When it comes to trying to make a small apartment feel, well, not small, there are the go-to design tricks you’ve probably heard before: adding mirrors to create more light and depth, hanging oversized art that pulls a room together, and using double-duty furniture to prevent clutter, to name a few. But one overlooked yet very accessible tactic is utilizing light and dark colors to create designated spaces within your limited space- we are here to help!
Dark color compresses, and you don’t realize it, [until] you open up into a lighter area, and while small apartments are restricted with square footage, Niki, from Flis Interiors explains that entryways are a great way to infuse compression and expansion with color. Paint your entryway a dark, moody shade, and then allow for the connecting living space to be a light color, which makes it feel much more expansive with the contrast.
In addition to color, she mentions that directional lighting can also create a feeling of compression and expansion, which is good to keep in mind so you don’t unintentionally make your space feel smaller when adding lighting fixtures. “The lighter expands, the darker compresses — down lights are compressive, up light are expansive. So you’ve got to balance your light very carefully when creating space through lights,” Niki says.
Since mostly everything is easily visible in apartments, Niki recommends utilizing indirect sources of lighting so you can create a glow versus dots on the ceiling, not only for design but functional purposes (aka all corners are lit equally).
So the next time you’re looking to lean into tips for making your small space feel larger, think color and light. Those small shifts between dark and light contrasts can go a long way.