housing-900233_640When it comes to small spaces, every little detail can go a long way towards giving the room the illusion of space. If you’re currently stuck in what feels like a cramped [city] apartment, there are several tricks to make your room look bigger than it actually is, which in turn increases its comfort level.

Design is all about perception, and fortunately, you can fool your eyes with certain design concepts and elements such as lighting, color, furniture arrangement, and so on. Below are 5 hacks for you to draw inspiration from.

1. Open Up a Space with Light

The presence (or absence) of light plays a huge role in how large or small a space appears. For example, by letting more natural light inside a room, it appears larger and airier. You can use sheer or light curtains on your windows to let sunlight in, or better yet, pull your curtains back completely. If the view leaves a lot to be desired, add plants or flowers near windows.

If you can’t let more light in, perhaps due to a lack of windows or the room facing a structure blocking the light, you can use lighting fixtures to add creative light effects. Just be sure to use energy-efficient lighting such as LED light bulbs to offset the cost of switching the lights on during the day.

2. Use Light Colors and Contrasts

It’s generally understood that light colors have the ability to make rooms appear larger and brighter. Bright walls reflect more light, making a space feel airy and open, which complements any attempts to let more natural light inside. In contrast, dark colors absorb light, thus making a room appear smaller.

For best results, use a combination of soft tones, such as dirty white or beige, or blue and green. You can start small, such as by painting wall trim or moldings with a paint color that’s lighter than your walls.

3. Clean Up

There’s a reason why minimalist interior design makes a room feel airy and spacious: no clutter. Having too many things in a room just makes it feel more cramped than it really is; by arranging things neatly our putting them out of sight, you’re ensuring more of your room stays in your immediate view.

Simply put, a cluttered room makes for a smaller room.  To avoid this:

  • Keep floors as clean as possible
  • One large photo frame or painting looks cleaner than several smaller frames
  • Focus on one focal point: be it a bed or table. Minimize the use of accessories to bring attention to your focal point

4. Add Mirrors to Reflect Light

Mirrors have the ability to make room larger by reflecting light and giving the illusion of depth. If you don’t have enough windows to let in a lot of light, position mirrors near windows and angle it in such a way that in reflects light into the rest of your room.

Don’t limit yourself to just mirrors. You can items with reflective surfaces in your room, such as mirrored cabinet doors, glass tables and shiny lamps, and so on.