Creating a space that feels spacious and makes the best of what’s available can be difficult in a small apartment, but a little clever thinking and planning can really make the space feel bright and airy – and give you room to move around without tripping over your clutter.

One way to make a small apartment feel big is to raise your storage above floor level; rather than floor standing bookcases, for example, consider a line of shelving circling the area above a desk, or at a height along the hallway where you can simply reach above your head for your next read or to stow away knick knacks that would clutter up your living room.

This image shows one imaginative bookcase idea that uses the eaves to not only store books where they won’t take up floor space, but also where they create an interesting display – a real talking point in any home.

upper design decor ideas

If you need your small apartment to be a multi-functional space but you don’t want to permanently commit a large area of floorspace to a desk or table there are creative ways to add a home office to a small apartment.

Take a look at our next image; this clever desk folds flat against a wall-mounted bookcase, hiding away paperwork and files when you aren’t working and keeping clutter to a minimum. The clever cabinet below slides flat against the wall when not in use, but can pull out to support the desk securely for when you’re ready to get to work.

clever desk folds

If you’re living in a very small apartment, or a studio apartment, and you need to create a multi-functional living space that incorporates your bed, but you don’t fancy spending your evenings sitting on the bed to watch TV and would prefer a real seating area (which we all would!) take a look at this great idea for a raised sleeping platform, using the full height of the room to create a large sleeping area that has a little privacy from the main living area, and leaves plenty of space for a large, stylish sofa below where you can sit and relax in style without making a mess of your bed.

stylish sofa

Perhaps your small one bed apartment has a decent living and dining area, but you want to add in a home office and can’t find a space to fit a desk anywhere – and don’t want to try and work at the dining table while your husband watches the big game?

If you need a peaceful, roomy space to work from home consider the idea of raising your bed and making an office-come-bedroom that doesn’t make the room feel cramped or use up valuable floor space.

This desk and home office area below a large, luxurious bed is a great example.

The best tip we have, though, for making your small apartment feel bigger is to clear out the clutter, store things away in multi-functional furniture like beds that double as storage, and paint the walls and ceilings as light and bright a colour as you can. The bright walls and ceilings – particularly if they’re all one colour – and the floor as well, if you can live with white flooring – will create an illusion of space, bouncing light around the rooms.

The bigger your windows the better, and rather than heavy, dark curtains try to keep your window dressings minimalistic while not compromising on privacy.

And to really be sure that the light is bounced throughout the space include some over-sized mirrors around the apartment – using mirrors to make a small apartment feel bigger is a clever trick of light and reflection that gives a real illusion of space.

design ideas with small living room with space mirror

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