Seven Designer Secrets To Make Your Small Apartment Look Larger

September 2, 2021

Rooms with low square footage can feel uncomfortable and confining, which is why everything counts when outfitting such spaces. Designing small spaces is all about proportions.

With a little creativity and a few design-inspired tricks, small spaces can feel larger and airier. Furniture arrangement, creative lighting, color techniques, and mirror placement can trick the eye making the space look bigger and more spacious.

This article shares seven designer secrets to make your small apartment look larger. We picked most of these tips and tricks from these monthly furnished apartments located in Paris.

Enhance Your Space Using Creative Lighting

Any space will look bigger if it has enough light; whether artificial or natural lighting.

Natural light, in particular, has a way of making a room look larger by opening up its interior. 

However, if you are dealing with a windowless space, using lighting fixtures creatively can help generate natural-like light effects. These simple additions can have a significant impact on enhancing the space.

If you are lucky enough to have large windows, use draperies sparingly in order to bring natural light into the room. This will connect the space with the outside instantly, making the room look bigger. 

For instance, you can use sheer coverings or remove them entirely to maximize the light.

If the outside view is not appealing, try placing flowers and plants near the window to brighten the room.

Create A Focal Point

A focal point is a feature or area that captures the eye’s attention. 

For example, in the bedroom, the bed is the focal point and in the dining area, the dining table is probably the focal point.

Establishing a focal point can make the room look bigger. Look for ways to make the focal point the room’s focus. Organize your furniture so that more emphasis is drawn to that feature or area. 

Also, keep the décor to a minimum in the remaining space.

Use Mirrors And Reflective Materials

Ever asked yourself why small spaces need to have mirrors

The answer is quite simple. 

Mirrors can make your small room feel lighter, airier and larger. They create a sense of openness, which gives the illusion of more square footage by reflecting the light and the view.

For the best results, place your mirrors at an angle to give the idea of more depth. 


Simply because it would give a reflection of the outside world.

Reflective materials such as glossy tiles and lacquered walls create the same effect as a mirror by bouncing light and making the space feel larger and airier.


Having too many things lying around can make a small room feel cramped. On the other hand, keeping the room organized and tidy sparks some joy and makes the empty space feel open and orderly.

Look for ways to keep your collection behind closed doors. Small spaces do not provide much room to embrace the entire spectrum, instead go for a minimalist design approach.

For example, try to scale down on the pictures and the paintings. When trying to make a small room look bigger, one large picture or painting is better than a lot of small pictures.

Also, use smaller rugs to try and keep the floor clear. This gives the illusion of more floor space.

Use Dark Colors Or Light Colors

The idea of using paint is not just about incorporating color into the room, its effect goes beyond that. You can use paint to trick the eye and add more depth to the space.

Very dark colors create contrast, making the walls appear further back. The result is your room feels wider and more spacious.

Light colors are reflective, creating an illusion of depth. They help maximize the effect of natural light, making the space look brighter and bigger.

Finally, medium colors can make the space feel smaller, so try to keep them to a minimum.

Go Vertical Or Horizontal

Emphasizing the width or height of a room can make it feel more spacious. 

For instance, if the room has high ceilings, emphasize the room’s vertical space. You can use elements such as vertical artwork, a tall bookshelf, and a bare hanging bulb to go vertical. This creates a feeling of openness and movement, making the room look larger.

Focus on the room’s horizontal aspects of the space is wide and with low ceilings. Horizontal stripes or paneling that make the eye wander in an orderly and intentional fashion can create the illusion of a larger space.

Open The Way

When accessories and furniture block a room’s view, the space looks cluttered. Use just enough furniture to fit the room’s size.

Maximize the room’s open space by placing large furniture pieces against the wall and away from walkaways. This creates a sense of openness, making the room feel larger.

Which other trick do you use to make your small apartment appear roomier? 

Share your feedback with us below.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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