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If you’re living in a dorm or a tiny downtown apartment, you know just how difficult it can be to make the most of your space. Fitting everything you need into a small room is certainly a challenge, which is why we put together this guide on how to make a small space seem larger.

1. Choose a Neutral Color Scheme

Neutral colors will always make spaces seem bigger. Soft, light colors will help brighten up the room, which immediately makes it feel more spacious. Try picking different shades, tints, and tones of a single hue.

2. Invest in Multi-Functional Furniture

De-cluttering isn’t easy. If you’re someone who struggles to keep things minimal, acquire some multi-functional furniture. It’s a simple way to make the most of your space, thanks to all the extra opportunities you’ll have to organize and hide items.

3. Install Simple Drapery

There are tons of ways to change up your drapery in order to create the illusion of a bigger room. Try using lightweight fabrics, keeping the curtains and walls the same color, or installing your curtain close to the ceiling for extra-long drapes. All these tricks can help you make your windows look bigger and your ceilings appear higher.

4. Include Mirrors in Your Design Plan

Whether it’s one big mirror or multiple small ones, you’ll want to make this investment. The reflection of light and the view tricks the eyes into seeing more space than is actually there. We recommend putting them across from windows or tucking them behind a chest to make it look like there’s a whole other space attached to the room.

5. Draw Attention Upwards

Anything that draws the eye up makes a room feel bigger than it is. You can achieve this by painting the ceiling a fun color or covering it with an exciting wallpaper choice. Another way to go about this is hanging high bookshelves; storage close the ceiling heightens the room. Don’t be afraid to make it pop—you want to make it a focal point.

6. Utilize Shelf Smarts

Storage is the most common downfall of having a small living space. Luckily, there are a few simple changes that can make your shelving units bearable. Color-coordinating your shelves can make the room feel more streamlined. You may also want to consider leaving some empty space throughout the shelving unit.

When shelves are stuffed and disorganized, they can make a room feel closed. Turn a cramped space into something charming with these tips on how to make a small space seem larger. Making the most of your space doesn’t have to be challenging—it’s all about how you look at

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.