The Illusion Of Light And Space: Improve The Feel Of Your Tiny Apartment

Jason Hunt

You live in a tiny, boring apartment in some random part of the city, and there's nothing you can do about it. The fact of the matter is, you don't always get to choose what kind of place you will live in. Sometimes, budget and urgency of moving into a stable spot has to take precedence over preference. In an effort to be happy with what you've got, you have chosen furniture that you like, and you have done all you can to keep clutter out of sight—but the apartment itself is seriously impacting how you feel there. That is out of your hands. Or is it? Pick and choose a few of these things to make your space feel larger and more interesting to live in.


Reveal windows

Use as much natural light as possible! Keeping your windows uncovered will also give your space some depth. Even if you face another apartment building, the space in the windowsill will be something.

Use mirrors

Mirrors will dramatically affect the illusion of space in your apartment. Cramped places, such as an entryway from a skinny hallway, will benefit particularly from this trick. Also try placing two mirrors across from each other, or a mirror opposite a window—the effect will be magnified. The reflected image and light will work to make the space feel much more alive.

Leave empty space

As much as you need the space, don't cram every shelf full. Leave some space for the illusion of airiness. If you must use that space, blend it into the wall so that it doesn't seem as stressed out: use a curtain or a box insert, for example. As an alternative, you can opt for drawers instead of open shelves.


Open up the ceiling

If your landlord or superintend allows, paint your ceiling. Try a bright color that stands out in comparison to your standardized white or off-white walls—the room will seem to go on upwards. Even a pattern could do the trick, provided it isn't too dense and heavy, which can feel oppressive. The point is that you want to make the inhabitants consider the upper, unused space of the apartment.

You can also do this by installing storage space up there. For example, build some shelves. Not only will it add interest near the ceiling, but it will give the illusion of spaciousness down below in the living space.

Use multiple light sources

Place several light sources around the room. This creates nooks around the space. Because the apartment will have more than one "area," it will seem larger. It will cause your eye and your intent to go to a specific and inviting spot rather than feel aimless under a central lighting source.


Small doesn't have to be bad. Try these tricks out. Once you start to feel like the place has more space, you may like your apartment more. Talk to your local home experts for more information.