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Often short on space and storage, small apartments can present a long list of challenges. Chicago-based interior designers Shea Soucie and Martin Horner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. know even cramped spaces can live larger than they really are. “To us, timelessness, elegance and luxury are musts — regardless of square footage,” Martin says. “The greatest luxury of all is to feel embraced by your surroundings, which is easier to accomplish in a small space anyway,” Shea says.

Read on for Shea’s and Martin’s space-stretching ideas:

Use Mirrors to Visually Increase Space

Kitchen Backsplash

Design by Soucie Horner, Ltd.

Utilize mirrors to bounce light, reflect views and instantly enlarge the feel of any space. Lean an oversize mirror against the wall opposite your front door to create drama and visually expand your entryway. Boost your kitchen’s glamour quotient by installing a mirrored backsplash, or line the insides of glass-front kitchen cabinets with mirror.

Opt for Sleek Furnishings

Mid Century Modern Living Room

Design by Sarah Richardson

Steer clear of skirted sofas and bulky coffee tables in the living room. Instead, opt for sleek furnishings with open bottoms and slender legs to create an airy mood.

Raise Draperies

Bedroom Window Treatments

Design by Soucie Horner, Ltd.

Install drapery rods closer to the ceiling rather than the tops of windows. It’s a simple way to fool the eye upward and create an elegant illusion of height.

Go Double Duty

Double-Duty Furniture

Design by Soucie Horner, Ltd.

Choose furnishings that are multipurpose and boost functionality: nightstands with drawers; bookshelves that feature a combination of open display space and closed storage; and upholstered ottomans that can act as both coffee tables and extra seating.

Climb the Walls

Picture Rail Molding

Too often, vertical wall space is underutilized. Line walls with picture rail molding to add instant architecture and display. Mimic a headboard and conserve precious floor space by affixing wood or leather panels directly to the wall behind the bed.

Use Deep Hues

Living Room With Gray Walls

Credit: David Tsay for HGTV Magazine

Embrace the idea of deep, dark walls. Chocolate, navy and inky green tones will make corners recede, creating the impression of more space.

What are some of your most successful small-space tips?

5 Responses

  1. Yvonne says:

    The rooms are huge! I wish my living room and bed room were as large as the ones shown!

  2. Becky says:

    I like the Safari theme with plants, animal prints etc. Basic black and dark brown furniture etc. My whole apartment is 475 square feet!!! I need some ideas!!! thx

  3. […] Unlike what most people think, decorating a small apartment is far more difficult that doing up a sprawling mansion. The reason being that a small, restricted space needs diligent space planning. A wrong move may make the apartment look even smaller. “The greatest luxury of all is to feel embraced by your surroundings, which is easier to accomplish in a small space anyway,” says Ltd. Chicago-based interior designer Shea Soucie of Soucie Horner […]

  4. Prabhjot7 says:

    It is not matter your apartments is big in size, but matter is how you decorate your apartments. Kayla Kitts introduced smart idea how we can use even small space of our apartments.

  5. the_globes says:

    The best home improvement is a better attitude. Isn't it nice for a small apartment? :)

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Kayla KittsKayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com. You can find her doing at least one of the following: shopping for home decor at local vintique stores, picking out produce at...

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