Go Up, Up, and Away From the Floor Space
Stop staring at the beautiful (yet restricted) hardwood floor of your studio and trying to imagine how much you can cram onto 400 square feet. Instead, utilize your wall space. You may be surprised how much space you have when you remove or move furniture and appliances from the floor. Instead, try to hang what you can. Ditch the entertainment center and TV stand, and mount your television on the wall for a clean and space-conserving look. However, keep in mind that you should only mount heavy objects on studs in your wall to avoid them falling from their up, up, and away position.
Hang a Thrifted, Funky Mirror
Find a one-of-a-kind mirror at a thrift store or garage sale. Hang it in your living room (or “designated living space” if you lack the walls) to open up the area and add character. A huge mirror illuminates a room and breaks up the walls, giving the illusion of more space.
Goodbye Nightstand, Hello Floating Corner
Floating shelves may become your new best friend. Flush your bed against the wall and install a corner shelf. You’ll have a place to keep your bedside book and cell phone every night.
Make Use of Every Nook and Cranny...
Even if it means evicting the dust bunnies from under your bed. There’s plenty of space to be used under the bed and behind the couch. If you’re particularly crafty, you can put together this affordable DIY under-bed storage bin and hide it with a bed skirt.
…And the Doors, Too
Keep Things Clean
Here’s a tip that won’t cost a dime. Clutter accumulates quickly in a small room. Wash all your dishes immediately, no matter how much you want to save them for tomorrow. Don’t leave your shoes, coats, and other junk lying around.
Decorate with Storage Items
Keep throw blankets in a patterned storage ottoman. Alternatively, you can make use of your dad’s vintage trunk that was taking up space. Use it as a coffee table and a storage piece.
Brighten Walls with Color
Clean Up Your Closet
Small homes have small closets. Do you have a capsule wardrobe to match? If the answer is no, you’ll need to do some serious organizing. Maximize your cramped closet space by using smart hangers to organize clothing and accessories.
No Closet? No Problem
Dressers hog precious space in your bedroom; use an adjustable garment rack as an alternative. These wheeled racks can be moved around when you need to clean, and if you have a studio apartment, you can use it to divide the “living space” from your sleeping quarters.
Dress Up Bare Bedroom Walls
DIY a scarf hanger or hat rack. Your colorful scarf collection will spruce up your naked wall space. Function, meet wall décor.
Let the Sunshine In
Curtains and drapes darken your living space. Make use of your big windows and welcome natural light by leaving them uncovered. If you can sacrifice privacy for the sake of depth, go for it. Also, you’ll be saving money on pricey drape panels.
Create Living Zones
Use a long bookshelf to divide your bed space and your living area. Not only do you have a “wall,” but you also have another storage piece to use. Area rugs can also be used to designate different living spaces.
Play With the Lights
By now, you know the impact of good lighting in a small space. Use floor and table lamps instead of relying on your overhead light. Your ceiling light illuminates the whole room, but draws the eye to the middle of your tiny space.
Making the most of your square footage doesn’t mean crowding your floor space. Give yourself some breathing room; rearrange your furniture and leave some space between the wall and your pieces.
Lay Down a Fun Rug
Rugs are great for defining an area in a room and connecting the elements together. If you want to make your room seem bigger, use a rug to highlight a larger section of the floor and create the illusion of more space. It creates a focal point that will distract from the size of the room.
Use Larger Decorative Accents
A lot of small accents and knick-knacks make a room look cluttered and crowded. Instead, stick to between three and five items with a couple of larger ones to draw your eye.
Display Large-Scale Art
In a small room, it's better to have one large piece of art or accent instead of a gallery. Too many pieces on a wall will make the room seem cluttered and busy.
Have a Statement Piece
This may sound counterintuitive, but it's true. It's better to have one larger piece of furniture as a focal point rather than several smaller pieces. For a living room, try one large couch and one accent chair. For a bedroom, try a bed bigger than the one you'd usually use.
Color Coordinate Your Shelves
Any type of organization (whether it be by size or color) that makes several smaller objects look intentionally well-arranged will make everything seem neat and tidy instead of cluttered.
Clear Shower Curtains
If you have a tiny bathroom, an easy solution to make it feel more spacious is a clear or mostly clear shower curtain (or a glass shower door). Clear shower curtains allow more light into the bathroom and makes the space seem more open.
Hang Shelves Near the Ceiling
A good way to make a room seem taller is to find ways to make use of unused wall space. Putting up shelves above doorways and windows lets you display knick-knacks and small collectibles without them looking cluttered
Stripes Elongate the Room
Vertical stripes add height to a room, while horizontal stripes give a room more width. The best way to do this is to have the stripes running the longest length of the room to enhance the effect.
Show a Little Leg
Furniture that sits directly on the floor will seem too bulky for a small space. However, furniture with legs draws the eye upward and creates an illusion of more light and space in a room.
Paint Your Ceiling
Any way you can draw someone's eye upward makes a room seem so much bigger than it is. A ceiling painted with a pop of color or covered with an interesting wallpaper can create a depth that promotes the illusion of height.
Sheer Window Treatments
This one kind of contrasts the idea of ditching window coverings, but not too terribly. If you don’t want to give up all of the privacy in your room, then opt for sheer curtains that will allow natural light in the room while still providing some privacy.
See-through furniture like tables and chairs are sometimes harder for our brains to immediately notice, which creates an illusion of space. Glass and Lucite pieces are both easy options for this invisible furniture effect.
Follow the Rule of Thirds
Using the rule of thirds (like you would in photography) is an easy way to identify focal points in the room. Mentally split your room into three equal rows and columns and from there you balance out your furniture and decorations into those three sections. Doing this will heighten or widen the room—just be careful not to clutter it too much.
Monochrome Doesn’t Have to be Boring
We've mentioned that lighter colors are typically best to make a smaller area seem larger. Going off that, if you utilize different shades of that color will add more depth and create a sense of unity in the space.