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  • Writer's pictureCynthia, Queen Bee

Big Design Ideas for Small Spaces

There are lots of wonderful reasons why we choose to reside in apartments: being able to lock the door and leave for weeks at a time (someday again soon, she said hopefully!), having a pool and a gym on site or a water view, or living in the center of the city. But, for all of the positives, for most of us there is one unavoidable truth: our spaces are small.

My mother always said that the best gifts come in small packages. So my view is that you can design a small space just as beautifully as a wide open expanse. All you need are a few tricks and loads of inspiration.

Floor to ceiling window treatments, well proportioned furnishings and minimalist details make this living room feel open and spacious. Photo: Peter Murdoch / Design Paris Forino, NY

Here are five of my favorite tricks:

1. Keep clutter to a minimum. All the square footage in the world won’t make a difference if your home is crowded with stuff. If minimalism isn’t your style, seek out storage solutions that can be both beautiful and useful to keep the clutter under control. Keep the floor clear: go for hanging pieces like open shelves or nightstands. The more you can keep the floor clear, the bigger and more open your space will feel.

2. Mirrors are your friend. A mirror can do wonders to make a space look larger and add square footage. The bigger the mirror, the better!

3. Work with the scale of your furniture. If you decide to go with an oversized piece, use fewer pieces overall. The idea is to let pieces breathe, so that your furniture doesn’t feel stacked up against each other. The Goldilocks of sofas – the apartment sofa - is a great choice: you won’t really be able to tell that the scale is slightly smaller, but it can have a huge impact on the layout and design of your space.

4. Go vertical. Anything floor to ceiling adds the illusion of height to your room. Hang window treatments close to the ceiling – regardless of how high your windows go. Get a floor to ceiling bookcase (or create one by stacking them). A tall headboard will add height to your bedroom.

5. Choose multifunctional furniture pieces. Be it a sleeper sofa, a storage bed or ottoman, the more purposes your furniture can serve the better!

I have curated the following articles to help you make the most of every room in your apartment. All told there are 169 ideas to inspire you, no matter how small your room.

From Architectural Digest:

How to Decorate Small Spaces Like a Pro

12 Small Bedroom Ideas to Make the Most of Your Space

From Elle Décor:

60 Small (but mighty) Kitchens to Steal Inspiration From

60 Small Bathrooms That Make A Statement

From MyDomaine:

27 Designer-Approved Tips for Small-Space Living Rooms

Now let your creativity run wild and have some fun!

You can design a small space just as beautifully as a wide open expanse. All you need are a few tricks and loads of inspiration.

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