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13 (Free!) Tricks That Will Make Your Apartment Feel Bigger

People who live in apartments know the struggle of trying to fit all their furniture and belongings into a small space that's usually not brimming with storage options (who needs a walk-in anyway?). On the other hand, small apartments are easier and generally take less time to keep tidy, which is a plus. No matter how big your place is, there are simple styling tricks to make your apartment feel like an open and airy space that you'll actually want to invite your friends over to enjoy. Grab a notebook and clear your afternoon—it's time to turn your humble apartment into a palatial paradise.

1. Make use of your walls

When you're short on floor space, the last thing you want to do is add visual clutter. Walls are often underutilised in small apartments and can be a great tool to get furniture and homewares off the ground, up high, and out of the way. Mount bookshelves to the wall and fill them with plants, small baskets, and other decor items you want to display.

2. Floor-to-ceiling curtains

Speaking of going vertical, another room-lengthening tip is to trick the eye by hanging curtains at the highest point of the wall. Your windows will appear larger and it gives the walls a nice, uninterrupted line that draws the eye upwards instead of focusing on distracting curtain rods.

3. Choose the right rug size

A common design mistake is to select only small pieces for an apartment. If a dollhouse aesthetic doesn't appeal to you then you'll want to select a rug that is proportionate to the room. Whether it's for your bedroom or living space, a rug should be big enough to create a clear zone to distinguish each area as its own, and it plays an important part in making a room feel comfortable and inviting.

4. Sconces for ambient light

A cosy apartment is just the right place to enjoy a lazy weekend or rainy afternoon. Creating ambience is important to achieve the right mood at home, and wall lights are an ideal way to provide a source of light without compromising floor space. By having multiple sources of light in a room to bounce light around, your space will naturally feel larger.

5. Use decorative baskets

Baskets are the perfect item for storing things like towels, throws, and cushions when they're not in use because they work as decor as well as providing a smart storage solution. Small space living is all about reducing clutter, and a beautiful basket can hide a multitude of sins.

6. One in one out 

Hoarding and small apartments don't mix. Take a leaf out of Marie Kondo's book and consider only incorporating new pieces once you've edited what you already have to only include items that you love having around. We know how hard it is to leave IKEA without a new plant or vase in tow, so this one takes a little bit of self-restraint.

7. A statement artwork

We love a gallery wall as much as the next interior-obsessed person. In fact, we even wrote an article on how to make one yourself. However, to make an apartment feel loftier than it is, one large statement artwork is the way to go for a strong focal point that will capture every guest's attention. DIY it with your favourite travel photo and a second-hand frame.

8. Stick to simple patterns

A lack of square footage is no excuse for a lacklustre interior. By sticking to classic prints like small stripes and checks on furniture and soft furnishings, your space will have character and depth while not appearing chaotic or distracting in any way.

9. Get inventive with double-duty furniture

A stack of magazines as a side table? Yes! A log stool that's both a seat and a table? Amazing. Small space dwellers should be thinking outside of the box when it comes to how they can get more bang for their buck from every piece of furniture they own. Once you get into the space-saving mindset you'll become a master at seeing multiple uses for everything.

10. Avoid placing furniture against walls

Another trap people often fall into is trying to squeeze as much floor space out of their apartment as possible by pushing their furniture out to the walls. While it might create more space to walk, it definitely won't make your guests want to sit and stay awhile. By bringing the furniture in closer together, you're effectively creating a comfortable zone that is user-friendly and intimate.

11. Use colour

Colour shouldn't be restricted to only those with larger homes, as it invites personality and character into a home which allows people to focus on that rather than any lack of space. As always, colour is an individual expression of your personality so there are no rules here!

12. Hang a mirror opposite a window

This apartment styling trick is a pretty simple one. Use every ounce of natural light you have and multiply it by placing a mirror on the opposite wall to a window. The results will instantly transform a small room, adding another visual dimension to the space. 

13. Forget the bedhead

When it comes to decorating a bedroom in an apartment, less is definitely more. It should always be free of distraction and serve as a place that you retreat to for relaxation and an all-important night of sleep. Forgo a bedhead for a streamlined look where your bed linen becomes the feature.

While you're here, take a look at the 16 decorating hacks we learnt from Instagram.

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