12 tricks to make your condo look bigger |
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12 tricks to make your condo look bigger

by Jillian CariolaPublished: June 26, 2015Updated: June 26, 2015

Your condo may be on the small side, but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle big décor ideas.

A small condo is usually the choice of first-home buyers or those whose budget is keeping them from getting a larger unit. While small digs may be limiting in some ways, design possibilities shouldn’t be one of them. Follow these rules for maximizing the space you have, as well as for making it look and feel more spacious than it actually is.

Color it big
You might prefer dark hues, but if you use them on the walls of your condo, you’re not doing yourself any favors. As a rule, lighter hues make a room feel more spacious, so stick to pastel, fresh colors on the walls and floor.


Smoke and mirrors
Well, maybe not really smoke, but mirrors, metallic items, and other similar objects work great in reflecting light and letting it bounce all over the room to keep it bright and airy. Get a big mirror and prop it up in front of a window, or get steel vases and place them on coffee and side tables.


All hung up
Just because your windows stop a couple of feet from the ceiling doesn’t mean your curtains should, too. Tall windows equal a higher-looking ceiling, so affix the rods close to the ceiling and let your curtains hang all the way to the floor.


Whatever floats your boat
Traditional bulky cabinets just make a room look cramped. For a more open appearance, opt for floating shelves, which are basically planks you attach directly onto the walls. You’re not just keeping to your unit’s open plane, but you’re utilizing space you probably never thought to use: your walls.


More is more
The more uses a piece of furniture has, the better it’ll be for your condo. Multipurpose items, such as ottomans and storage coffee tables, provide you with the seating and surface you need plus storage space for you to keep your stuff without having to bring in additional cabinets.


Transparency matters
To create the illusion of a big condo, you want your vision to glide through the room as freely as it can without big visual obstacles. One way you can do this, especially if you’re creating a contemporary interior, is by choosing transparent furniture like Plexiglas chairs and tables.


I’m looking through you
Here’s another approach to “transparent furniture”: choose couches and chairs with exposed legs instead of solid types to make your place looks roomier.


Bring it in
This might be your first instinct when trying to create more space, but don’t be too quick to push your couch against the wall. Instead, pull it away from the wall to create a more sweeping look.


No cutting corners
Don’t relegate corners to plant-holder duty. Set up a small table and chair, a lamp, and a floating shelf or two in the area for a small reading nook. Is there an awkward-looking crevice in the kitchen? Turn it into a pantry. Living in a loft-style unit? The area under the stairs is begging for use; fit it for shelves or transform it into a seating area.


Think thin
This mindset doesn’t just work for people trying to lose weight. When finishing a room, it’s easy to make it look overcrowded, especially if you opt for hefty table-and-chair sets. When decorating a small part of the unit, pick furniture pieces on the narrower side.


Cut a rug
No, not literally, but you can use area rugs to “cut up” or divide a studio condo into different sections. Rugs are a much better alternative to using dividers or shelves to indicate which part of the space is which “room” because you’re creating the illusion without adding bulk.


Go big
This may sound counterproductive, but there’s merit to this, design-wise. When you pick small ornaments, you tend to gather a lot of them and group them together, which create both visual and physical clutter. Instead, choose just a few items that are large and can make a statement on their own.


Instead of looking at your lack of room as a hurdle, think of the décor options it has and figure out a way to use them. You’ll be surprised at how many ways you can live large in a small living space.


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