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Looking to enhance the size of your space? Here are 9 of the best small apartment ideas that are guaranteed to make your space feel bigger.

small apartment ideas

After moving into my first apartment, I've found a few tricks and style techniques to make my place look bigger than it actually is while also being practical with the space. 

Your first apartment is probably not huge. Finding the right furniture and decor to compliment your style while also being functional is super important to stay organized and utilize the space as best as possible. 

Obviously, there are so many small apartment ideas out there, but these are just the ones I've incorporated in my own apartment and that have really made my space feel bigger. I love finding ways to style my apartment while also adding functionality, and these small apartment ideas do just that.

This post is all about small apartment ideas.


1. Use Mirrors

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One of the best small apartment ideas that I have incorporated all around my apartment is the use of mirrors. Mirrors give off the illusion that your space is bigger than it actually is which is exactly what you need when it comes to designing a small apartment. I have mirrors in my living room, entryway, and bedroom, and I absolutely love what they've added to my space.

The exact mirror in my room is no longer sold but you can find similar ones on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and even Facebook Marketplace. I have learned that Facebook Marketplace is a great place to get things on a budget if that's what you're looking for.

But this mirror from Amazon is the best price I have found for one this size! Regardless of the size or shape of them, you can always count on mirrors to enhance your space!

2. Hanging Pendant Lights

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Hanging pendant lights add a super unique and cool-looking element to any living room or bedroom! There are so many different kinds of pendant lights and they are actually a lot easier to install than it may seem.

These are also perfect if you are realllyy running low on floor space for a floor lamp or a side table with a lamp. The best way to add light into your small apartment layout without taking up extra space!

3. Small Desk with Attached Shelves

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This is the perfect way to reallyyy maximize all the space you have in a tiny apartment! This is especially a great idea if you are a student or you work from home and need a place to be able to sit at a desk and do work.

The multi-functional purpose of this desk with shelves is great for extra storage or decor space, and incorporating a small space to be able to get some work done outside of the kitchen or even bedroom.

4. Multi-Use Furniture

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Another small apartment idea that I love is using multi-use furniture. In my bedroom, I have large nightstands that have drawers for storage. They hold a ton of clothing so it functions as storage as well as a bedside table and eliminates the need for a dresser.

I know many small apartments won't have room for a large nightstand, but just using multi-use furniture throughout your apartment can add storage and functionality throughout!

5. Mounted TV

I love the sleek and organized look of a mounted TV! If you are running out of storage or decor space in your apartment, mounting a TV allows you to use more space for shelves or TV consoles underneath your television. This allows for more storage, and all of your wires and cords for the TV will look more organized as well.

6. Blanket Baskets

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Using a basket for blankets is a great way to keep all of your living room blankets organized, especially if you are a huge blanket person! Instead of keeping them all over your couches and chairs, keeping them in a basket will keep your living space look organized and put together.

7. Nesting Tables

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Nesting tables are a great way to maximize table space when you need it, but condense space when you need it even more! This is also great for having guests over if you don't have a table you can use to eat dinner on.

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8. Turntable Organizers

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I'm a bit of an organization freak so I've tested out a huge variety of organizational containers and these turntable organizers are by far my favorite. 

I use two of these underneath my sink as well as for hair products in my cabinets in my bathroom. They hold so much and also make it really easy to access whatever you need. 

Another tip for underneath the sink: use the inside of your cabinets to store things too! 

9. Use a Floor Lamp

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small apartment ideas

A floor lamp is a great element to add to any small space that may not have great overhead lighting. It's also great if you don't have space for a side table and a lamp. These floor lamps are sleek and do not take up any more floor space than they need to.

10. Use Light and Neutral Colors

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Using light and neutral colors creates an illusion of extra and wider space in any room. Darker colors can make rooms feel cramped and a lot smaller than they actually are, so if you are really wanting to make a room look huge, I recommend using light colors that will just make the space look airy and open.

11. Use Every Inch Of Space

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Try to utilize every inch of your space. For example: in my living room, I have this nook that I added a bench into for extra seating as well as extra storage. 

Go around your apartment and find those awkward divots that may not have any purpose yet, and find a way to utilize the space - whether it's decorating it, adding storage or seating, etc. 

12. Put Up Removable / Renter-Friendly Wallpaper

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Adding fun wallpaper to any room in your small apartment will make the space feel so much more unique! There are soo many removable and renter-friendly wallpapers from tons of different companies that I can guarantee you would find a wallpaper that suits you.

Not only are they very fun and add some texture and color to your living space, but they are typically also very simple to put up and not too much of a hassle to take down!

13. Use a Bar Cart

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A bar cart is an incredible way to double up on storage and decor! You can make a bar cart anything you want and it can make any space look so much cuter. I still have a bar cart because I love how much I can use it for! Could not recommend this idea for any small apartment enough.

It is also so fun to find cute prints that you can hang above or put on your bar cart which just adds an extra level of decor. Etsy has SO many trendy and aesthetic bar cart prints that you can get for super cheap.

14. Install a Murphy Bed

These may not be the most practical for everyone and I know they aren't suuuper popular anymore, but let's be real, they are pretty smart!!

They save SO much space and if you are in a studio apartment, I think a Murphy bed would be very beneficial. And if you are a pretty messy person and don't really care about how your bed looks, you can just put it away! One less thing you have to deal with in a small apartment...

15. Go Vertical With Decor

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A really great tip to make your small apartment appear larger is to go vertical with your artwork. This way people's eyes are going up the wall, making the illusion that your ceilings are taller. 

