Not everyone has a huge, open floor plan they can decorate like their favorite pins on Pinterest or a page out of Home & Garden magazine. Despite the size of your living room or bedroom, there are plenty of things you can do that can make your small room feel much bigger! 

In this article I’m going to share some tips on doing just that. So here we go…

1. Pick Contrasting Colors

Creating contrast in your living spaces is a great way to create dimension. Whether you paint a focal wall a dark color to contrast the white on the rest of the walls or add lots of dark furniture with pale accents, having colors that contrast starkly with each other adds an extra layer to your room. It gives off an illusion that the room is much larger than it really is. 

2. Select Your Curtains Carefully

Hang your curtain rod up much higher than the top of your window. It’ll make your walls appear taller–so make sure your curtains hang either to the floor or below your windows! Purchase curtains in a darker color to add  dimension–or, if you’re reminiscing about spring and summer, add some lighter pastels. If you know that your windows don’t have the best seal and make your rooms colder, purchasing some thicker panels will help eliminate the chill of the room and keep the warm air from escaping your home.

3. Mix Up the Textures

Mixing up textures in your living room is a great way to make it feel bigger. Mix thin fleece blankets with thick wicker baskets or ribbing on your couches and chairs with smooth ceramic light posts. Creating a difference in textures is a great way to add some visual interest to your small room. Your guests will be focusing on the mixture of textures instead of the size of the space!

4. Add Some Greenery

Bringing different plants into your living space can change the way you view its size. You can hang ivy around tall bookshelves, put a large leaf plant in the corner or scatter some small succulents onto shelves. Create some terrariums to hang off shelves, in windows or in corners. Not only is it a fun activity, but you can add any type of succulent you want! If you aren’t prepared to be responsible for keeping green babies alive, you can purchase some faux plants instead. 

5. Focus on Tranquility

Focusing on cool neutrals can create a tranquil vibe in your living spaces! Using grays, whites and light browns will create a relaxing yet modern mood in your living room or bedroom. Adding these colors, whether it’s by purchasing some personalized throw pillows or pots for your plants, will create a relaxing environment. You and your guests will enjoy spending time in your living spaces if you decorate in those colors.

6. Use Furniture to Create Separation

If you live in a studio apartment, or your open floor plan doesn’t have walls to clearly dictate where your living and dining rooms are, you’ll want to arrange your furniture in a way that separates your living spaces. Position your couch to create a makeshift walkway between areas, or place a bookshelf between your sleeping area and living area if you live in a studio. You can also hang some string lights between the spaces to create an upper level visual! For your bedrooms, try to keep your mattresses to one of the corners of the room so that you get more space left.

7. Functionality Is Your Best Friend

Maximizing the functionality of your items in small spaces is key. Purchase items that provide storage in an out-of-the-box way, such as using a bed platform with drawers built into it. Your room won’t feel as cluttered because your sweaters and extra bedding will be stored below your bed and out of sight, and it doubles as a decor piece! You can also find coffee tables with removable tops, or use an item such as a wooden trunk or cedar chest in place of a traditional coffee table. 

8. Luxury Items Work, Too

Just because you’ve got a small space doesn’t mean you have to lose out on luxury! Pick up some pieces that you feel are luxurious, such as a thick blanket, a sequined pillow or a marble side table or some sleek home appliances, and incorporate them into the decor in your living spaces! Adding some shine will elevate your space to the next level, and your guests won’t even notice the size of your space. 

9. Make Bold Statements

Purchasing some statement pieces for your home is a great way to create sizing illusions in your living spaces! Find some personalized picture frames to establish a gallery wall. Place smaller photos around the largest one to create the desired effect. You’ll notice that people will focus on your wall decor instead of the size of your room!  

10. Smaller Furniture, Better Use of Space

Try to eliminate bulky furniture in small spaces. You’ll want to focus on using sectional couches, chairs and side tables rather than large couches, entertainment centers or coffee tables. If you are going to purchase a larger item, make sure it has an additional benefit, such as storage compartments!

11. Purposeful Spacing

When you have a smaller space, every piece of furniture and decor needs to be placed purposefully. You want to maximize your usage of available square feet, but you also want to make sure the space looks appealing. Space your pieces out so that they are clearly seen. You don’t want your items to appear cluttered. 

12. Minimalism Is Key

When all else fails, keep it minimalistic. If you live in an efficiency apartment, don’t spend your dollars on small trinkets that don’t have some type of sentimental value or larger purpose. Instead of purchasing the ceramic dog decor piece, find yourself some paw-print salt and pepper shakers! You can still find things you like and show off your style without having to compromise on space in your living areas. 

Living in a small space can seem like a big headache. Decorating your small space doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Maximize your space and stay true to your style. You’ll start to enjoy your small space in no time!