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19 Brilliant Small Space Design Tips that will Make your Home Feel HUGE

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If you're looking for a way to make your home feel bigger, to give your tiny apartment a breath of fresh air, to make your corner nook look like part of the room, or to give your little office space the attention it deserves, there are a few simple ways to get there.

I've compiled a helpful list of tips and tricks to make any small space feel bigger, to utilize every inch you have, and to turn a cramped home into a space that breathes!

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19 Brilliant Small Space Design Tips 

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1. Take Advantage of Natural Light

Having an abundance of natural light in a space keeps it from looking small, dark, and cramped.

small kitchen design

See how this little office nook looks welcoming and bright?

Without the natural light provided by that beautiful window, this small space would be a hassle to work with.

Not only does bright, natural light make a room beautiful, it is happy and inspirational, making it easy to get your work done!

In fact, nothing makes a room feel tiny like a lack of light, or too many fluorescent bulbs.

lounge

See how even this dark, dreary looking room is brightened up with natural light?

Sure, you need more than just good light to create an inviting small space, but it is a great way to start!

I suggest not covering your windows with dark curtains, but I'll get into curtain advice later on in the post! 

2. Add Mirrors

A fantastic way to add depth, brightness, and perceived size to a small room is by using mirrors.

Whether you add a plethora of mirrors to your wall, or use mirror-surfaced furnishings, mirrors are an inexpensive fix when space is tight.

Use mirrors to add depth to your room.:

Mirrors add light to your room, especially when hung across from the window because it reflects the brightness from the sunshine!

Mirrors also add space to a room... by reflecting what's there, almost serving as another window!

 Double Duty Guest Rooms I LOVE the striped wall! Can't wait to be able to use that in a house someday!:


The tiny guest room above only has one small window.

This window lets in a good amount of natural light, but without the mirrors on the wall, it would feel veeeerrrrryyyy cramped!

Adding mirrors to this wall didn't physically double its size, but it does add significant depth and makes the room feel much wider, not like the narrow space it really is.

Another great aspect of the room above is the bright, neutral color scheme...

read on to find out how to make a room feel bigger with your color choices!

3. Use Bright Colors

Using light neutrals is a wonderful way to brighten up a dark space.

In addition to natural light, bright colors can make a room feel so much bigger, and it's such a simple fix!

 

minimal furniture

It's a myth, however, that you have to use only light colors in small spaces.

If you're smart with your color choices, you can use darker colors to add depth to a small space.

In the room above, smart color choices make this library feel big, when it is, in fact, rather small.

Because the dark blue shelves are offset with a neutral sofa, the small room doesn't come off as cramped!

 

4. Paint Your Ceiling

Painting your ceiling is not only a unique way to add another color to your space, it adds so much depth to a small room!

If you paint your ceiling a brighter color than your walls...

 

Shingle Style House, Historic Seaside Town, Rhode Island - traditional - porch - providence - by Andrew Suvalsky Designs:

it's sort of like adding a canopy of bright clouds above you, making your ceiling seem almost endless or non-existent.

Dip a Toe Into Bold Color: Painted Ceilings in the Bathroom | Apartment Therapy:

When painting a ceiling a darker ceilings, it makes me think that the walls are ending and that there is a mass of space above...

8 of the Loveliest Modern Loft Beds to Inspire Your Own Space-Maximizing Designs | Apartment Therapy:

The dark blue ceiling above makes the walls seem to end, like there is an endless sky above this little loft!

Dip a Toe Into Bold Color: Painted Ceilings in the Bathroom | Apartment Therapy:

The black ceiling in this beautiful bathroom reminds me of a TV show set... the wall is cut off in a dramatic way and I can imagine cameras all around!

5. Floating Furniture

An easy tip for choosing furniture for your small space, besides choosing pieces that are generally smaller-scaled is to make sure that it does not sit flush to the ground, like the sofa below.

We decorated this space simply with furniture we bought at HomeGoods. The room looks uncluttered and clean in white and gray. This bookcase from HomeGoods is amazing for holding all sorts of big bulky decorating items. The baskets are filled with all sorts of decorating knicknacks to use at another time, so this bookcase doubles nicely as a storage/display area. I don't think anyone would guess that it's acting as a storage closet! Sponsored by HomeGoods:

Choosing short pieces makes your room feel shorter and smaller.

You should buy furniture pieces with a taller leg to add a feeling of space underneath and around them and to add height to your room!

