10 Tricks to Make a Small Space Look Bigger

Sadly, we can’t all live in sprawling mansions. Most of us must make do with smaller homes or apartments, where every square foot counts. But never fear! There are ways of making even the coziest of studio apartments feel like a palace.

Don’t Crowd the Walls

It might seem like pushing your couch right against the wall will make the place look bigger, but that’s not true! Float your furniture and maintain clear lines and corners. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Strategic Mirrors

Hang a window opposite a window to create the illusion of a bigger, more open room. The same trick works with doors. Choose a mirror that reflects a big enough chunk of the window or door to make it worthwhile.

Use a Limited Color Palette

Smaller spaces will quickly be overwhelmed with too many colors and prints. One way to add color without making a big ol’ mess is to decorate in hues of the same color family—say, greens in the form of emerald, forest, teal, and spring.

Hang Your Curtains High

Most people have no idea how to hang curtains properly. They should be higher than the window frame, not right on top of it. Aim for no more than a couple of inches below the ceiling. You can also move out 3-5 inches on either side to create the illusion of large, floor-to-ceiling windows.

Don’t Crowd Your Shelves

When bookcases and cabinets are completely slammed full, it creates a claustrophobic feeling. Cut the clutter and leave plenty of open space. It’ll feel more relaxing, and when you display just a few treasured pieces, you’ll be able to appreciate them more.

Opt for Light Wall Colors

Although there’s a trend to use dark—even black—paint and wallpaper in small spaces, it’s probably best to stick with white, cream, or pale gray. Lighter colors make a room feel bigger and more open.

Show a Little Leg

Not your legs! I’m talking about furniture. Sofas and chairs with visible legs trick the eye into believing the furniture takes up less space. You can also get a little extra mileage out of your area rugs.

Hang Your TV

Instead of setting your flatscreen on a low cabinet, have it mounted on the wall instead. You’ll free up the space below for more storage and leave a clear surface for one or two decorate statement pieces.

Built-In Storage

Speaking of storage, pieces that do double duty are your friend in small spaces. A bench with drawers below the seat or a storage ottoman are both great for maximizing your small space. Remember: Clutter makes your place look smaller!

Skip the Gallery Wall

Yes, gallery walls are trendy. But they work best in loft spaces that have huge walls and high ceilings. For smaller rooms, a single piece of wall art is a better choice. Don’t be afraid to go big, either—a sofa-sized painting will make an impact and anchor the room.