Home DecorInterior Design

Life-changing Hacks For Small Spaces

(4 min read) If you’ve ever had to deal with a tiny apartment or a small bungalow type of a house, you are probably well aware that these kinds of home interiors have a huge set of challenges. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve to make even the most cramped space into a functional and homey environment. I mean, yours truly has some 400 books casually spread throughout her shoebox-size hallway and it still looks mighty cool, so trust me — I know what I’m talking about.

Small apartment interior design tips
Lovely small living room.

Beautiful monochromatic small living room design
Gorgeous monochromatic small living room.

Don’t be tricked by size

Most people make the mistake of going for a bunch of small decorations, thinking that anything bigger than a vase will consume the space somehow. So once they arrange their trinkets around their tiny home interiors they usually realize that they threw away their money and their room looks like a rotating rack closet of Cher from Clueless. Your best bet is 1 to 3 big statement pieces. They will even visually add to the overall spaciousness of the room, so buying a large-scale wall-art should be a no-brainer if you have a small living room.

Large Mosaic art piece in a small space.
A large art piece in a small living room. Mosaic Artwork by Mosaics Lab.

Go for a lifted lighting

Instead of buying a chandelier or any other type of pendant light, you should go for lifted lighting. That way you will make your ceiling appear higher and the overall effect will be pretty amazing. If you want to go for recessed lighting in particular, then you should make sure to layer some additional floor lights or table lamps. This will make the light cascade upward, so the ceiling will have more light and it will, yet again, appear higher.

Lifted furniture and floor lighting.
Combination of lifted and floor lighting. Design by Magnusson Makleri.

Invest in some lifted furniture

Bulky sofas and cushioned chairs plopped right on the floor will make any space look smaller. Instead, you should opt for pieces of furniture that sit higher up because they will make your space look roomier and elegant. This is also why nomadic style and mid-century modern are especially popular in urban areas where apartments and houses tend to be quite small.

Lifted furniture make a small space looks bigger
Gorgeous lifted furniture. Source: Purely Katie.

Go for smaller, irregularly shaped rugs

If your living room is very small, do yourself a favor and avoid rectangular rugs completely. Too big or too small rectangular rugs tend to draw attention to the size of your room. On the other hand, if you opt for a round rug or some zebra-rug imitation, it will create a flowery and natural vibe without drawing unwanted attention.

Rug in a small space makes it look bigger
A smaller round rug won’t draw attention to the size of the space. Design by Kyle Schuneman.

Think vertical!

Since your space is small you can maximize storage by using vertical shelves. You should first get rid of your nightstands, club tables, and side tables. Go for any type of vertical bookshelf, metal open one or closed wooden one. You can also opt for floating shelves, but they are tricky because their weight limit tends to be lower.

Vertical shelves are gorgeous for small apartments
Convenient vertical shelves. Source: Chic Little House.

These are some tips and tricks that could help you visually expand your home interiors. All of these have my official stamp of approval (it says OG of the interior design on it) because I use and apply them all the time. Lastly, keep in mind that interior design is a liquid category and it changes every day, and so does our relationship with our space. So, if you have some ideas that you’ve tested yourself, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Small living room decoration
Wonderful tiny living room successfully applying all of the mentioned tips. Source: HGTV.

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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.

94 Comments

  1. G
    April 15, 2020 at 11:01 am — Reply

    I friggin LOVE all of your tips! What I would love even more is if you came to our house and helped us figure out a few of our rooms out for us!! I hate our laundry “room”. And our film equipment closet could use some TLC too!!

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:43 am — Reply

      Hey Gigi, I won’t be able to make it to your house, you know social distancing, but I would love to help you.

  2. Amber Myers
    April 15, 2020 at 11:13 am — Reply

    Oh nice, we have a small living area, so I’ll keep these in mind. I have been wanting a better rug to help brighten up the space.

