10 Top-Notch Decorating Tips for Furnishing Small Apartments

Just because your home is pint-sized that doesn't mean you have to live with pint-sized decor. Try these apartment decorating ideas on for size, and you'll find your small apartment has never looked bigger.
By: Anne Krueger and Kayla Kitts

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Photo By: Amy Lutz

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Go Curvy

Because most apartments are boxy, it's fun to add some curves. Designer Libby Langdon suggests round tables, chairs with a curve and rugs that are either shaped or adorned with spirals and dots.

Lighten Up

"A light rug can open up your room and make it feel larger," says Langdon. A bound carpet remnant can work great. If your apartment came with stained or dark wall-to-wall carpeting, cover it up with a rug in a lighter hue.

From: Anjie Cho

Go With Curtains

You don't have to live with those standard-issue apartment blinds. Add a touch of drama with curtains, and consider the tricks you can do with them to make your space appear larger. Hang curtains outside the window or even on bare walls. Hang them floor to ceiling to create height, or have them flow from a cornice that hides the curtain rod.

Layer It

Contrary to what you might think, small spaces don't have to forgo a bed with lots of linens and fabrics. Layers and an elegant mix of colors, prints and pillows can make a space seem airy and give depth to what is likely one of the biggest pieces in the home.

All About Scale

Unless you're trying to make a statement with a dramatic, overstuffed couch, your small space will actually look larger with moderately sized or slightly smaller furnishings. It's all about scale!

See Clearly

Lucite tables or chairs and glass tops all give the impression of openness while still delivering the function you need.

From: Amy Lutz

Sleep On It

An old solution for cramped spaces has come back into style for good reason. Today's Murphy beds pop out of sight and look just as great when they're in use, says designer Dawn Burns-Pratt.

Brighten Things Up

Add light up, down and all around to create interest and the feeling of space. "Lights are the most amazing way of making a home feel warm and welcoming. Using several lamps throughout a space creates a warm glow in the room," says designer Ron Marvin.

Priorities, Priorities

Because small spaces are very limited, you need to figure out your priorities and allocate accordingly, says Marvin. Some people need a desk area, but not a dining area. Some people want a living area and would prefer a bed that folds up. "Make the space work for your needs and don't hold yourself to what is traditional in a home. It's your home."

Float It

Designer Jason Landau loves mounting floating shelves wherever there is space. Because they float, this kind of shelving adds tons of storage but looks sleek and contemporary. And then go crazy with the stacking, he says.