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With each passing year, apartments are getting smaller. This statistic is especially true in high-demand areas like New York City and Dallas. However, a small apartment doesn’t have to feel cramped or crowded; it’s all about your decor and interior design strategy.

Here are five beautiful room ideas to make the most of your small apartment so that you can transform cramped into cozy and crowded into comfortable.

Maximize the Floor Space

To get the most out of your rooms in a small apartment, you’ll want a decor scheme that maximizes the floor space. There’s a common misconception that having a small apartment means having to have small furniture, which isn’t true.

Many interior designers for apartments in Dallas are putting together a minimalist-meets-maximalist approach to decor and opting for a few large furniture pieces rather than many smaller ones. For example, displaying a large statement sofa and bulky, industrial-chic coffee table rather than a smaller sofa and chair with side tables.

Maximize your floor space by taking an intentional approach to your decor. For example, opt for furniture with fewer touchpoints so that your flooring is visible under each piece. This feature creates the illusion of more floor space and will prevent your apartment from feeling cramped.

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Focus on Versatile Light Sources

Lighting is a versatile way to create dimension in small rooms, giving you control over the atmosphere as needed. Of course, natural light is the best option for small rooms. When decorating your small apartment, hang curtains above and outside the window frame to enhance the vertical lines and allow ample light to shine through. Use mirrors and reflective surfaces in your decor to disperse natural light throughout the space.

Your options for built-in lighting will be limited by your terms and agreements in a rental apartment. However, you can usually swap out simple fixtures for something brighter and more aesthetically pleasing. Create different light sources with table lamps, floor lamps, and string lights on shelving to set the tone for each room.

If you’re renting, there’s a good chance your landlord has used bright, white energy-efficient LED lights. Change these out for a warmer, yellow tone to create a welcoming atmosphere.

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Choose Bold Art Pieces

When choosing art for your small apartment, the bigger and bolder, the better. This decor element is your opportunity to shine and make the rooms seem larger than they truly are. Choose a large statement piece or create a gallery wall with an assortment of smaller pieces. Get creative and use mixed media, balancing photos with paintings and mirrors. Forgo paintings entirely, and fill the wall with vintage thrift store hats that caught your eye.

Remember to take advantage of the vertical space when hanging art. This strategy will draw the eye upward and make the ceilings seem higher. Using floating shelves can also help create more visual space when hanging or displaying art. Leaning a few paintings or photos rather than hanging them will also create dimension in the space, making it appear larger and more welcoming.

Use Multipurpose Pieces

Multipurpose pieces and functional storage are the secrets to making any small room look beautiful. As mentioned before, every piece of furniture you choose for your small apartment should be intentional. You don’t have to become a minimalist, but you will have to consider the space.

Incorporating multipurpose pieces will help you maximize the floor space and keep your apartment uncluttered— a critical consideration when working with a small space.

Some examples of multipurpose pieces include coffee tables with nesting stools or a built-in storage compartment or boxes and baskets worked into the decor on bookshelves.

Hinged furniture is also a fantastic way to optimize the space. Turn a painting into a pop-up office desk or table that you can tuck away when not in use.

Use Artistic Room Dividers

Creating zones in rooms can help define the space and make it feel professionally organized and designed. However, accomplishing this task in small rooms is a balancing act; there’s a fine line between defining the space and making it feel choppy or cluttered.

Incorporate artistic room dividers to customize the space without detracting from the floorplan. Rather than hanging a painting from the wall, consider hanging it from ceiling hooks as a floating display behind the couch. This is a great way to keep the sofa away from the wall, creating more space while creating a functional area for an office.

Well-placed bookshelves and dressers also work as functional room dividers to help you alter the floorplan of your apartment for the better. If you have a studio apartment, these barriers can create privacy and separation.

Finally, if all else fails, invest in a proper room divider to help you define your space.

With these five ideas, you can create beautiful rooms in your small apartment, making it feel more spacious and welcoming.