(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

One of the most common mistakes we see in small spaces: furniture that's too bulky for the room. Our recent apartment search led us through a few one-bedroom apartments. In a light-filled room that could easily have felt spacious, an overstuffed couch made it seem like a closet...

My husband kept asking if our furniture would fit. When I told him the bedroom (filled to the brim with a bulky dresser and wrought-iron bed) was bigger than our room now, he didn't believe me. Our perception of the space was totally thrown off by the oversized furniture.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Lightweight furniture doesn't have to be modern. The old-fashioned armchairs in this photo from The Rug Company have graceful curves and turned legs that keep them from seeming bulky.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

It also doesn't have to be uncomfortable. This Lenox Sofa from Room and Board looks like a good place to stretch out. Although it has lots of cushioning, the low arms and thin legs make it appear visually lightweight.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

When shopping for a small space, look for something that fits the footprint of your apartment while leaving some breathing room. A few options are furniture with legs, streamlined upholstered items, clear glass and plastic pieces, wire furniture, wall-mounted storage units, and furniture with a reflective finish. Add your own suggestions for visually lightweight furniture in the comments below.

Top and Bottom Photos: Knoll