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How to make a space look bigger?

As a New York interior design firm, we’ve encountered our fair share of apartments in a range of sizes, but more often than not, almost all our clients were worried about designing for smaller spaced apartments. Since most of New York apartments are small spaces, most might find it to be difficult to design in such a way that they are living in their home’s full potential, while also remaining faithful to their aesthetic preferences. What happens more often than not, is that clients try to accommodate for the shortage in square footage and start to focus more on the functionality of the home instead of the aesthetic – which isn’t optimal if you’re an interior design lover like us.
When designing small apartments, every detail matters. The trick is to incorporate some visual tricks to fool the eye with well-placed furniture and smart interior design choices. Several design elements come into play to make a room seem larger than it actually is, from color selections, to furniture layout, choice of materials, and creative lighting.

Our blog post for today reflects on interior design inspired tips that will help you transform any space into looking and feeling bigger, and discover our favorite ways to create spacious and elevated rooms.

Colin King - Clinton Hill duplex
Colin King Styling – Clinton Hill duplex

We’ve heard it many times: adding mirrors will help bounce light around a room, making it feel and look bigger. It doesn’t always have to be a mirror; look for other ideas for reflective surfaces in small sizes (so as not to overwhelm) to place around your home, such as light-bouncing backsplash tiles in your bathroom, or opting for high gloss surfaces as the finish on your kitchen cabinet doors, or selecting some decorative, reflective elements to place on your styled coffee table.

edition noire neutral living room
Edition Noire, Katarina Fischer – Neutral living room

Light and neutral tones help ground the space and make rooms look bigger. Choose bright colors and hues and lightweight material to help increase the sense of airiness and lengthen your visual plane.

Ellen Hansen – Bridge view project

Large, substantial pieces give a space a focal point, which is an easy trick to elevate any room. So opt for more significant sized decorative pieces, like switching a gallery wall with a large scale art piece.

studio mcgee - layering lights
Studio McGee

Layering lighting at different levels in a room, with table, floor lamps, sconces… can illuminate dim corners and create more depth and dimension. Also using a statement pendant fixture helps draw the eye up, making the space feel taller.

apartment project in New York, by Evgenia Belkina - Rindes Architect Studio
Apartment project in New York by Evgenia Belkina – Rindes Architect Studio

Keep it simple! Be intentional about everything that goes into the room and minimize visual clutter, by using less patterns, busy prints or overwhelming colors. Keep your room tidy and organized so the space always feels orderly and open.

 Kelly Bergin - New York City Loft
Kelly Bergin – New York City Loft

The distribution of weight is key to a balanced design. To counter the more substantial pieces we mentioned above, sourcing some lighter, legged furniture results in a more equal and balanced interior, while creating the illusion of more floor space. Define the room with a large area rug that fills the majority of the floor to use the entirety of the space.

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