The human eye gauges size in relative terms, and this can work in your favor when you decorate a small apartment to look bigger. Visual tricks can cause a space to feel roomier, wider, loftier. Color and size play an important role in decorating a small apartment to look bigger, but for greater impact try to think outside the box. Decorate your small apartment in unexpected ways, such as turning a dining room into a library. Having a wide range of spaces in a small apartment will create the impression of affluence and size. Here are 10 ways to decorate a small apartment to look bigger through visual illusions.
#1. Color Palette
Create a pale canvas when decorating a small apartment to look bigger. Light colors trick the eye into seeing more space. Choose a sandy, earthy tone for the walls, and repeat this motif throughout your decor as we go through the tips below.
#2. Paint a Faux Tray Ceiling
When decorating a small apartment to look bigger give the ceiling add height through an illusion. Paint a frame along the ceiling edge at a width of one or two feet. Make this edge the exact same color as the walls, to create the illusion that your small apartment is actually taller and roomier than it is. Complete this illusion of added space by painting the center of the ceiling in a slightly darker shade.
#3. Decorate with Light
Not only do human beings see by light, they gauge size by the absence of shadows. To decorate a small apartment to look bigger fill it with light, day and night. Choose roman blinds in light colors, as sunlight will penetrate through them even when they are lowered. Place lamps in all corners of your small apartment to decorate each space with pools of light. Add small decorative lamps, like Tiffany butterfly lamps which use low voltage bulbs and can stay on all the time. Select white light bulbs over yellow to fill your small apartment with a shade that will make it look bigger.
#4. Decorate with Greenery
Plants, which are normally found out of doors, will increase the illusion that an indoor space is large and supportive of life. Keep a palm or Ficus by your living room window. Hang a herb garden in a basket over your kitchen sink. Keep a floral plant on the foyer table, and discover more hardy houseplants for decorating your small apartment to look bigger.
#5. Decorate Proportionately
As size is relative to the observer, decorate your small apartment to look bigger by selecting small furniture and spreading it spaciously about each room. Choose two arm chairs in place of a sofa, or rocking chairs instead of wing chairs. Replace a coffee table with an ottoman topped by a tray. Or a dining room table with a kitchenette set.
#6. Paint Bulky Furniture in White
If you have bulky furniture, don’t throw it away simply because you are forced to decorate a small apartment to look bigger. Paint the furniture with semi-gloss, latex white paint. The pale contours will create the illusion that bulky items are smaller and your small apartment bigger in consequence.
#7. Decorate with Slipcovers
Cover your furniture in light colored slipcovers to further decorate your apartment to look bigger. If you have pets, make sure the slipcover is labeled “Pet Friendly” to prevent staining and wear. See my slipcover tutorial and pictures to get a feel for decorating with slipcovers.
#8. Multitask your Decorating
Be inventive when decorating a small apartment to look bigger by optimizing every inch of space. Instead of a coffee table use a chest, in which you can store out-of-season clothing. Instead of decorating your small apartment walls with paintings, put up open-shelved bookcases for displaying your stereo, books, movies, games and knickknacks. Place a lamp atop each bookcase to increase illumination and make your small apartment look bigger.
#9. Rely on Symmetry
Symmetry engenders a sense of harmony and order in the observer. To decorate a small apartment to look bigger position items in symmetrical lines that will fool the eye into seeing the spaces as a single integral unit. This prevents the segmentation common to human observation, which causes a room to feel crowded. In short, decorate your small apartment to look bigger by creating the illusion that there are fewer things in it than there really are.
#10. Use Decorative Mirrors
Perhaps the most common decorating tip to make small apartments look bigger involves hanging mirrors in key places. Indeed, the reflection created by mirrors duplicates both space and light. But bear in mind that mirrors facing one another will create an interminable sequence of reflections, and this can fatigue the eye and make your small apartment feel crowded and consequently smaller rather than larger.
For more decorating ideas, visit my collection of 15 home decor styles to spark your imagination.