10 Tips for Stretching Small Spaces

20 Jun

Hi there! This week I’m having fun and learning like crazy at the Haven Conference. While I’m there, check out the Every Day Pretty Facebook page and Instagram for real-time updates. I’ll be back next week to share all the Haven fun!

Remember Andrea, my friend with the cute new loft? Last week, we explored tips for maximizing space in her kitchen.

Today, we’ll take a look at overall tricks for making a small space (in this case, a 450-square-foot studio apartment) look and feel bigger.

maximize space

via Creative Space Organizing.com

living room curtains4

  • Hang ’em high: Nothing changes the feel of a room like curtains. To make a room feel open and airy, always hang the curtain rods at least a few inches higher than the window. Stretch out the rod a few inches beyond the width of the window too, to let the maximum amount of light in.
  • Mirror, Mirror: You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s so true. Hanging a mirror, especially a large one, can help trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it is.
gold coffee table

You may recognize this as my dream coffee table. Still on the hunt!

3. Light and Airy: Think of a breeze flowing through your room. With a small room, you want that breeze to be able to flow under and around furniture. Choose seating with exposed legs and tables that feel light. Heavy furniture will stop the eye; light furniture will present a continuous flow, making the room feel larger.

light rug

4. Light Underfoot: If your home has hardwood floors, choose a rug that isn’t too much of a contrast with the color of your floor. A sharp contrast will catch the eye and reiterate the size of the room.

multi-functional room

See how these chairs are almost the same color as the floor? Your eye flows right through them, making the room feel larger.

5. Clear the Clutter: In small spaces, it’s even more important than usual to keep the clutter at bay. An eye will land on clutter and the room will feel smaller if there’s too much hanging around. Ottomans with built in storage space are great choices, as are open shelves with drawers like those in the image above.

6. Think Light: For the most part, lighter colors make a room feel bigger, while darker colors make a room feel smaller. Apartment walls are usually white. Consider emphasizing the hue with sheer white drapes and lighter furniture.

7. Pops of Color: Lighter colors make a room feel bigger, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love color! The eye needs a place to rest, so pops of color in the form of pillows, art or even a piece of painted furniture provide resting places and show off  your personality.

Wall Art

The art is awesome, yes, but do you see those chairs? Obsessed.

8. Less is More: When it comes to decorating the walls, consider one statement piece rather than several smaller pieces. Yes, gallery walls are all the rage right now, but they tend to make a place look smaller, not bigger. A large piece of art with plenty of wall space around it can make a room feel open.

Tip: Wait until large canvases are on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, wrap it in some pretty fabric and hang it on the wall for instant art.

Open and Airy Room

9. Use What Ya Got: Andrea’s studio was built in the 1920s so it has some of that great architectural charm you just don’t find in newer homes. Flaunt it! Using your home’s natural attributes will make your furniture look more at home, keeping the room balanced.

10. Decorate the Whole Enchilada: Often times, we think about decorating in terms of rooms. I say think about the entire home at once. Colors should flow throughout the home, to give each piece and color a sense of belonging. This is especially important in a studio apartment.

Consider this rule of thumb: If I put all of the colors and patterns in my home together on one board, would they go? (Go, not match!) If so, you’re on the right track.

So there you have it: ten tips for making any space feel a little bigger. Andrea, I hope some of these tips are helpful as you continue to make your new place into a lovely home!

Do you have tips to share with Andrea? What are your favorite maximizing space tricks?

2 Responses to “10 Tips for Stretching Small Spaces”


  1. Gettin’ Fancy with Everyday Pretty « My Path is Wide Open - August 13, 2012

    […] in a small space. Go here to learn about maximizing small spaces(with pics of my kitchen), here to make small spaces bigger, and generally, just poke around on the blog! Go here to follow on […]

  2. Coffee Table: Found! « Every Day Pretty - August 15, 2012

    […] need air under the left end table. It’s looking a little too solid over there. (Remember this tip for making spaces feel […]

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