10 Genius Design Tips To Make Your Small Space Look Bigger

UPDATE: This story was originally published on August 22.
Flipping through home design catalogs—or getting lost in a decor Pinning spree—might just be more addictive than a particularly dramatic hour of Bravo programming. The daydreaming factor is an instant-high—suddenly your house has room for that double-wide, stainless-steel refrigerator and there's a huge plot of land out back to decorate with pretty paper lanterns.
The lows, though, are pretty scary: As soon as the interior-decor pornography session is over, you snap back to reality and it hits you: In NYC, you're trading square-footage for location, location, location. Never ones to admit defeat, we've tapped the co-founder and CEO of go-to interior style site Apartment Therapy, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, to give us design eye-candy alongside practical advice for apartments scaled for the Big (or not so big) Apple. From luxe loft beds to high impact items that don't over-clutter, these small-space design tips lead by example. About that backyard? If you take our, err, therapy session, you won't miss the bug bites and, err, nosy neighbors.
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"Particularly in small kitchens, using your wall space in a really focused and compact way provides more storage than you might expect, and it creates a focal point. These racks are from Ikea, and the tile from Home Depot."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"I really like wrapping books around the wall in an office space above where you'll be working. This office is cozy and has an ample work surface due to the smart built-in design."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"These parents neatly turned an old office space into a nursery by putting the crib where a large desk used to be. Again, built-in bookshelves easily transform from holding books to holding baby supplies."


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"A quick and simple improvement —bulky pots and pans hung overhead free up a ton of cabinet space and add to the visual charm of this working kitchen."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"With not a lot of floorspace, but high ceilings, the owners of this old factory space built a raised bed platform to get themselves some privacy... and a very relaxing retreat at day's end."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"One continuous, built-in countertop becomes a svelte, but spacious, workspace along a hallway leading to a side door. Topped with underpainted glass, the bright reflective surface is easy to clean, and adds a luminous quality that makes it visually lighter as well."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"Less is more. Small space bathrooms are best kept wide open with modern floor-to-ceiling shower stalls and glass partitions. A tub or shower floor and curtains would have cluttered up this space instantly."


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"Not everything should be small or space-saving. Big objects or pieces of art can add drama and expansiveness to a small space. By playing against the size of this one bedroom loft space in L.A. with a huge DIY photographic mural, this room feels more spacious than it is."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"There is hidden space everywhere. This compact office sits neatly behind the door leading into a master bedroom. With wireless components, a moveable desk, and a comfy drummer's stool for a chair, the privacy of this space trumps its need for size."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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"Go big in small spaces for a surprising, luxurious feeling. This tiny bedroom is just big enough for one complete four poster bed and a chandelier, so the owner built it all in. When a space is too small to fit everything you want in in a traditional way, consider reducing the pieces and making them bigger to fill the room wall to wall."


Photo: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
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