  3. Cristina Petrini
    April 15, 2020 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    It is the demonstration that even small spaces can bring happiness and beauty, it’s all about understanding how to use what you have to enhance it.

  4. Mia
    April 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    Amazing tips! I would definitely go with
    a lifted lightning and furnitures.If I will struggle with lack of space I will use your tips

  5. Jessica Collazo
    April 15, 2020 at 1:40 pm — Reply

    These are some excellent tips for small places. I love to use mirrors I think they make everything look bigger. I also use curtains long ones to make it seem like we have a tall ceiling.

  6. Natalia
    April 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    What a useful post! I’m in the process of furnishing my new apartment and it’s not easy! I still can’t decide, but hope it will be easier for me now! 🙂

  7. Gillian Kent
    April 15, 2020 at 4:34 pm — Reply

    I downsized a couple is years ago and this advice is great for making a small space look good.

  8. Neely Moldovan
    April 15, 2020 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    I love small space hacks! These are so great! I think these are all things I would for sure use! I love mirrors to make rooms look bigger

  9. Adrienne
    April 15, 2020 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    These are great ideas for working with the space you’ve got. You have great decorating taste too, I need help with that!

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:41 am — Reply

      I would love to Adrienne, let me know what exactly I can help you with…

  10. Heather
    April 15, 2020 at 9:34 pm — Reply

    I’m pretty sure we have the smallest living room ever, so we are always looking for ways to make the space work.

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:40 am — Reply

      Some of these tips would definitely help Heather, good luck.

  11. Stephanie
    April 15, 2020 at 10:31 pm — Reply

    I’ve had small apartments before, and you’re right, they aren’t always easy to work with. Even though I have a bigger house now, I can still apply a few of these tips here.

  12. Norma
    April 16, 2020 at 12:38 am — Reply

    I have never read such a helpful blog thanks so much. I will use what I learned to reorganize my son”s room.

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:39 am — Reply

      Thanks a lot Norma, I am so glad you found this helpful. Good luck reorganizing your son’s room.

  13. Marie Phillips
    April 16, 2020 at 12:47 am — Reply

    Every room was better than the last! And I didn’t know about the lifting of the furniture off the floor to make it appear roomier. That is totally cool!

  14. Ramil Hinolan
    April 16, 2020 at 3:39 am — Reply

    Your tips sounds pretty interesting. I live in a small space where installing furniture is a struggle. This will come in handy once we re-decorate our house.

  15. Lyosha
    April 16, 2020 at 5:48 am — Reply

    Great tips! I think most of us have small spaces we still want to find comfortable and use freely

  16. Nyxie
    April 16, 2020 at 5:52 am — Reply

    We’re constantly looking for ways that we can utilize the space in our house. I don’t like seeing empty space where there could be shelves or a lovely picture or something that has use.

  17. Eileen M Loya
    April 16, 2020 at 6:02 am — Reply

    My daughter lives in a small apartment and it is just the right size for her, her husband and their 4 year old son. I do want to help her re-arrange some of their furniture to create more space. I will send her the link to your blog. You have so many useful tips she can choose from.

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:39 am — Reply

      I am so happy Eileen this was helpful. I love small apartments but they’re often too “busy” for me. Some of these tips would help for sure.

  18. Advencha
    April 16, 2020 at 7:51 am — Reply

    I also have a small space and these tips are really encouraging! I love all the photos – the space is really beautiful. I will bookmark this post for future reference. 🙂

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:37 am — Reply

      Thanks a lot Advencha for your feedback.

  19. Krysten Quiles
    April 16, 2020 at 7:57 am — Reply

    The guest rooms in my home are really small, so this is SO helpful. Thanks so much for sharing this my friend!

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:01 am — Reply

      Thanks Krysten, glad this was helpful.

  20. Melissa Cushing
    April 16, 2020 at 8:33 am — Reply

    I love the looks of many of the rooms featured above for sure. I especially love the use of mirrors in small spaces as they do make it feel brighter and larger 🙂

    • April 16, 2020 at 9:01 am — Reply

      Using mirrors in small spaces makes a huge difference to the space and as you said, makes it look larger and brighter.

