Whether you’re moving to a small apartment or home for budgetary reasons or just because this place is in a great neighborhood, don’t let the four walls close in on you. Brighten and widen up your small space by following the clever design tips below.
Paint the walls a light color on all four walls. Don’t even think about painting a contrasting-colored wall – it will just make the room look smaller. White is best, but light blue, green and cream with a lighter-colored trim will also brighten up the room and make the wall appear farther back.
Purchase coffee and end tables with skinny legs and glass tops. The more space you see – and the less bulky living room items are – create the illusion of space. Glass-topped tables allow more light to flow through the room.
Have bed linens in a similar (light) color as the walls. Use contrasting pillows or a throw at the end of the bed.
Put an area rug down that’s smaller than the perimeter of the furniture. Let the sofa hang off the back of the area rug, which will act as an island and focal point for your furniture.
Make sure furniture is lightweight and as short as possible. Since your space is small, you may need to hide pieces to fit more than four people in your living room. Make sure you can move it easily. If furniture is short, your ceilings appear taller.
Keep wall art minimal and mostly light-colored. Find pieces that hang horizontally instead of vertically, and go for one large piece instead of lots of small ones. Find them in a color that’s similar – if not matching – to the wall color so the art looks like it’s “floating.”
Choose armless furniture, ideally the same color as the walls. The added bulk of sofas and chairs with arms hasten the flow of a living room or dining room, and if at least some of your furniture is the same color of the walls, the room will appear wider.
Read more: Small Furniture for Your Apartment
Hang curtains from the ceiling instead of right above the window. This will make your ceilings in your home seem taller.
Go crazy with mirrors. The benefit of mirrors is two-fold: First, they reflect light, which brightens rooms. Second, they give the illusion that the room is doubled. Choose large, vertically hung mirrors with thin or no frames.
In the kitchen, utilize wall and above-cabinet space. Mount magnetic strips on the wall to hang knives, and hang a thin line of hooks close to the ceiling to hang pots and pans. Store seldom-used items on top of your cabinets and refrigerator to get them off the counters.
Clear out clutter. Nothing makes a space seem cramped like piles of laundry, stacks of magazines and too many knick-knacks. Adopt a minimalist décor style to make the most of your space, and give away unused goods as often as possible.