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How to make your small living space look bigger instantly

Whether you live in a cramped dorm room, a renovated garage or a flat in the city, these interior design tricks will have you feeling like you’ve got space to spare

By Sacha van Niekerk | August 11, 2021 | Small Spaces

Living in a small flat or house doesn’t have to mean compromising on your dream decor. Take it as an opportunity to de-clutter, be nifty with your interior design choices and embrace your tiny living space.

Whether you live in a cramped dorm room, a renovated garage or a flat in the city, these interior design tricks will have you feeling like you’ve got space to spare.

7 tips on how to make your small living space instantly appear bigger:

Slim and tall

Whether it is your fridge, cabinets you want to install or shelving, opt for tall and slim rather than short and wide. This will help elongate your space while using a minimal amount of floor space, helping the area to appear less packed and cluttered.

Transparent materials

From coffee tables to dining room chairs, if your space is already looking a little too busy, glass and polycarbonate are transparent materials that help a room look less cluttered. Because you can see through them, they take up less visual space and have a light and airy look, unlike wood.


Not only are mirrors super trendy for home decor at the moment (and ideal for taking your #OutfitOfTheDay photos), but they can help squashed spaces appear more open. They reflect their surroundings, tricking us into thinking spaces are twice as big. As a bonus, they also reflect light, which can also help your home look bright and airy. Pick a large mirror or multiple mirrors in varying sizes and place them in different parts of your home.

Don’t forget about the ceiling

Wasted space is wasted opportunity. Make use of the area most of us forget about – the space above our heads. If you want to have greenery in your home but don’t have extra floor space for pot plants, hanging plants from ceilings or tall bookshelves works perfectly and looks beautiful too. Hang curtain rods slightly higher and buy floor-length curtains to elongate your rooms. Place framed art slightly higher for the same effect.

Painted walls

Living in a small space, you’ve probably already let go of the dream of having ornate and unusual architectural features in your home. However, the same effect can be achieved with paint, for example, a faux arch painted on the wall to frame the bed. The curves of arches add movement and create the illusion of more space.

Secret storage

Smaller homes are notorious for being cluttered and not having enough storage space. However, this can easily be changed if you’re creative with your interior design. From storage bins that fit neatly under the bed to coffee tables with hidden compartments, buying the right items is a must for achieving this.


Incorporate the same materials across your home to create a sense of rhythm and flow in your space. Too many clashing materials and textures can quickly become jarring and create the illusion that your space is overcrowded. For example, if you have light wood on the legs of your chairs, try incorporating that into the coffee table or decor pieces (wooden bowls, photo frames).

Feature Image: Unsplash