  21. Berlin Maynigo
    April 16, 2020 at 9:25 am — Reply

    Our space at home is small as well and your tips are so helpful in rearranging our furniture. I need to trash some as well to give way to more space saving appliance. Thanks again for the great tips.

  22. E
    April 16, 2020 at 9:33 am — Reply

    Such valuable information……. the looks of these living rooms are much attractive…….. amazing ideas to share…. Thanks for sharing it with us….

  23. Hollie
    April 16, 2020 at 9:46 am — Reply

    Wow this is so helpful. I’m moving to the Bay Area and I know I’ll be downsizing so I’ve been looking for help trying to figure out how to make the best of the space!

  24. Catherine
    April 16, 2020 at 10:20 am — Reply

    There are a lot of ideas I didn’t think of and I love it! Thanks so much for sharing. I have a few pretty small spots in the house I’d like to open up so these are great hacks!

  25. Pearl
    April 16, 2020 at 10:28 am — Reply

    I never knew that lifted furniture made rooms look bigger but that makes sense. I love your style!

  26. Steph
    April 16, 2020 at 10:30 am — Reply

    Amazing small space hack.i have a small bedroom,the little space that is left makes me hate my bedroom.i’ll try some of these hacks.

  27. W
    April 16, 2020 at 11:33 am — Reply

    Wonderful post, the ideas are very much useful, I will get some idea from your suggestion…

  28. CA
    April 16, 2020 at 11:35 am — Reply

    Love the ideas that you’ve shared! I’ve been struggling with how I can still maximize the current space that I have left at home.

  29. Joanna
    April 16, 2020 at 12:07 pm — Reply

    These are great tips, especially the lightning ones. I am about to redecorate my apartment so that I can sell it in the near future, and I need to make it look more spacious than it is.

  30. I.S.
    April 16, 2020 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    We live in a very small space (NYC flats am I right) and have been struggling a bit to furnish it. These are such great tips!

    • April 17, 2020 at 10:02 am — Reply

      I used to live in NYC as well, a tiny unit lol…Minimal is the way to go with these flats.

  31. Ashlee
    April 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    I love these tips! Especially the use of elevated sofas, irregularly shaped rugs and some statement pieces of art! I love cozy and know how easy that can turned into cramped!

  32. Bella
    April 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm — Reply

    We love using clever lighting and mirrors to make spaces appear larger. A good rug doesn’t go a miss either!!

  33. Margaret
    April 16, 2020 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    These are such great tips. We have a small house, about 1,400 square feet. But it doesn’t feel that small. I’m working on more of a minimal lifestyle. Getting rid of a lot of stuff we don’t need. It definitely helps make it feel bigger. And I LOVE your tips about big decor pieces instead of a whole bunch of little ones. This makes a HUGE impact. Great article. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • April 17, 2020 at 10:01 am — Reply

      Thank you so much Margaret for your note. I replaced all my small frames with a big mural and it completely transformed the entire room, I love it!

  34. Amary
    April 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    Love the tips, some good ideas to try with our small space. Love all the decors.

  35. Kaitlyn Nicole
    April 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    I love the lifted furniture idea! Ihave a relatively small space and we’ve been trying to make it more ‘adult homey’ – it’s been cluttered with things we love but with the stay-home orders we know we won’t be moving out anytime soon.

    • April 17, 2020 at 9:44 am — Reply

      I hear you Kaitlyn, maybe it is the right time to move things around, you know, reorganizing stuff. That is what I did and my space looks great and spacious now.

  36. Melissa Jacobs
    April 16, 2020 at 4:02 pm — Reply

    These are great tips. We lived for years in a small home. Decorating and organizing were always a challenge.

