How To Make Your Small Apartment Look Bigger Than It Is

If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance you’re constantly wondering how you can make things fit better or make rooms appear more spacious than they are. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Just because you don’t have a massive apartment doesn’t mean that you have to live in a cluttered shoe box. It shouldn’t be one way or the other and hopefully with these tips below, you’ll see what I mean. And yes, I am well versed in small apartments because I’ve lived in Manhattan for the past 5 years…. A.k.a shoebox land for a couple thousand a month so bare with me:


Tip 1: Wall Color

This might be obvious to some, but the number one rule to making a space look bigger than it is is to pick a wall color that is light. And no, this doesn’t just mean white or beige. You can choose funky colors as long as you pick the lightest shade of that color. It’s completely up to you! I personally love beige, baby pinks, and baby blues.

Tip 2: Light Furniture Color

What is done to one side must be done to the other, a.k.a, your walls and your furniture must coordinate in some way. If you want to fulfill a monochromatic color scheme, that works! For those that don’t know what a monochromatic color scheme is, it’s different tones of the same color. If you want to stick to two colors that go well together, that’s also a good idea. Just avoid picking vibrant colors or patterns for the furniture, especially colors that significantly deviate from your wall color.

Tip 3: Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Mirrors are the best for creating optical illusions because they are known to make a space feel brighter and larger. To create the ultimate illusion, place two mirrors in front of each other. It’ll give off a ripple effect. If you have a window, placing your mirrors next to or on the opposite side of the window is another way to form an optical illusion and increase natural light. I’d recommend getting a decently sized mirror over a small one because a small one will not be able to reflect enough to create an illusion.  

Tip 4: Flooring

Having the same floors throughout your apartment is key to making your small apartment feel bigger. Different floors in every room will make each room seem smaller. If you have different flooring throughout your apartment and can change this, I highly recommend doing so.

Tip 5: Lighting! Both Artificial and Natural

Tons of natural light is the most ideal. However, unfortunately, very few small apartments accommodate enough natural light. This is where artificial light plays a big role. A really lit up home will make your space feel and appear bigger. And by really lit, I don’t just mean the lights that your apartment comes with. Go beyond the already installed ceiling lights and add a couple of table lamps, floor lamps, etc.! This way, every corner of your house will be lit up, making it appear more spacious.

Tip 6: Shelves

If you’re a hoarder or just have a lot for the size of apartment you’re living in, do yourself a favor and invest in shelves. Not only will shelves store your things, but also create room for other things! Plus, shelves can double as home décor if you purchase ones that match the aesthetic in the room.

Tip 7: Say No to Drapes

Drapes are beautiful…..for big apartments. For small ones, not so much. The reason for this is because drapes make a small space look and feel even smaller. The thickness of the drapes gives the room a cluttered feel. A better alternative to drapes are thin blinds, and yes, you can buy thin blinds that are black out!

Tip 8: Keep the Horizontals Horizontal and the Verticals Vertical

Remember, the size of your apartment is not going to actually change. It’s the optical illusions you create that will trick your brain into thinking the space is bigger. If you have a vertical or horizontal room, add pieces that emphasize these lines. It will add a sense of openness and height.

Tip 9: If You Absolutely Need Color

If you can’t live without seeing a vibrant or electric color, put that color into your accent piece. Remember, accent pieces are the one thing in the room that do not match the rest of the room. Accent pieces can be anything, from a side table to a lamp, etc. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Tip 10: Making Your Bathroom Appear Bigger

When it comes to the bathroom, everything should be either beige, clear or white. The shower curtains, the towels, the hand towels, etc. You can add a pop of color through a candle or a piece of décor but everything else must be light, neutral hues. These tones will make your small space feel and appear bigger than it is.

Tip 11: Pull Furniture Away From the Wall, but Not Too Far

When your furniture is taped to your wall, it makes the space look cluttered. Move the furniture a couple inches away from the wall to make the place look more spacious and open.

Tip 12: Buy Multipurpose Furniture

Photo taken from West Elm's Website

Multipurpose furniture is versatile furniture that can adapt to situations. For example, a lift top coffee table: it serves as both a coffee table and a storage solution. Instead of buying multiple pieces of furniture that you don’t have the room for, buy innovative furniture that can transform to situations. This way, you’ll save space and money!

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