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Small apartments have a lot of wonderful qualities. The lower cost and cozy charm are just a few of the things that keep people renting. But that low rent can seem pretty unimportant if you walk in the door and hate the space you’re living in. To help you make your small space seem more like home, we’ve come up with some decorating tips for small apartments. Follow these, and you’ll be on your way to a larger-looking space and an apartment you love.

Hit the Floor

The right rug can do wonders for making your space seem simultaneously larger and cozier. A stark floor can completely shift the atmosphere of a room and visually shrink your space. Make sure you pick the right rug size, since the wrong size can end up making your room look even smaller. We love antique oriental rugs in small apartments, as they add a layer of history and class to the space. Picking your room’s color and theme based off the neutral colors in the rug is also a good idea.

Keep it Bright and Neutral

When it comes to furniture and wall color, keep things bright and neutral. You’ll want to steer clear of dark colors when you’re painting a small apartment, as they can make the space seem small and take away from a happy atmosphere. Feel free to use those dark colors for accent pieces, however. The same goes for furniture—keep couches neutral, and then add pops of color with accent pillows, blankets, and art pieces on the walls. Try to keep the color palette the same across all rooms, as this will add uniformity to your space.

Delineate Separate Areas

When you first move into a small apartment—especially if it’s open-concept—you may be at a loss on how to designate separate areas. The kitchen can run too much into your living space, which can end up shifting into your bedroom. This can make your apartment seem messy, so do your best to delineate the separate areas. Use specific furniture pieces to close off the different rooms—face your sofa the opposite direction of your bed, use a coat rack to complete your entryway, and place your kitchen table in a way that differentiates the kitchen and dining areas.

Get Dual-Purpose Furniture

If you’re really struggling for space, make sure to utilize dual-purpose furniture, especially in bedrooms. Invest in multi-purpose furniture such as a hollow ottoman that can be used for storage or a bed that can be folded into a sofa. Double-duty furniture is great for storage, but most importantly, it allows for more usable space.

Utilize Vertical Shelving

One of our favorite decorating tips for small apartments comes into play with shelving. Think about elongating your room with vertical shelving pieces to help you utilize more space and play into the different angles of the room. These shelves can have different curves and angles, which will add flair to your room design. Use your space wisely: make sure you don’t overfill your shelves and open spaces, as small apartments need minimalist living.

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.