  37. Marysa
    April 16, 2020 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    It is good to be able to make the best of a small space! These are great tips when you don’t have a lot of space to work with. I am all about decluttering!

  38. michelle
    April 16, 2020 at 5:58 pm — Reply

    Yes, really good tips. It is important whether your house is big or small to be able to make the most of it. Mich x

  39. aisasami
    April 16, 2020 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    I live in a small apartment and looking for a way to spice it up! I will use these tips when trying to plan how to redesign my space.

  40. chelf
    April 16, 2020 at 6:24 pm — Reply

    Im in the process of redecorating our master bedroom which is in fact tiny and this will come in handy!

  41. Renata
    April 16, 2020 at 6:59 pm — Reply

    It is very important not to fill everything up and leave some open spaces 🙂

  42. Ramil Hinolan
    April 16, 2020 at 9:04 pm — Reply

    Find this blog very helpful. I will use these tips when I start re-decorating our love nest.

  43. Jack
    April 16, 2020 at 9:13 pm — Reply

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. I live in a condo type residence where our place is very small. With your article you gave us idea how to maximize our space.

  44. Kristen V
    April 16, 2020 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    I would love better lighting in my house. I think lighting can really make a place inviting.

  45. Maysz
    April 16, 2020 at 10:14 pm — Reply

    I love decorating rooms and do DYI for my walls and design for my rooms now I have an idea about this LIFE-CHANGING HACKS it would help a lot for me. Thanks a lot !

    • April 17, 2020 at 9:42 am — Reply

      I am so happy this helped Maysz.

  46. Emidiv
    April 16, 2020 at 10:44 pm — Reply

    I love the ornamental effect of the lighting, the combination with that dinning table is very awesome.

  47. W
    April 17, 2020 at 12:20 am — Reply

    I love designs for small spaces. Truly admire the engineering for life’s everyday happenings.

  48. Shruti
    April 17, 2020 at 12:26 am — Reply

    Love the hacks you have shown. Will try a few out in some time. Thanks

  49. David Allen Elliott
    April 17, 2020 at 1:58 am — Reply

    There are so many great tips here. I wouldn’t have thought about the irregularly shaped rugs. I know that mirrors help give the illusion of space which is helpful in small spaces as well.

  50. R U S S
    April 17, 2020 at 4:23 am — Reply

    With more and more people going for compact living, all these tips are going to be super helpful. Choosing the right kind of furniture always helps, plus the right kind of lighting.

  51. Agnes
    April 17, 2020 at 6:32 am — Reply

    I am always on the look-out for hacks for small spaces to apply it in our place and you gave great ideas!

  52. Norafiqin
    April 17, 2020 at 6:50 am — Reply

    Aww I wish I had this when we moved into this house couple of years ago. The space is limited and now we feel like we’re bumping into everything. Time for a revamp!

  53. Ewa
    April 17, 2020 at 8:19 am — Reply

    I have one very small bedroom. I still change something there and I’m still dissatisfied because it’s just too small. Now I want to use the recess in the room and make a wardrobe with sliding mirrored doors from Ikea. Do you think this is a good idea?

    • April 17, 2020 at 9:40 am — Reply

      Hey, I think leveraging the recess is a great idea, Ikea has gorgeous small wardrobes that are perfect for small bedrooms.

  54. Melissa Cushing
    April 17, 2020 at 8:58 am — Reply

    I am loving all of these tricks for small spaces and I especially love the addition of mirrors in smaller spaces plus lots of wonderful green plants. I always love plants as my mom had a greenhouse and we had plants everywhere. They not only look good but they also clean the air too!

    • April 17, 2020 at 9:37 am — Reply

      Can’t agree more Melissa, I love plants and also grew up around plants in the house.

  55. Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    April 17, 2020 at 9:55 am — Reply

    I have a really small living room and I have already been thinking about ways to redecorate. Thank you so much for these hacks.

