is to make or purchase a screen that can be opened to create a more private bedroom area or folded and put away to create a large open space.
This simple addition can allow you to easily change the feel of the room in just moments.
Using rugs is another way to designate space and visually separate areas. A large, bright rug can be used in the living area and will make the bedroom, all of a sudden, seem like its own individual space.
To give rooms the illusion of being bigger and more open, mirrors always do the trick. Hanging mirrors on the wall across from a window will allow the mirrors to reflect the light from outdoors increasing the brightness of the space and giving the illusion of a bigger space. This might also allow you to get rid of some table lamps which will save additional space.
An apartment garage can offer a great solution to the need for additional living space that is private yet conveniently located close to the main house. These inexpensive decorating tips can help you make a small garage apartment feel comfortable and functional at the same time.
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