Sometimes, living in a small apartment can be a bit rough. Sure, you can deal with the noisy neighbours, lazy landlords, and the lift that’s been stuck on the second-floor for over a decade, but when it comes down to living in a space that feels about as big as the boot of your car, enough is enough. Still, what can you do? It’s not as if you can just make a wish and have your flat magically grow a dozen square metres of floor space, can you?
Well, no. Not quite. However, there are a number of simple tips that you can use to make your apartment feel quite a bit larger than it is. We’ve compiled a list of our eight favourites so that you’ll be able to enjoy the spaciousness of a larger flat, even if you don’t actually live in one.
1. Come clean
This one might seem as though it’s too obvious to even mention, but the reality is that many small living spaces end up looking significantly larger once all of the clutter has been cleared away. So, begin your journey to a larger flat by giving your home a good thorough cleaning.
Pay special attention to any items or piles/stacks that have accumulated on the floor itself, as well as surfaces such as countertops and tables. Consider investing in space-saving storage that can fit under furniture or in cupboards or wardrobes, so that those items which would otherwise sit on your floor can be packed away out of sight.
2. Unify your colours
Having too many different colours in your home can make it appear jumbled and disorganized, and by extension much smaller than it actually is. Instead, match your furniture and decorations to the basic colour scheme of your walls (or match your walls to your furniture and decorations). You can take it a step further by choosing light colours for your walls and floors, which create an added sense of openness.
3. Let the sunshine in
Speaking of light, the more of it that you have in a room, the larger that room will seem. And, there’s no better light source than the one that rises every morning and sets every night. By drawing your curtains and opening your blinds, you’ll not only allow more of that room-widening sunlight inside, but you’ll also be creating the illusion of depth by opening up views to the outside world.
4. Reflect on your mirrors
Another way to create the illusion of depth is to use large mirrors. When placed across from windows, these mirrors not only reflect more light, but they also make it appear as though you have an additional window. Likewise, large mirrors can effectively double the apparent size of a room when placed along a blank wall. Remember, the larger the mirror, the greater the effect.
5. Hit the ceiling
Chances are that the restrictiveness of your apartment doesn’t extend all of the way to the ceiling. About halfway up the wall, most of your furniture disappears, and you’re left with open space. Take advantage of this and make an effort to draw the eye upwards. By painting or wallpapering your ceiling, you and any guests that you have will instinctively begin to notice the higher spaces in your home, and will thus feel as though the room itself is larger.
6. Shrink your furniture
Sometimes, a space only seems confined because it’s filled with overly large couches, tables, armoires, etc. You can solve this problem by selecting smaller pieces of furniture, or by getting rid of furniture that you don’t need. Alternately, consider investing in furniture which can be easily moved and stored away (such as collapsible or foldable furniture), and then retrieved when it is needed.
7. Give stripes a try
Stripes have a unique way of attracting the eye and making things appear longer. Take advantage of this phenomenon with a striped rug oriented so that the stripes follow the length of the room. You could also consider striped wallpaper or furniture covers to try to achieve the same effect.
8. Keep things dynamic
Lastly, if you feel as though your flat is starting to feel cramped, you might just need a change of scenery. By redecorating your apartment’s interior a few times a year, rearranging the furniture layout, or possibly trying a new colour of paint on the walls, you can make the space that you do have feel fresh, new, and open. So mix things up and see just how spacious your flat can be, even if you’re living in a room the size of a car’s boot.