11 Hacks to Make Your Small Apartment Feel Big


If you are in a small apartment by choice or necessity, being strategic with your available space is a necessity. There are many perks to living in a small space: you spend less on utilities and rent, and cleaning is a breeze.

However, there are some major drawbacks, and if you are not careful with your interior design, you’re left feeling stuffy and cramped. With these 11 hacks, you can feel like you’re living large within limited space.

Clear out the clutter and clean often

When you have limited space, it sometimes feels like you could sneeze and ave a messy house. Clothes on the floor, unmade beds, dishes in the sink suddenly feel more problematic in a small home than a large one. Thankfully, cleaning takes a minimal amount of time, but goes a long way in making your space feel bigger.

Schedule a time to go through storage and throw out unnecessary items. Set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes and run through your apartment storing everything in its proper place and be generous with what you toss. Take a trip to the local Goodwill and offload your excess.

Think up not out

Small spaces lack valuable square footage, meaning you don’t have spacious closets or large living areas with plenty of room for shelving. That is why you must think up not out. Unused space in your one-bedroom apartment is near the ceiling, not on the floor.

Consider hanging shelving above the door frame in the bathroom to store towels, or hang floating shelves near the ceiling in other rooms to display items you don’t need very often.

Lay low and hang high

Just because your space is small, doesn’t mean it needs to feel cramped.  Furniture lower to the ground will make your space feel more open simply because of the extra space above. Try out a mid-century design. The unique pieces will add character and it will make the room feel larger.

Clear furniture can also help a room seem larger because it allows more visible space underneath otherwise solid surfaces such as a dining room table. Floating shelves can also create space by not consuming floor space.

Hang your floor-length curtains from near the ceiling rather than at the top of the window. This trick will give the illusion that your windows are massive and your ceilings are tall. In result, it will make your space feel larger. Additionally, it helps to have either sheer curtains, or choose a color similar to the wall.

Open those windows

Bring the outdoors inside by opening your windows. Natural light increases productivity, it improves sleep and it is better for your eyes. It also makes your living space look bigger, fresher and brighter. If you can’t open the windows because of the temperature, pull up the blinds and push back the curtains for a similar effect.

Experiment with collapsible furniture

What if your table could also be a bench and a desk? Multipurpose furniture that transforms for several different uses could save you tons of space. The tiny house movement originally prompted these innovative designs. While practical, shape-shifting furniture is usually expensive, Ikea unveiled its line of transforming furniture two years ago, so if you’re up for building, it’s a good option.

Furniture = Storage

Consider finding furniture that maximizes storage space. Lift your bed higher off the group to accommodate dresser drawers, or find coffee tables that double as a great place to stash those extra blankets. Put a bookshelf under the bed to keep smaller items organized rather than strewn about the floor. You can even build a storage bed rather than springing for more expensive transforming furniture.

Decorate and paint with neutral color

If your apartment complex allows you to take ownership of your space by painting, then stick with neutral colors. Truliaprovides some of the most common paint colors that can make a room feel open rather than cramped.

Install large mirrors

Trick your eyes into thinking there is more space in a room by hanging a mirror. It also reflects light and creates a greater sense of openness.

Organize cleverly

Install heavy wires on the top of your closet ceiling to store wrapping paper. Use pocket organizers in your cabinets for cleaning supplies and toiletries. Maximize closet space by installing two clothing rods instead of one. Put shelving in unused side closets to make the perfect place to store bulk containers and other oddly shaped kitchen appliances.

Use a leaning bookshelf for more countertop space in the kitchen.

Running low on countertop space? A leaning bookshelf might just be what you need. It creates a stylish and trendy storage option. Use it for your spice rack, wine rack, toaster oven and other kitchen necessities. It takes up minimal space but maximizes your counter tops without stuffing your cabinets.

Embrace empty space.

The fastest way to feel cramped is to stock every shelf and corner with knick knacks and unnecessary items. Smaller spaces require you to be picky about what you display and what you hide.

It is tempting to fill every shelf or open space. It may seem necessary since you are working with limited space to maximize every inch. One way to make your apartment feel larger is to leave some open space. Don’t make your space so full that it is over stimulating. Instead, strive for clean, crisp and organized. You won’t regret it.

At NorthStar Properties, our units come in all sizes. Space is relative, so you have to choose a floorplan that fits your lifestyle. With these tips and a little creativity, you can make any size work perfectly for you. Contact us to tour a property and learn more about our units.