In my living room, I stacked three picture frames (from Michael's for $8!) and added a canvas that I DIYed. I have a video about how I made this and styled it here.

16. Add a Ton of Greenery

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Adding greenery to a small living space will automatically make it feel so much bigger and more welcoming. Greenery, florals, or any kind of plant adds so much life into a space that you may not know you need until you have it.

The prices of these may look really daunting, but they look SO real and will last forever! Amazon also has a ton of fake flowers and smaller plants for much cheaper as well.

17. Buy a Bed with Built-In Storage

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If you are needing extra storage in your bedroom, getting a bed frame that has storage built-in to the bottom of it is very smart. It looks very sleek and will keep the under side of your bed very organized (which can be really tricky if you just have under bed bins).

18. Be Smart When Buying Furniture

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This is more just a common sense thing... but be smart with your furniture purchases!

For example, I just added a table to the side of my couch but wanted to make sure that it was functional as well. It gives me a lot of extra storage with the drawers and the bins I added below. 

I know there are beds that have storage underneath so those also serve another purpose than just a place for your mattress.

19. Add Floor Poufs

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Floor poufs are a great way to add extra seating and lounge space in your living area. They are also a great idea because you can move them around to make them super beneficial for when you have guests over.

There are so many kinds of floor poufs and lots of them can also double as "coffee tables". Get a tray to set on top to stabilize drinks, food, and candles as well!

20. Get a Room Divider

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When done the right way, a room divider can actually look really pretty while also being very useful. They definitely aren't everyone's cup of tea (I honestly don't know if I would ever use a room divider), but in my research it shows that they are great for studio apartments.

I actually really love this one from Urban Outfitters and think it would look gorgeous in any apartment, not just for dividing up spaces, but also just as decor!

21. Add a Gallery Wall

small apartment ideas

I am obsessed with gallery walls and think they can look incredible in any space you want. This is actually a gallery wall that I recently did in a restoration (you can find the full living room restoration here) and I am so in love with how it turned out.

I could give links for a couple of these frames, but we actually got most of them as vintage frames for only $1-2 at Goodwill, and some of them we even painted gold and silver. All of the prints are from Etsy, though!

If you decide a gallery wall is a good option for you (which I am sure it is), I 11/10 recommend going to Goodwill for frames and mixing and matching colors with paints and Etsy prints. It will turned out soo good, I promise!

22. Floating Shelves

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Floating shelves look great in any size or style apartment. They are super easy to decorate and look sleek enough that they don't take up too much or make your space look super cluttered.

If you are living by yourself, they are also super easy to put up alone!

23. Couch Side Tables

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best small apartment ideas

These are a little controversial and not everyone likes them, but I think they are perfect for small apartments! I actually really like these specific ones as well and think they would look really great in any apartment.

24. Add a Statement Light Fixture

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A statement or standout ceiling light fixture always makes a space look more inviting and decorated. Especially if you don't want to clutter your space with decor, this is a great way to make your living or dining space look decorated without even trying.

25. Floor To Ceiling Drapes

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Go floor to ceiling with your curtains... trust me this makes such a difference! 

It really draws the eye up, making the room appear larger. My rule of thumb is to hang the curtains 2-3 inches from the ceiling. Then I like them going all the way to the bottom and touch the floor. 

I actually sewed the bottom of mine (not very well though haha) but then it just gives it a more custom look.

26. Add an Entryway Bench

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Even the tiniest of entryways deserve to look cute! I love how they utilized this space to make it as functional yet cute yet simple as it could be. I think it looks really good!

A mirror is always, always, always a good idea so you can quick check last minute how you look before heading out the door. And any type of stool or bench is also super smart to be able to set things on, tie your shoes on, or sit on while you wait for other people to be ready.

27. Add Pops of Color

If you are struggling between an eclectic apartment style and a neutral apartment look, adding pops of color to a neutral colored apartment seems right up your alley! I love this look and I think it can add so much character to any space, especially a small apartment that is in need of some character and spice.

28. Correct Sized Rugs

small apartment ideas

This is something that a lot of people get wrong... people always get too small of rugs. 

For living rooms, you usually want a rug that's bigger than an 8x10, and for bedrooms you usually want an 8x10 rug.

I get almost all of my rugs from Rugs USA and they have pretty strange measurements so I use this rule of thumb:

  • Bedroom: at least 8 inches of rug from the side of your bed 
  • Living Room: at least 6 inches from the edge of your couch

29. Entryway Shelf and Hooks

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Just like adding an entryway bench to make the space more functional, adding a shelf and some hooks makes an entryway 10x more functional.

Getting a shelf like the one above is great for adding picture frames or decor, but it can also be used to keep keys, sunglasses, dog bags, wallets, etc. This keeps all your things super organized and easy to grab when you're on the go. And hooks are perfect for jackets, hats, purses, etc.

30. Mirror Wall Decor

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Adding a hanging wall mirror to any empty wall space is an excellent idea. As we know, mirrors create an optical illusion of making any space they are placed in so much bigger.

If you are working with a very tiny space or maybe even a studio apartment, having a few mirrors is never a bad idea.

31. Use Acrylic Furniture

I haven't done this in my own apartment yet but it's a really great small apartment idea for super small spaces... incorporate acrylic furniture!

This doesn't block your eye since you can see completely through it so it really opens up the room.

This post was all about small apartment ideas.

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