Make a Small Space Look Bigger
Don't sweat it if your place is small. Size isn't everything ... at least, when it comes to homes. Smart storage units are essential for organizing your small space, but there are also a handful of ways to get the most out of your square footage. Here are some time-tested interior design tricks and strategies for living large.
Go Floor to Ceiling
Consider adding a floor-to-ceiling (and maybe even wall-to-wall) bookcase. This go-to designer trick provides some architectural elements and visually enlarges the space by pushing the walls and ceiling out. But don't fill up every shelf—leave some of them half empty for an airy and spacious look.
$799 / $679 by West Elm
$129 at Ikea
Installing an oversized mirror or a set of smaller mirrors will add extra light and depth to a cramped room. They also reflect the view, which fools the eye into perceiving more space—it's like instantly adding a window or doorway into another room.
Furniture for a small space is all about proportions. Stay away from oversized and overstuffed pieces. To create a sense of roominess, look for sofas and armchairs that are slightly raised up on legs. And some retailers, like Restoration Hardware, even have "petite" collections of smaller scale furniture.
Sticking to one color unifies and expands the place. While darker colors can make a room seem cozy and intimate, they also absorb light instead of reflecting it. Light, monochromatic shades, however, tend to make the walls visually recede. They also provide a neutral background for furniture and artwork.
"American Buffalo" print, from $25 by Sharon Montrose
A common small-space mistep is choosing lots of smaller decorative items and pieces of art, but that can often look cluttered. Instead of a gallery wall, choose wall art that is large in scale. Such bold pieces make an impact by creating a focal point which visually enlarges the wall.
(Photos: Laure Joliet, Lonny and Design Sponge)