  56. Yvette Munro
    April 17, 2020 at 10:52 am — Reply

    Some brilliant tips for smaller spaces. You’ve given me much to think about. I especially love the lifted furniture idea. This makes absolute sense yet it never occurred to me before.

  57. Rochelle
    April 17, 2020 at 11:22 am — Reply

    Some awesome decorating tips. My old apartment was 700 square feet. This would definitely help 🙂

  58. Pilar
    April 17, 2020 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Wow! all the ideas you mentioned are amazing! I really liked the furniture. As you are showing, it’s always possible to make the most of a small space. I think it’s just a matter of finding the best colors, lighting, and decoration.

  59. Nina
    April 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    I do love plants and I need to adjust the living area to invite more natural light in to make it more welcoming and bright

  60. Angela
    April 17, 2020 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    These are all such great tips! I am doing some remodeling now, so will keep these in mind!!

  61. Christa
    April 17, 2020 at 1:33 pm — Reply

    I’m from New York, so small space living was my norm. There are so many useful ideas here, especially thinking vertically!

  62. Bree
    April 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    What great ideas for small spaces! I have such a hard time making use of small areas so thank you!

  63. sam
    April 17, 2020 at 5:11 pm — Reply

    im glad to reach your blog. These are a great little tips and trick for any small space. Those photos are so inspiring for me to adapt for my next home renovation project too.

    cool thing!

  64. Monidipa
    April 17, 2020 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    I loved the third interior, all the pictures are good though…

  65. Ana
    April 17, 2020 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    I loved the idea of using lifted lighting! These are some really great tips ☺

  66. Tia McKinzie
    April 17, 2020 at 11:52 pm — Reply

    I am always looking for tips on living in smaller areas. I am used to living in medium sized homes ( 3 to 4 bedrooms) and now my husband and I are living in a 2 bedroom 1 bath ( with 4 people full time, and 6 during the summer) and it is a lot. So the more space i have the better!

  67. Nart
    April 18, 2020 at 4:46 am — Reply

    These are such useful hacks. I’ll apply what I can apply to my house! Thanks so much for sharing!

  68. jackline A
    April 18, 2020 at 8:03 am — Reply

    Great post. Using big artwork in a small room was new to me. Thank you for the tip.

  69. Genevieve
    April 18, 2020 at 11:30 pm — Reply

    I love all of these ideas! This is such an informative and creative list. 🙂

  70. Beth
    April 19, 2020 at 1:57 am — Reply

    The phrase “less is more” really applies here with the beautiful examples you gave in this post. I also enjoyed how sometimes you have monochromatic color themes and at other times the colors span a range.

  71. R
    April 19, 2020 at 3:02 am — Reply

    I love the decor very much and the arrangement of the furniture, but I prefer the vast spaces

  72. MJ
    April 20, 2020 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    These are all wonderful design ideas and I agree when you don’t have width work with the height of your space.

  73. Dani
    April 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm — Reply

    Love these tips for Chicago apartments! There’s a lot you can do with a small space.

  74. Talya Stone
    April 23, 2020 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    Some great tips here! We have some really small rooms in our house and agree that thinking vertical is the way to go.

  75. Tessa
    April 23, 2020 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    These are really smart suggestions! I love the way that a large mirror can make a small space look larger.

  76. Kate
    April 24, 2020 at 6:02 am — Reply

    These hacks are better than Ikea. When I downsize, I will use these hacks.

  77. Olya AMANOVA
    April 24, 2020 at 11:46 am — Reply

    I’m in love with this beautiful source of interior inspiration.

  78. Nayna Kanabar
    April 24, 2020 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    These tips are amazing , such great ideas , the room looks stylish and not at all cluttered.

  79. Yana
    May 1, 2020 at 2:08 am — Reply

    Love all your tips. These are great specially city living.

  80. Kez
    May 16, 2020 at 6:25 am — Reply

    Some great tips there. I need to get my self a huge picture for a feature wall to open my tiny place up now.

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