When you move to NYC, you have to get used to living on a smaller scale. New York City apartments are getting smaller and smaller, and New Yorkers are discovering that they need to get creative. It’s actually amazing what you can do to make your small space feel big. These are 20 of the coolest ideas that we’ve seen. Which ones would you try?

  1. Use more lights. You should strive to have at least three lights in each room. Opt for indirect lights that are lower to the ground. This will make sure there is plenty of light and it helps your eye move around the room.
  2. Avoid cold whites. Yes, light paint makes a room feel bigger. But opt for warm shades of white that make a room feel more alive. Save the pure white for the ceiling to draw the eye up.
  3. Choose dark floors. Darker floors have an earthy appeal, and they create a contrast with the light walls that make a room feel grounded.
  4. Use curtains for closet doors. Remove wooden closet doors and replace them with curtains. While you’re at it, add a light in the closet. When the curtain is closed and the light is on, it will feel like a window.
  5. Remove interior doors. If your tiny space has many doors, remove them all except for the bedroom and bathroom doors. Energy will flow more freely in your space and there will be more natural light throughout.
  6. Hang mirrors. This is an old trick that everyone knows, but you can even expand it to inside closets and cabinets. Mirrors not only reflect images but also light, making a room feel bigger.
  7. Give items room to breathe. Don’t overstuff shelves or use them to full capacity. Always leave at least 10 percent of the space empty to create some breathing room.
  8. Choose a statement piece. While it may seem counterintuitive, using a big piece of art in a small space is a bold move that feels luxurious and creates space. Too many small pieces make a room feel claustrophobic.
  9. Try multipurpose pieces. You don’t want to go too overboard here or your place will feel like some weird art installation. But choosing an ottoman with hidden storage, for example, can really save space that adds up quickly.
  10. Hang shelves near the ceiling. Not only will you save floor space, but hanging shelves near the ceiling draws the eye up and makes the room feel taller.
  11. Use a clear shower curtain. If you have a small bathroom, the shower curtain can eat up all the visual space. Opt instead for a clear version, which will also give you more light in the shower.
  12. Decorate with acrylic or glass. Glass or clear acrylic tables and chairs are not only chic, but they definitely make your room feel more spacious.
  13. Use rugs to make areas. If you live in a studio, rugs can help make different spaces feel like more than one room. Use one for your bed, one for your couch, and one for your table.
  14. Choose furniture with exposed legs. Don’t use a couch with a skirt or a dresser with no legs. The legs create space underneath that lets the eye travel.
  15. Unify colors. Try not to decorate with a wild color palette. You can choose bold colors, but make sure they’re in the same color family.
  16. Leave windows uncovered. Though this isn’t always a practical option, if you don’t need to cover up a window then leave it uncovered. You can also choose a removable film that will create privacy but let in light.
  17. Use a striped rug. Stripes going the long way through a room make it feel longer and help the eye travel around.
  18. Don’t shy away from big furniture. Like big art, a big piece of furniture that fills the space can actually make the space feel larger.
  19. Clean the windows. If your windows are grimy, they aren’t letting in as much light as they could and they’re obstructing the view. Clean them so the eye can travel outside.
  20. Get built-ins. Whenever possible, opt for built-in shelves, bed platforms or even seating. They maximize space usage. 

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