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10 Clever Hacks to Make Your Home Look Bigger

An affordable unit might cramp everything in. Make your home look bigger with these small condo design hacks.

The post update was on July 24, 2017.

As of July 2017, data from Expatistan shows that monthly rent for a 900 sq. ft. unit in an “expensive” area costs more than SGD 3,000.

However, a 2016 study revealed that housing policies—such as income ceiling, the extent of increase in rentals, and other requirements—aren’t suitable for low-income families. No wonder. Some social workers feel that they cannot help their clients regarding housing.

Good thing the Singapore government has amended its housing regulations for singles. Add to that the housing loans that POSB and DBS offer. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) also offers housing schemes for multi-generation families.

But not everyone can afford a house that would fit their entire family. So the least they could do is look for an affordable unit and cramp everything in. Good thing that there are home decor and design hacks that you can do to make your home look bigger.

Colour Your Walls with Something Light

It’s always advisable to keep things light when choosing a colour scheme for small condo design hacks. Softer hues make everything look spacious, while darker colours make your space appear smaller.

When choosing what colour to paint your walls, Tara Mastroeni advises that you use three hues:

  • Two light, bright shades to paint the majority of your apartment.
  • One darker accent colour to make things visually interesting.

If you prefer bold colours like red, orange, or yellow, you can do so in one apartment section. Then, pick another one as an accent.

Just remember to limit your use of bold colours. Too much of it in a tiny space can be overwhelming.

Create Space Depth Using Mirrors

Mirrors add detail and function to a room without taking anything from it—making it ideal for apartment living. And knowing how best to place it in your room can make you get the most out of it.

Jess Kumanovski advises that you hang a decent-sized mirror at the far end of a room. It will reflect the entire space, giving the illusion that it’s twice the actual size.

Also, you can hang one opposite a window or in a dark corner of your home to reflect natural light. It will make your space look brighter.

Make Use of Stripes

Stripes help bring order in space. According to Lauren Flanagan, “they have the power to reshape a room depending on how they’re used.”

The best thing about this pattern is that they mix well with solids, floral, and other designs. These make stripes ideal when decorating a small home.

Moreover, it helps define functional zones in the room and can hide minor wall damages like rough spots. The small condo design hacks are ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms, and small kitchens.

Vertical stripes create an optical illusion that alters the width and length of the room. As a result, it can make a low ceiling feel higher. On the other hand, horizontal stripes push the wall outwards. It tricks your eye into thinking it’s bigger and feels longer.

Just make sure that your wall and furniture are colour-coordinated. Ordinary home furnishings can make any space look dull.

Hang Light-Coloured Drapes

If you want to make your window look large, the trick is on how you hang your drapes.

Install curtain rods a couple of inches below the ceiling. It will make your visitors draw their eyes upward, making your window look taller. If you want to make it look wide, hang the rods past the side of the window frame.

Another thing you can do is choose a curtain that matches the colour of the wall. The colour blending creates a continuous line, making the room appear prominent.

Better yet, don’t hang drapes at all. It’s the most affordable way to make your window appear big.

Choose Space-Saving Furniture

Every inch counts when you have a small space. So invest in space-saving furniture to make the most out of it.

Look for pieces that have double duty. For example, it can be a bed that you can fold into a sofa or an ottoman that also serves as storage.

You can also opt for transparent or acrylic furniture like a glass coffee table. According to Yuka Yuneda, transparent lines prevent visual interruption. Thus, you perceive a less cluttered space.

What’s important is to select furniture appropriate to the size of your space. Otherwise, your apartment will be cramped.

small condo design hacks


Small Condo Design Hacks: Install Wall Art 

Installing wall art is usually considered an afterthought. However, having one can help provide for the entire room.

For one, wall art can inspire you on what paint colour you should use on your wall. Also, it can serve as a focal point in the room while clearing out valuable drawer space.

Aside from paintings and picture frames, you can mount bookshelves on the wall. Better yet, use the shelves to showcase your collectables. What’s essential is to coordinate that wall art with the entire room’s theme.

Mount Small Lamps on Shelves

According to Wendy Cassidy, “a small room with poor lighting will feel cave-like and claustrophobic.”

A properly lit room must have three sources of light. However, this may not be possible when you live in a small flat. It is where track lights can help.

This fixture is ideal for a modern home, especially if you want to highlight a particular section of the room. For example, you can replace a ceiling fixture with a monorail track light to illuminate a hallway. Meanwhile, pendant track lights are ideal for the kitchen and dining area.

If a track light installation is off-budget, you can mount small lamps on shelves. Why? Because small lamps distribute light better.

Remember: Perfect lighting can make you’re interior look more appealing.

Buy Colour-Coordinated Bedding

Colour-coordinated bedding is the foundation of your bedroom’s design. Thus, it’s important to think of the colour scheme. In this case, you can choose to either have a solid colour or patterned bedding.

Solid colour bedding gives a relaxing and zen-like vibe. You can achieve this through the monochromatic colour scheme. To do that, pick the primary colour. Then, layer it with lighter or darker shades.

On the other hand, patterned bedding allows you to be flexible with your bedroom design. You can add small doses of your main colour with your bedding. However, it quickly becomes outdated. Avoid boredom by choosing only one patterned piece with one or two small accents.

What’s important when decorating a bedroom is to know your style. According to Diana Hathaway Timmons:

“Before you can choose the best colours for your bedding, you need to decide what bedding style you prefer. If you start shopping for bedding by colour, you can end up with bedding that does not work with your style.”

Use the “Rule of Thirds” for Your Wall

Most of the time, the “Rule of Thirds” is used in photography. However, you can use the same principle when designing a small apartment. Here’s how:

  1. Pick a wall on which to place your artwork or picture frames
  2. Imagine an overlay grid of two vertical and two horizontal lines dividing the wall into equal thirds

The centre square will be your focal point. From here, you can place any hanging art near the lower thirds. Shelves or storage are close to the upper third.

Keep Your Things Organized

Storage is king when you live in a small apartment. It can be as simple as keeping your loose pennies in a piggy bank, putting your pens in a jar, or folding your clothes using the KonMari method so they won’t eat up space in your closet.

However, storage and organising don’t mean filling up all the space in your home. So when buying a home décor, keep the cantaloupe rule in mind. It means that you shouldn’t use any piece smaller than a cantaloupe.

tiny apartment room and small condo design hacks


Find the Balance Between Design and Functionality

Living in a small house, apartment, or flat has its advantages. They’re much more affordable or have lower rent. Easy to maintain and has a cosy charm. However, limited space is a challenge when it comes to interior design.

Regardless, you shouldn’t skip that part for the sake of functionality. Instead, what’s important is finding the balance between design and functionality. Therefore, consider these small condo design hacks for you space.