Since your room is small, and you can't really change that, you want to add as much height as you possibly can, and buying taller furniture is one way to go!

10 realistic secrets to decorating your tiny apartment:

Furniture with skinny, tall legs make a room look larger,

How to decorate tiny and awkward spaces in your home::

take up less space, and don't look bulky.

6. Ghost Chairs

This tip goes for other transparent furniture choices as well, like glass table tops!

My favorite example, however is ghost chairs!

‘Traditional With a Twist’ Style in San Francisco | Design*Sponge:

These chairs are perfect for a small dining room because they do take up space, but you can hardly see them.

BoSthlm. Mäklare Niklas Randerz:

Because it looks like you don't have chairs at all, ghost chairs are the perfect way to "save" space while still having a modern, trendy furniture piece.

7. Benches

A great idea for small seating areas is to use benches rather than chairs.

Benches are less bulky than chairs, take up a lot less space, and can be easily slid underneath tables when you need more space to dance around!

Small Space Dining Room Design Tips | Apartment Therapy:

Benches are also a great way to make use of a corner dining nook...

This classic combo is a highly efficient use of space. Together, they transform a bare corner into an elegant eating space. See more at The Glitter Guide » - HouseBeautiful.com:

Chairs would be impossible to work with in the space above, but a bench is super easy to slide into!

Not only are the benches above much more practical and space efficient than chairs, they look extremely cozy and comfortable, which is what you should go for in a small space!

8. Built-in Storage

How do you make the most of an unforgiving space? Installing built-in shelves can make a space seem MUCH bigger because they take up wall space, rather than floor space.

If you live in a little apartment (or house) and are lucky enough to own your place (or have a landlord who's quite lenient) built ins can be a real lifesaver. Clever built ins are a great way to incorporate storage, and other functionalities, without the cumbersomeness of furniture, and they're a great way to really get the most of of of your space. Here are 13 clever ideas for built ins that will help you make the best of your small space.:

The space in front of the doorway above it utilized perfectly!

Without the built-ins, this doorway would not only be significantly more boring, it would be so inefficient.

When you're working with a small space, you want to use every spare inch you can find!

 

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9. Fold-Out Table

If you're under particularly taxing space restrictions, you can ease the stress a bit with this awesome tip!

How to Make Mirror Folding Table - DIY Crafts - Handimania. That is actually pretty brilliant. Not that I know how to operate a saw, but still.:

If you're going to have a table that isn't always in use,nyou can install something that folds away onto the wall, like the table/mirror combo above.

Or you could even use this method to store your dining room table...

Folding outdoor table and benches:

See how much floor space the table above saves?

It's practically a miracle!

If you need a medium-sized dining room table, but don't want to clutter your space with a bulky piece, this fix is an inventive way to fold away!

10. Circular Rugs

Circular rugs, more so than rectangles,

are the perfect shape for smaller spaces.

Whirlwind Jute Rug + Scoop-back Chair from west elm:

These rugs are great for kitchens, small nooks, and little living rooms.

A round rug under an armchair can define a reading or relaxing nook within a larger space, such as a bedroom or living area. It also works under a small desk in the corner of a room. Typically, a round rug under an armchair needs to be at least 4 to 5 ft. in diameter.:

Circular rugs create a little spot of interest, and their curved edges add a softness to small spaces that makes them feel bigger and cozier!

11. Under-Storage

When you're strapped for space, you really have to make use of every space you can, especially something that would normally be empty space, or empty wall.

You can easily add storage under your bed,

Not Your Mom's Underbed Storage: 10 Creative Ways to Make More Space in Your Bedroom | Apartment Therapy:

Or have built-in storage installed under your stairs.

Without storage under your stairs, you'll be missing out on a whole lot of great storage space...

DIY:: 16 Surprising Under the Stairs Budget Storage Ideas ! These are so Clever & All Amazing !:

Another stair storage idea may not be practical for everyone, but I thought it was very cute and quirky, and a surprising place to find storage!

13 Clever Built-Ins for Small Spaces | Apartment Therapy:

How cute is this blanket storage?!

This homeowner created an extra storage container by utilizing the corner of their staircase in a very ingenious way!

 

12. Hang your Curtains High

Like I was saying earlier, one of the easiest ways to make a room feel bigger is by making it look taller.

An easy way to do this is to hang up curtains as tall as you possibly can...

