5 Inventive Ways to Get the Most Out of Small Spaces


Change the Space

Is your room too small? Make it bigger or fool your eyes.

If you can, consider removing a wall to combine small, cramped rooms -- maybe your kitchen and dining room -- into a more spacious one. Try knocking out a wall to enlarge a room by adding the space in a hallway or entryway. If you can't remove an entire wall (due to your lease, perhaps), take out the top half and open adjoining small rooms.

Light helps. If you own your home, you can add a window or enlarge an existing one. Add a skylight. Replace a door that closes between rooms with an open doorway or archway. In an older home, revert to the original higher ceilings.

If you can't tinker with your walls, ceilings and doors, don't despair. Perception of space is almost as important as actual space. Just making a place look lighter and more spacious can lift spirits.

Apartment dwellers can give the illusion of space in the following ways:

  • Painting your room cool, light colors make it seem larger. So do unified color themes. Painting old, dark cabinets white can do wonders for a cramped kitchen.
  • Mirrored panels on walls, as well as standing or hanging mirrors, give the illusion of more space. But beware: Make sure that what will be reflected is pleasing to look at. Mirrors paired to reflect each other create seemingly endless space. Furniture with glass surfaces, stainless steel appliances and other reflective surfaces also help.
  • If low ceilings are a problem, choose artwork with vertical lines and hang it higher than eye level. Hang curtains or window treatments as high as possible. Diagonal patterns on floors will make rooms seem wider.
  • If a room does double duty, a folding screen can offer privacy when needed.