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Small Living Spaces Don’t Have to be a Big Challenge

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Downsizing to a condo? Or maybe you're getting your first place, and it’s a small condo.  No worries--small living spaces don't have to present big challenges. Here are some ways to make your small space feel bigger.

Clever Ways to Make Rooms Feel Bigger

  • Extend curtain rods beyond your window frames so you can let more light in when the curtains are open.
  • Place a mirror on a wall that's on the opposite side of a window. The light reflecting off the mirror makes the room feel bigger.
  • Use decorative trunks as tables so you can use them for storage too.
  • Paint crown molding the same color as the ceiling to make a room seem bigger.
  • Paint rooms in light colors instead of darker ones.
  • Similarly, light flooring colors will make a room look bigger.

Make Good Use of Furniture
You can find furniture designed for small living spaces at most furniture stores, but if you look hard enough, you can find furniture that stows away, like Murphy beds or a dining table that has a self-storing leaf so you can make it bigger if the need arises. Small bedroom? Buy a bed frame that has storage drawers, like a trundle bed.

Hosting Parties

  • If you're hosting a party or dinner, serve the food buffet-style or put the food on TV trays.
  • Put a long, narrow piece of plywood on your ironing board and cover it with a tablecloth, then use it to set out appetizers or as a buffet.
  • Rent or borrow folding chairs. (You might not have the space to buy and store them.)
  • Use a folding wall table. It’s a picture frame until you need to use it as a table.
  • For a less formal dinner party, set the coffee table and arrange pillows on the floor around it for extra seating.
  • Consider hosting the party in the clubhouse at your condo if there's one available. Even better—use the rooftop deck if your building has one!

Decorating to “Enlarge” a Space
If you’re trying to make a small space appear larger, decorate with light colors—light, sheer curtains, for example. If you are going to use a rug, buy a large area rug rather than several smaller rugs, and make sure the rug is a light color. Also, stick with a solid color rather than a patterned design because patterns can clutter a small room. Speaking of clutter, don’t decorate with knick-knacks and small pieces—they can make a room look cluttered as well.

Most of the time your space won't be so small that it doesn't fit your needs, but these tips should help make any small living space seen more spacious and be comfortable.

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