7 Apartment Design Ideas to Make the Most of Your Downtown Space, No Matter the Size

Just because you’re a renter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to show off elements of your personality in your apartment.

Check out these apartment design ideas that allow for those personal touches, explore unique design elements, and create a space that will be the envy of any guest to your new home, no matter the size of that downtown San Diego apartment.


Apartment Design Ideas: It’s All in the Details


Work With the Square Footage You Have

Your apartment design ideas don’t have to be limited by the size of your apartment. However, you should keep in mind the square footage you’re working with when you’re deciding on things like furnishings and decor.

And if you’re downsizing to a smaller space in order to take advantage of the perks of apartments in downtown San Diego, it could be a great time to find those things that will spark some joy in that new space. This is the perfect opportunity to toss the clutter and keep only what serves a purpose or you absolutely love.

If you’re working with smaller spaces, you’ll want to maximize your floor space. For example, utilize your wall space and install some floating shells for decorative pieces; the no-drill variety are sturdy enough to show off your favorite items and won’t affect that security deposit. Or invest in storage baskets that you can use to keep stuff hidden away, while adding a decorative element to the space.


Take Advantage of Your Apartment Layout

Your apartment layout is not your enemy. It’s a way for you to get creative with design and maximize your space.

Even if you’re working with a space that is awkwardly-shaped, use those unique features to your advantage. Elements like a bump-out wall could turn into a feature wall for your favorite art or important keepsakes that you’d like to show off.

If you have a smaller living area but balcony space to work with, consider some additional outdoor seating. You’re living in San Diego, which means many more sunny days than rainy ones. Any guests you host will want to spend more time in that outside space if you have it!

Ariel Apartment

Make Your Space Feel Larger Than It Is

All of that advice you read online about ways to make a space look and feel larger is there for a reason. It’s true.

Mirrors, even the small decorative variety, hung on your walls can open up a small room. They also reflect natural light, which is always welcome when you’re living in a small space.

As far as design elements, experts suggest paying attention to color and patterns. Pops of bright colors throughout a room keep the eye moving. Linear patterns can make a room feel longer or wider, depending on the structure of the prints you’re using.

But there are also ways to make a space feel larger that can seem counterintuitive at first.
If you have a large piece of furniture you love, you may feel like you need to give it up as you move into a smaller place. The alternative, though, can be making that cozy couch or oversized chair a focal point in your room, drawing the eye to that piece instead. A large bookcase can give off mini-library vibes instead of overwhelming a space, as long as you’ve done the necessary measuring.


Impress With Your Living Space

Downtown San Diego apartments are situated in a part of the city that begs for some outdoor exploration, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a living space that wows.

Moving into a smaller living room just means you have to maximize the space you do have, and introduce some cool apartment ideas that will leave you with a space that impresses.

If you have a large blank wall to work with, hang some unique art pieces or modern design elements behind that couch. Play with colors, even if they’re within the same family, to add a sense of cohesion to your space.

And keep things simple in your focal space. Have some fun with design, but you don’t want to overwhelm your space, either, especially if you’re working with limited square footage.

apartment design ideas - living room


Introduce a Design Theme

Interior design for small apartments is all about borrowing from ideas that work no matter the size of your space. And if you’d like your apartment to feel more cohesive, introduce a design theme into that space that allows your personality to shine.

Before choosing a design theme, take a look at the items you already own. If your furnishings tend toward the modern, you don’t want to start designing a space with vintage touches in mind…unless this apartment is your chance at some reinvention.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the natural layout of your new apartment. If it already boasts some industrial touches, for example, you may want to play off of that by introducing furniture and accessories that enhance those elements, like industrial lighting or decor in darker tones.

From there, think about what you can easily add to each room to fit that design theme. There aren’t hard and fast rules in design themes, but there are trends in each. Vintage can mean distressed fabrics or furniture you’ve repurposed if you’re crafty. Mid-century modern means clean lines and muted colors.

And if you’re into the boho chic style, there are no rules at all, so have at it with bold colors and patterns that pop.


Create Luxe Vibes

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to boast elements of luxury apartment design in your new space. Many of the buildings in Downtown San Diego, like the Ariel Apartments, come predesigned with high-end finishes and a luxurious feel.

Those luxe vibes also can come from how you use the space to its advantage, which can mean a few select decorative items that jazz up a smaller space, or finding unique pieces of furniture that only look expensive.

Luxury design is all about a well-organized space, as well. Keep things tidy, your storage purposeful, and your furniture functional. You don’t need much when it looks like your apartment was thoughtfully arranged.


Set Up a Bedroom Just for You

The bedroom in an apartment should be your sanctuary, a space that you use to relax and decompress after a long day, and feel a sense of calm.

Your apartment bedroom decor should then promote all of those things. Incorporate things that make feel at home, whether that’s an art piece you can wake up to, a candle scent that you love or a cozy rug at your feet, even if your space is already carpeted.

Apartment design ideas - bedroom

Are you ready to make an apartment your own? Schedule a tour with the Ariel Luxury Apartments to take a look at downtown living in the heart of San Diego.