How to make your apartment
look more spacious

Small apartment living often requires some compromises in decorating. Everyone longs for a spacious home, but if you have chosen convenience over spaciousness then you no doubt want to make the most of what you have.

The trick to making a small space livable is to make it cozy.

Dark colors, soft upholstery and dramatic lighting can turn any small space into an intimate and wonderful room.

However, color techniques, furniture arranging and lighting considerations can all give the look of space if it is an illusion of wide open spaces that you are after.

Light colors help small spaces feel just a bit larger. Cool colors like blue and green also add to the effect.

Using the same colors in different hues, such as cream and white, or butter yellow with lemon, for paintwork, furniture and curtains can open up a small room. Blue leather chairs with pale gray carpet creates a cozy feeling without making the room appear small.

Remember that the farther you can see into a space the larger it will seem. Arrange furniture so that it opens up areas of floor and does not block views to windows and doors. Low benches, and armless chairs are one way to accomplish this.

Painting some of your furniture the same color as your walls also opens up a room.

Are your walls pale golden yellow? If so then you might want to consider painting some of the furniture to match. Even large pieces like chests will seems to melt into the background when painted a color similar to the wall tone.

Get rid of room-darkening shadows by uncovering windows and adding additional light fixtures. Consider cove lighting, uplights, rope lights, bookshelf lights, etc.

Adding some reflection with mirrors also helps makes a room look larger. While it is common to place a framed mirror above a sideboard, a more innovative approach like leaning a very large mirror against a wall and pulling the bottom of the mirror away from the wall is another option. Make sure the mirror is secured to the wall though.

A mirror table topper also adds something different to a plain table. Very simple furniture shapes like square tables or chests can be completely mirrored by a glass shop.

Glass or lucite coffee and dining tables also appear to take up less room than a wooden table because you can see right through them.

Sheer fabrics are also best for curtains and tablecloths. These light fabrics let sunlight shine through and at the same time add softness and atmosphere to a room. Use floral patterns or straight patterns such as stripes to give sheer curtains a more tailored look.

Using larger pieces of furniture and accessories is also better in a small space than a number of small pieces, which tend to make a small room look cluttered.

Simple lines and shapes also help bring a sense of open space into a room.

Emphasize a sense of space by covering sofas and chairs with plain or textured upholstery rather than vibrant prints.

Neutral tones in lighter colors also make a room feel larger, but if these are not to your take you can use plain or textured upholstery in bolder colors, such as navy blue.

-- The Jakarta Post

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