New Year, New Thinking: Fresh Ideas to Make ANY Small Space Feel Larger

We talk a great deal here at Apartment Therapy about the idea of making spaces feel visually larger than they really are - changing up paint colors and using mirrors and more natural light, but those are all yesterday's news. Today we have 5 fresh (and simple) ideas to open up almost any space.

1. Unify Your Artwork: Although we can talk all we want about using oversize artwork in small spaces, the reality is many options aren't exactly affordable. If you have a collection of smaller pieces make their frames and mats all the same color.

2. Get It Off the Floor: Do you have something on the floor just because? A basket? A box? A funky ceramic animal that happens to be trendy at the moment? Spaces feel larger when you can see more of the floor. Look at shelves, wall-hanging storage, or consider even doing away with the extra stuff all together.

3. Few But Large: In an effort to clear out items to make a space feel more open, make what you have count. Large artwork, large rugs, and crazy off-the-wall lighting all make a statement. Wall-to-wall curtains or floor-to-ceiling panels that draw your eye around a space are all good things and cut down on the visual noise that lots of small details can create.

4. Put Emphasis on What You Have: Does your space have large windows? How about high ceilings? Beautiful old radiators? Thick wooden doorways? Drawing your attention to the architecture of the space pulls your eye to the far outer walls as much as possible. Make the interesting features stand out, with specific lighting or accent colors, instead of blending them in.

5. Is It Clear Enough?: We're talking about side tables, accessories and frames. If they can be clear to show more of the walls, floor and other surrounding objects... do it. When you can see through them, it automatically makes things feel larger. Sure there will be more fingerprints, but you'll get over it soon enough (or get really good at whipping up an inexpensive spray cleaner).

What tricks have you learned over the years? Share your wisdom in the comments below!

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.18.12 - DF

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