6 ways to make your tiny apartment feel huge, according to experts
Living in a huge home comes with a lot of benefits: more privacy, more storage, and more space than you can handle. But there’s no reason why you can’t make your tiny apartment feel larger than it is. As long as you’re willing to get creative, make some minor design sacrifices, and think outside the box, your small space doesn’t have to feel like one.
Trying to fit all your belongings in a tiny apartment can be downright frustrating, but figuring out an arrangement that keeps you from feeling super cramped and longing for a bigger place can actually be a fun project that allows you to finally bring your picture-perfect home to life.
To help ideate how to make a smaller apartment feel huge, we tapped a couple of home decor experts to provide their expertise. Scroll below to see how they would make most of a small space.
How to make your tiny apartment feel big
1Be intentional with your paint choices
If it’s within the terms of your lease agreement, painting your place will help to give the illusion of larger space. According to Vivien Torres, a Havenly staff designer, while it might be best to use light colors to help create a feeling of openness, it doesn’t mean you should ignore dark hues altogether.
"Dark colors can actually make a tiny apartment seem larger than it is when used correctly because they appear to recede, creating the illusion of depth. The key is to use the dark color on a single feature like a bookcase or painted accent wall and then surround that feature with decor or furniture in lighter colors. This brings contrast to the room and makes the rest of the space visually expand by comparison," she says.
2Utilize duel-purpose furniture.
When your space is small, you may be limited on the amount of furniture you can bring into a space, especially when storage is limited. However, Torres suggest buying duel-purpose furniture for added storage to help utilize the space to its maximum capacity. “Dual-purpose furniture maximizes floor space and function, and it saves you money. Think along the lines of a bed with built-in drawers underneath for clothes, a bench with storage inside for blankets, or a dining table that you can also use as a desk,” she says.
If there was ever a time to summon your inner neat freak, it’s when you move in a tiny apartment. Too much clutter is never a good thing, but the problem will be magnified when space is limited.
Torres says that the best way to prevent clutter from taking over your space is by either “setting up a monthly purging routine, making donations regularly, or cutting down on frivolous spending.” However, once you donate and purge all the things you no longer need, the items you plan to keep need a designated home to prevent future messes from occurring.
“Think along the lines of a wall-to-wall bookcase to shelf favorite books, a display cabinet to showcase a cherished set of china or an armoire that can conceal boxes of old family photos or Christmas cards. And don’t be afraid to take it a step further by turning storage pieces into statement pieces via paint or new hardware,” she says.
4Hang curtains high and use light hues.
While hanging curtains from the ceiling instead of the top of the window frame will make a smaller space appear bigger by creating the illusion of height and depth, you also may want to consider the color of your curtain to provide more ample space. Torres advice? White curtains. “White curtains bring a tailored sophistication to any room,” she says.
But when you hang the curtains, Torres says to “make sure that the panels graze the ground lightly and don’t float above the ground significantly. No ghost curtains, please.”
5Use glass or other reflective materials.
Strategically placing reflective materials makes small spaces look larger. For instance, mirrors are great decorative pieces that will help open up a space. “Mirrors are the best trick for making the room look bigger, and should be placed where they will reflect the most light back into the space,” says Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert at Opendoor.
But what kind of mirror should you buy? “I suggest purchasing an oversized mirror. Whether it’s a large floor mirror leaned against a wall, or a wall mirror hung above a console table, mirrors make small spaces feel larger by reflecting light around the room,” says Torres.
6 Use your walls wisely.
Tiny apartments may not have the roomy feel of a sprawling estate, but with smart decoration decisions, they can give off the appearance of being larger with enough charm to make up for the difference in size. For instance, you can take advantage of your vertical wall space to visually bring height into your space.
"Incorporating bookcases, cabinets or shelving that cover the height of the room draws the eye up while maximizing every inch of square footage storage," says Torres. "Plus, few things look more grand than floor-to-ceiling storage, whether it’s an open bookcase or closed kitchen cabinets."
But just because you may have ample wall space doesn’t mean you should cover every inch of it with bookshelves and long mirrors. “Don’t clutter shelves with too many belongings, just a few statement pieces [will work]. And be intentional about your decor. Pare down your belongings so there aren’t too many things cluttering the room. Editing your collection to keep just your favorite items will turn those special items into conversation pieces,” says de Jong.