Can’t afford a big apartment? Make your small one look bigger

If you had to choose between a so-called smart apartment and a Taj Mahal-sized one, chances are good you’d pick neither. In the case with Taj Mahal, you might be just not ready to see the utility bills such a place generates. As for smart apartments, let’s just say marketers did their best when coming up with the name for tiny apartments. But if you think of it, there’s actually some sense behind their choice. After all, one should be exceptionally smart to fit all the necessities in such a small space.

If you’re reading these lines, it’s likely that the topic of little space gets on your nerves on a daily basis. Maybe your bedroom can barely fit a bed (and it’s not even a king-sized one) or your dining area serves as a part-time home office. Maybe you’re not lucky enough to have a walk-in closet and you think twice before buying a new pair of shoes simply because you have no space to store them. Whatever your problem is, you made it to the right place. Because the goal of this article is to help you bring a spacious feel to a room of small size. No worries, neither magic skills or usurpation of your neighbor’s apartment is required.

Start With the Basics

Unless it’s your first article on the topic, you’re likely to know all most frequently advised tips of how to make small rooms feel spacious. But in case you’re a newbie, here’s your complete beginner’s guide on adding space without adding space.

  • Use lighter hues for walls and furniture

It’s well-documented that light colors of paint can help you visually expand a small room. However, it doesn’t mean your choice is now limited to 50 shades of white. Beautiful pastel colors, citrus hues, and sea shades are all at your disposal. The only rule is to pick the lightest version of your color of choice.

  • Get some huge mirrors and place them wisely

If you’re looking for the fastest way to make your apartment appear bigger, you should be ordering some huge mirrors right now. Chech out this big hollywood miror,  a good option for dark apartments. According to interior design experts, adding mirrors and placing them in the right place (spots from which they’ll reflect natural light) is the simplest solutions out there.

  • Add some artificial lights

Of course, nothing works better than natural light, but we live on the planet where the dark takes over for approximately 12 hours each day. That’s why your ‘visual enlargement’ strategy should also include some artificial light tips. Don’t rely on ceiling lighting only. In nearly all cases, it will make the corners of the room appear dark and the room itself smaller. A smart approach would be adding built-in spotlights in the ceiling. Not only will they illuminate the corners, but also will make a low ceiling seem higher. Who wouldn’t want to kill two birds with one stone?

  • Replace classic furniture with built-in and multifunctional one

Despite being the most obvious solution, it is for some reason one of the most overlooked ones. Of course, replacing furniture is both costly and time-consuming, but the payoffs are huge. Nobody says each element of furniture should have some extra built-in space or additional functions, that would be ridiculous. However, changing your regular sofa for the one with hidden storage underneath sure won’t hurt.

For staple pieces of furniture, like kitchen and dining room tables, consider extendable or foldable designs which will allow you to increase the table size when there’s guests, but fold it away and make it smaller for day to day use. Grain and Frame, experts in manufacturing hand made furniture, have written a great guide to choosing dining tables here.

  • Use the same flooring for all rooms

Except for bathroom, obviously. The thing is that different flooring styles are great if you want to define spaces, but they are just as great for making space look and feel smaller. Having the same floors all around your apartment creates an interrupted flow, which makes any space appear larger. Ready for one last trick? Make sure your rugs don’t sit under sofas or other large pieces of furniture as it tends to tighten the room as well.

Move On With Advanced Tips

If you’re one of those who prefer to take things one step further, the following part of the article was written just for you. Discover the little-known tips that help any room appear larger than it actually is.

  • Don’t be afraid of shelves

If placed in the right way, they can give your room an added sense of scale and height, which is what most of us aim for. Not even to mention shelves offer additional storage. Try to combine closed and open one because sticking to one format will either make your room look cluttered (open shelves) or eat up too much space (closed shelves). Plus, leave some of the open shelves empty. Although their role is to give additional storage, it doesn’t mean you should clutter your home with all you need and all you don’t.

  • Experiment with drawing

If choosing the risky thing over the sure one sounds like a typical you, it’s time to play with colors. Consider painting stripes on one of your walls. Before you ask, both horizontal and vertical lines are up for the task. While vertical stripes will visually expand your featured wall, horizontal ones will elongate it. Choose what’s more preferred in your case and go for it, go.

  • Opt for streamlined, low-profile furniture

This point is especially true for sofas. If your home is also home to an overstuffed old school sofa, it’s time to show it the door. Oversized and heavy furniture should never be a part of a small apartment. Remember the rule of thumb: the lower your sofa is, the less stuffed your room will appear.

  • Don’t choose contrasting colors for walls and the trim

Painting the two in the same colors (remember to choose light shadows) draws the gaze up and highlights the ceiling. As a result, even the smallest room starts to look airy and spacious.

  • Ditch the drapes and rugs altogether

Consider it as one more approach to decluttering. If your small room lacks a sense of space, try to get rid off all the drapes and the rug. If you cannot imagine your place without curtains, there is one trick you can use: choose bars extending far beyond the window frames. This way, you’ll get a chance to fully expose each window.

  • Make accent on verticals

In interior design, it’s all about tricking the eye. Add elements that emphasize the vertical space in your room. Not only will this add the sense of openness and space, but also create the feeling of flow. If it’s a bathroom you’re trying to visually enlarge, use shower curtains or wainscoting for this purpose. If it’s your bedroom or living room we’re talking about, try vertical wood paneling to emphasize the height.

  • Pull some of your furniture away from the walls

This trick might seem a bit counterintuitive, but only at first glance. In fact, placing some furniture away from the walls can create the feeling of additional space. Turns out, pushing furniture right up against the walls make space look cramped.

  • To make a small bathroom look big, use lighter shower curtains

Clear and light ones will create the feeling of additional space, which is exactly what you should aim for.

  • If you want to add some color, choose one and play with its variations

For example, if you like sea shades, choose different hues for walls, rug, and furniture. This way, you’ll get a chance to create unity, which tends to visually expand the space.

Above all, don’t be afraid to express yourself and add a personal flavor. Go for it, try your hand at interior design. Just make sure you’re following the right set of rules for small spaces. As you know by now, there’re plenty of ideas to help you visually expand your small place. The key to success is to choose those that gonna work best for your specific situation and make them all work together. And, above all, remember that small quarters should never keep you from living a happy life.

1 Comment

  1. William says:

    Props to the author of this post, tips are on-point! What stood out to me, was the part where you mentioned to replace classic old furniture with multi-use type of furniture. What came to mind for me was sleeper sofas. I’ve got one myself, and it ROCKS.

    This gave me some ideas, big thanks!

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