Tiny Homes

7 Tips to Make a Small Space Look Big

7 Tips to Make a Small Space Look Big Expand options

Decorating small spaces can feel intimidating. Especially if you are relocating from a spacious home to a smaller apartment.

Let’s see how to make the space you have, appear larger than it is.

1. Respect the Light


Light equals the illusion of space. Natural light is obviously preferred, so don’t block windows with bulky furniture, curtains that only partially open, clunky shades or blinds that impair light. Before you set any piece of furniture or an appliance in place, make sure that you take into consideration its effect on the natural outside light.

2. Paint It Dark

We mean ceilings. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, a deep red or blue ceiling will give the illusion of depth, and depth means a more spacious appearance.

Also note, all paints are not the same. Cheap paint can work in some circumstances, but we don’t recommend it for dark ceiling work. It’s worth shopping around, whether you DIY or hire house painters.

3. Paint It White


Dark ceilings—yes. Dark walls –absolutely not. To create the look of space in your smaller apartment, paint the walls bright white. A tinge of gray or blue in the paint will only work against whatever light you have.

4. Keep Stuff Away from the Walls

Designers know this trick, but you may not. You might’ve pushed things near the wall to create some open space.  It seems logical that any space saved by doing this would cause the room to look bigger. Wrong. Because if you move items a few inches away from the walls you will create another illusion of flowing lines and your individual rooms will actually look bigger. Try it.

5. Combination Furniture

The space under your bed is usually dead space. Unless you stick a few guitars under there, only dust and dirt will fill the space in a small apartment. Use a bed that also has storage.

Also, think of items that can be attached to closet doors like those old-time ironing boards that folded up and down as needed. Similarly, having limited space in your living room does not mean you have to settle for inferior furniture. Rather than trying to fit in a large couch, why not invest in a wall hugger recliner to save on floor space?

6. Mirror, Mirror

If you’ve ever looked at a floor-to-ceiling mirror, you know the kind of spacious feeling it adds to a room. This is one of the oldest designer tricks available, and it works every time. You might need professional help for this one, though.

7. Store it away

Some items and furniture pieces in your apartment might hold emotional value for you but you might not have room for them. In this case, it’s best to store them away. That way, you can always have them to use should you move into a larger space or make room for these items in the future.

There are some struggle-free and simple storage solutions that pick up, store and bring back your stuff whenever you need it.

Bonus Tip

Finally, if you have a lot of little knick-knack items and you put them everywhere, your space is going to look like a cluttered antique store. If you’re living in an affordable apartment in an expensive city like Chicago, decorate your apartment with some larger statement pieces and let the rooms breathe. An austere setting will give your room a more spacious feel.

Work with the space you have and use the above suggestions that pro designers use. If you do, even the smallest apartment will feel bigger instantly.



Sam is an author at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets and trends within the real estate industry.

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