DIY galvanized pipe curtain rod; --Hang curtains high and wide to create a wall of "endless" windows.:

This gives the illusion that your ceiling and your windows are much taller than they are, making your room look bigger in the process!

The do's and don'ts of drapery. Rule #1: hang 'em high!:

See how the curtains above make the window seem wider and the wall seem taller? It's all about illusion!

13. Rack it Up

If you don't have space for a closet, or use your closet for other storage needs, a good way to be space-efficient is by having an "open wardrobe."

By this, I basically mean to hang your clothes on an exposed rack rather than purchasing an bulky armoire.

The rack above is very unique and cute, and because it is so tall and minimalist, it will make the room feel much bigger!

DIY ladder clothing rack Perfect for clothes that are "in use" during the week, and most frequently used shoes. I'd had some pegs/hooks/door knobs on the sides for stuff that doesn't need a hanger.:

This rack is deceptively simple! It's made of two ladders and a few 2 x 4 pieces of wood!

It's so easy, and it adds an open feeling to the space!

Beautiful Dutch bedroom make-over. Holly Marder.:

Same goes for the rack above!

Rather than cutting off a chunk of the room for a built-in closet, these racks open up the space so much!

14. Screens

If you want to break up a small, one-room apartment a good way to add some privacy and the feeling of separate rooms is by using Asian screens.

Love this view with the folding screen, helping to create privacy in the living room. | Bec's Sugar Shack | Tiny Homes:

Adding a screen would bring in a bohemian flair, along with practical use!

You want your space to be open... but not too open. 

15. Use Every Inch

Like I've said elsewhere in this post, you should use every inch of your small space!

These are some interesting and useful small space storage ideas...

You could go to any big-box establishment and buy something to store food and such, but what about something creative that you can make yourself? Here are six excellent ideas to “spice up” your kitchen and food storage with a little DIY flair!   Are you a little tight on …:

Putting a small, thin shelf in-between your fridge and a cabinet or wall gives you storage in an otherwise empty space!

This frees up so much cabinet space.

Love the pegboard storage. 20+ Ways to Squeeze a Little Extra Storage Out of a Small Kitchen:

Instead of stuffing your pots and pans into cabinets, you can display them on the wall by hanging up a peg board.

Pretty, practical, and it frees up more storage by using a space that would, again, normally be empty!

16. Buy a Half-Table

If you're not feeling the fold-up table, you might like this idea!

For a little eating nook, you could buy a half-table...

We could do something clever with our dining room cabinet space- take the doors off of it and turn it into a recessed shelving thing? Contrast paint?:

This makes it easier to put against the wall, and saves a couple inches of space for you to walk around.

Love this grouping of four glass pendants over the island

I really love the half-circle table above.

These tables are much easier to anchor against a flat surface... a whole circle table would not work in this space, because it would be floating in the middle of a floor that is too small for it!

17. Floating and Open Shelves

Another way to add a feeling of openness is by installing either floating or open shelves.

Rather than closing off a space with cabinets, you can use floating shelves to add depth to your space!

Little Rock Arkansas Home Makeover by Kathryn LeMasters | range hood incorporated into shelving wall:

See how bright and open the kitchen above looks?

There's nothing wrong with cabinets, but open shelves really add that depth and height you're looking for in a small space!

Kitchen Open Shelves 40:

Be careful not to clutter your open shelves, though!

Cluttered shelves will just make the room look disorganized, and we don't want that!

18. Vertical Stripes

My last tip is to use vertical stripes in small spaces, whether on your walls or with your textiles.

15 Tips On How To Make Your Ceiling Look Higher:

Adding vertical stripes is another way to make a room look taller!

If you like a bold pattern, you don't have to limit yourself to one attention-grabbing accessory. In this living room, stripes are the ties that bind.:

Plus, it's a great way to add a bright pop of color!

19. Hang Stuff On The Wall

In small spaces, countertop space is a rare commodity. There are some fantastic hacks and tricks out there for organizing your stuff by hanging it on the wall. 

magnetic wall organizer

Magnets are a genius small space hack! Use a magnetic strip and you won't even need a drawer for your small beauty products. 

mason jar organizer DIY

If you are handy with tools, you can even make your own DIY mason jar organizer. DIY Playbook has the tutorial

I hope these tips help you out! Let me know what other hacks and tips you have discovered for living in a small space. 

Always reach out to us when you are buying a rug for your space - small or large. We will help you find the perfect rug for every room in your home. 

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