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Living in New York City offers a vast array of opportunities for many; unfortunately, some living spaces feel anything but vast. In the City, the square footage comes at a hefty cost, so for a small (or micro-mini) apartment, creating clever design illusions proves essential in conquering that confined feeling. Check out these five tips to make your New York apartment a small package with a big personality.

1. Paint Walls Light

When it comes to painting a small apartment to full benefit, consider the rules of fashion. Dark colors slim and constrict, while bright or light colors widen. As such, you’ll want the opposite effect from your walls as you do from your clothing. Extend this idea downward, as well. Lighter floors won’t cut off your wall color bluntly, but rather extend your wall length’s appearance and open the space. Most renters can’t afford to re-do their floors, but investing in a large, light, and plain carpet works the same magic. Look for textures and a broader color spectrum in upholstery and a few decorative pieces, such as vases, lamps, and couch cushions.

2. Size-Down and Double-Up

Sometimes drawing up a floor plan of your apartment helps put things into perspective. Even without the sketch, it’s likely you’ll notice your bed takes up far too much space in your new room. When it comes to purchasing furniture for a City apartment, it’s important to find pieces that function to dual purpose. Go for a futon or daybed to save floor space or make a single-room apartment visitor-friendly. Look for fold-away furniture to accommodate an extra tight space, like table-desks and expandable seating.

3. Hang to Store

It’s important to free up as much floor space as possible so whatever doesn’t tuck away into cabinets, consider hanging on your wall. Jewelry and kitchenware especially work as vertical storage, adding a flair of color, pattern, and character to a plain wall. However, not all of your hanging storage needs to take up wall real estate. Any door in your apartment doubles for storage, too. Hanging organizers serve as pantries and most importantly, protectors of shoes. Considering that you’ll be walking and trekking it to the subway in your shoes daily, it’s important that they receive the utmost care. Buy a shower caddy for toiletries to compensate for lacking bathroom shelving or cabinetry.

4. Capitalize a View

Too many wall decorations distract from the work of your slimming walls. Day or night, NYC satisfies as an iconic backdrop wherever you stay. Privileged with a view, opt for translucent, monochromatic window treatments that won’t suppress sunlight but offer enough privacy when desired.

5. Say Bye to Clutter

Clutter translates to chaos and confinement. That giant collection of DVDs, CDs, and books won’t help a small apartment if they pile up across your floor and scatter across all your surfaces. There’s a reason the coffee table book market exists. It’s better to sell your large collection for extra rent money. If you’re an avid reader, invest in a library card; for the movie lover, Redbox and Netflix will do the trick. Don’t let four walls box in your creativity. Improve your smaller space with these few interior design tips, and you’ll feel like you’ve upgraded to high-priced New York square footage.


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