How to make a small space look bigger

So many of us work in big cities and with space being at a premium, we find ourselves renting shoe box apartments with unimaginative layouts. Today, I want to talk about decorating solutions to maximize space and make it appear bigger and uncluttered. I work in Boston, which is one of the most expensive cities to live in the United States. When we rented a two bedroom apartment, I wanted to start decorating right away. However, I had to change placement of my furniture and decor multiple times before getting it right and these are a few things I learned along the way:

Use light colored furniture with pops of color.

Light colors reflect more light and open up a room. Apart from choosing whites for wall paint, having light furniture blurs the line between furniture and the background, making the space look bigger. If you have to have dark furniture, a dark couch can be balanced by light chairs and other decorative elements.

Add reflective surfaces.

I have a lot of mirrors in my apartment. They enhance natural light and create an illusion of more space. Large mirrors leaning against a wall, either by themselves or behind a console completely open up a space. Mirrored furniture, metallic frames and other decorative pieces also work really well.

Restrict statement art to one wall.

Clutter is not good for small spaces and that goes for the walls as well. If you love hanging art, one gallery wall is great to make a statement but overcrowding the walls will draw the eye in all directions and make the space seem smaller. Having a really large piece of art on one wall makes the space seem grand and balances out the proportions.

Make ceilings appear taller by choosing low furniture.

Furniture with low profiles create open space above them, allowing the room to appear larger. This trick works especially well in small bedrooms.

Choose multi-functional furniture to minimize clutter.

If you don’t have enough closet space, invest in furniture with storage (beds, ottomans, etc). Also it helps to keep small trinkets to a minimum. Keep it simple and clean.

Hang white drapes.

Windows or a balcony in the apartment are great for natural light and covering them up with dark drapes creates a visual barrier. Use drapes that are the same color as your wall and keep them light and sheer.

I wanted to keep my apartment light and airy but also introduce some warmth through color. Since winters are cold and depressing in Boston, I decided to invest in a chocolate brown chesterfield as the central piece in the living room. A blue Persian rug adds depth and color to the rental carpet. Usually, chesterfields belong in libraries and hunting lodges – don’t miss the gazelle head wall sculpture on the top left corner as a tongue-in-cheek reference.

I am excited to share my progress with all of you. Are there any tricks you have learned while decorating? Please share in the comments section below!

Light and airy living room with a chocolate brown chesterfield as a statement piece.
A carved mango wood console displays memories.
Black, white and gold gallery wall.

2 thoughts on “How to make a small space look bigger

  1. Thank you Snehal! I agree with you, there’s so much information available everywhere, its hard to make sense of it and implement it in your world. I am glad I helped in a tiny way. Now visit me asap!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your articles Shruti. They are very crisp, to-the-point and easy to implement in real life. Ive always had a very confused and abstract concept of fashion and decoration, but your articles highlight that there is quite a logical pattern behind it. So now, it all makes much more sense to me than ever before. This one about your living space is brilliant. Keep up the good work !!
    PS. Your apartment looks lovely and totally out of a magazine !

    Liked by 1 person

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