If you own a one-bedroom or studio apartment, you’ll want to listen up here because we’re going to show you how to maximize your space and make your small apartments feel bigger. 

If you’re like us, you follow all of the luxury interior designers, Apartment Therapy, Interior Design Ideas, and more to find different styles and aesthetics but have zero idea where to begin or how to maximize your space. That’s where we come in!

By the end of this piece, you’ll feel like you just upgraded to a 3 bedroom! Okay, maybe not a 3 bedroom, but you get what we mean. 

Let’s dig into a few tips to make your apartment feel bigger…

Keep it Flowing

When it comes to furniture, you want to make sure you place the furniture strategically to really maximize the space and flow. 

Instead of dark-colored furniture or ornate tables and chairs that look bulky, opt for bright pieces with slim legs and clean lines. The right furniture can make your place seem bigger than it is.

Don’t be afraid to show some leg! Get furniture with legs that lift those statement pieces off the ground - it creates flow and makes the space feel much larger compared to furniture sitting directly on the ground. 

Keep a Low Profile

Furniture that’s low profile and lower to the ground creates an open feeling in a room because they leave more space above them, creating a sense of more height in a room. 

For example, in the bedroom, opt for a loft bed or platform bed! In the living room, buy low-to-the-ground midcentury pieces with tapered legs. 

Area Rugs are Your Besties

Not only are there some beautiful area rugs out there, but they’re also a great way to section off and define your space which naturally makes your rooms feel larger. Be careful about overwhelming the space though with your area rug. 

For example, if your furniture is a light, solid color you can accent the room with a colorful rug, or with a pattern like chevron or geometric. 

When it comes to sizing, pick one that lets you place the front legs of the chairs on the edge of the rug - it helps anchor them. A shag rug is great for making a small room feel inviting, and a flatweave rug brings balance by not adding bulk to the floor. 

Diffuse and Take Advantage of Natural Light  

If your space is lacking in the natural light department, hanging sheer or lightweight curtains is a great way to really diffuse that natural light and make your space seem larger by creating additional height. 

Also, don’t put your furniture directly in front of windows (i.e. blocky furniture, bookcases, beds, or shelves), as you don’t want to block any of that natural light coming in!

Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of More Space 

Mirrors are an easy way to add openness to a room. They cast an illusion by reflecting light and tricking your eye into seeing more space than there is.

Try to hang mirrors on walls that face focal points in a room. You can also position a mirror to look like another window.

Pro Tip: Make sure you consider what will be reflected in the mirror! If you put it near a window, it will reflect the natural sunlight which will make the space seem brighter. 

#Plantmoms and #Plantdaddies, This One is for You

Plant lover interior design ideas

Although plants might seem like a lot of work, they’re a great way to decorate your apartment without causing damage, and you can easily take them with you when you move. There are so many easy-care plants, which are perfect for apartment living - you don't need to worry about artificial plants if you go with the easy-care ones.

For example, a pothos doesn't require a lot of light and looks beautiful, whether it's hanging from a planter or showcased on a high shelf. Snake plants are also popular for their longevity and look great sitting in a floor planter.

Multipurpose Furniture 

Find pieces that are multipurpose, like a bed set with storage, a sofa that converts to a mattress, or a cabinet/media console with great storage space. Also, make sure you measure your furniture before you bring in pieces that you think might be too big - if you have to move around them, or if they take up a wall from end to end, it’s probably too big and will make your space feel much smaller. 

Bonus points if the cabinets are mirrored - they make the objects seem farther away than they really are and therefore enlarging the space!


When it comes to paint, the key is to reduce contrast as much as possible, and if you’re going to use color, color drench! It makes the walls appear larger and more unified. 

Also, don’t be afraid of vertical and horizontal lines! Using horizontal lines down a long walkway is a great way to elongate the space, and the same goes for horizontal lines along the walls (i.e shiplap). 

Storage Wars No More

For bathrooms, you can opt-in for a pedestal sink, floating shelves, or medicine cabinet to reflect the space. 

Textures Are Your Friend 

Mix in different textures in neutral tones to stimulate variety and depth in your space! Florals and bold patterns / thick stripes make a space feel smaller, so think more about soft, fluffy rugs, grained woods, velvet cushions, and soft armchairs. 

If It Doesn’t Spark Joy We Don’t Want It! 

*Queue Marie Kondo. 

Marie Kondo Spark Joy

Declutter regularly and get rid of things that don’t bring you joy! Try to keep surfaces as clean and clutter-free as possible. We know we all get the urge to fill every space with personal items like photos, but try to refrain from doing this in a small space as it will make it feel cluttered. Instead, try hanging prints, art and photos on the walls instead, and store any products on the surfaces in drawers to keep it tidy. 

People Also Ask…

Is a 500 sq. ft. apartment small? 

It depends on who is living in your space! For one person, a 500 sq. ft. apartment would be quite comfortable, and if you use the styling tips above you can make it feel much larger with the right furniture and flow. For example, the A4 floor plan at Ely on Fremont is 525 sq. ft. but you would never be able to tell! 

Is a 1 bedroom apartment big enough for a couple? 

Yes absolutely! A one-bedroom has enough space for most where you can go to different areas of the house when you need some alone time. 

Also, if you need an office you can check out the private workspaces at Elysian at Hughes Center, or our conference rooms at Elysian at Tivoli, the co-working space at Ely on Fremont, and many other amenities like our guest suites at our other properties for friends and family when they come to visit. 

How much living space does a person need to be comfortable and mentally healthy? 

While it’s entirely dependent on the individual, according to UrbanPhenix “Studies have, in the past, shown that 100 to 400 square feet of space is ideal for most people – if they’re living alone.” But again, some people are comfortable living in smaller spaces and others are not, so make sure you consider what your preference is in your decision!