With renting comes many benefits, especially when renting small spaces! When you rent a small apartment, you’re more likely to save money and time. And generally, you’re more likely to be able to find a spot in a prime location. 

Smaller apartments typically have more affordable rental rates and lower utility bills. You will also end up saving money because you don’t need to invest in a lot of furniture to fill the space. Cleaning and organizing take less time. Small spaces are perfect for a minimalist who is looking for a cozy, comfortable, and functional living space. 

Renting small has a lot of perks, but we understand that a lack of space may not be one of them. However, there are so many ways that you can make your small rented space look bigger. Most of them are simple, cost-effective, and convenient. 

Let’s take a look at 10 ways you can gain more space in your small apartment!

Pull Furniture Away from the Wall

Having your furniture pushed right against the wall can give a small space a cluttered and suffocated appearance. Pull your furniture just a few inches away from the wall to create the illusion of spaciousness. 

If you prefer to have a filler between the wall and furniture, add console tables or slips to fill the space. This will provide you with convenient and passive storage, as well as the illusion of spaciousness that you are looking to achieve. 

Hang Shelves Up High

Hanging shelves high up on the walls will open a room up. Eyes will be naturally drawn upwards and this will create the illusion of a larger space. Hanging shelves is also great for preventing clutter build-up! You’ll store all of your items up high and out of the way, leaving more free space in the room. 

In traditional homes, hanging shelves are much more common in closets, bathrooms, and pantries. But traditional doesn’t mean it’s the law! Hanging shelves remove the need for having big chest dressers or tables on the floor. Don’t be afraid to try something new and install hanging shelves in your living room and bedrooms to create more space. 

Invest In Foldable Furniture

Foldable, stackable, or store-away furniture are great investments if you rent a small space. If you have a foldable dining room table and chairs, you can neatly pack them away after dinner and enjoy more space in your living room area. 

Because of their mobility, you can also take folding furniture and use it in multiple rooms for different purposes. Your dining room table can be rolled away into another room or corner to become your office desk after dinner, for example.

In addition to being easy to carry, foldable furniture is also usually much more affordable than its static counterparts while still coming in a wide diversity of styles. A triple win!  

When it comes down to it, you will never feel restricted with your design vision for your apartment with these functional pieces of furniture. If you want to make your small rented space look bigger, foldable furniture is highly recommended!

Don’t Cram Your Shelves

If you can help it, don’t fill every single space on your shelves. Leaving a few open spaces on your shelves here and there provides you with a light and airy aesthetic. Shelves that are cram-packed down to the last inch appear overwhelmingly cluttered. 

The console table that you may want to place between your couch and your wall is a great place to store some of the extra items on your shelves!

Put Up Unique Wallpaper

Designer renter-friendly wallpaper can make a huge difference in the way your small space looks. Bright, light, and fun wallpaper can completely open a room up. Dark colors give a room a constricted and closed appearance so try your best to stay away from them. 

With peel and stick renter-friendly wallpaper you don’t have to worry about getting into any issues with your landlord. No glue, water, or brushes are involved! Use your artistic expression worry-free, knowing you won’t cause any damage to your apartment walls!

Add Statement Light Fixtures 

Adding a beautiful statement light fixture to your small space will really brighten up a room! Creating a DIY light fixture is fun and affordable. Make your light fixture as unique and bold (or neutral and tranquil) as you’d like it to be. The ball’s in your court!

The perfect light fixture will open up your space in a captivating and dreamy way. Your rented space will definitely look bigger with bright, unique lights. Wow yourself and your guests every time you turn on your lights!

Coordinate Wall and Furniture Colors 

When your wall and furniture colors aren’t coordinated, your small space will look even smaller than it may actually be. That isn’t to say that different colors, patterns and textures can’t work well together! But if those colors, patterns, and textures aren’t properly coordinated, your space will look too busy. A space that looks too busy looks unorganized and small, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid!

Experiment with your renter-friendly stick and peel wallpaper and see how best you can coordinate your walls with your furniture. You don’t have to take things too seriously or matchy matchy and have polka dot wallpaper and a polka dot couch (no judgment if that’s your style!). But you can play around with different color pallets and designs to make something beautiful.

Add Reflective Surfaces  

Glass mirrors or polished metals do wonders at making spaces look bigger! A mirror in the right position pointed in the right direction will make your room light brighter, bigger, and beautiful. 

Make a natural light source the focal point of your mirror’s reflection and watch your apartment instantly double in size! 

Hang Up Light and Airy Curtains 

If your goal is to make your small rented space look bigger, stay far away from dark curtains. Whether you use curtains or blinds, do your best to invest in light and airy colors and materials. Dark curtains are great for bedrooms when you want to get a solid night of uninterrupted sleep. But in any other room, they can create a smothering and claustrophobic atmosphere.

Light or white curtains are the perfect alternative! Light curtains can give the illusion of larger windows and a more open space. Another great tip is to hang your curtains a few inches above your actual window. This makes your window look much bigger than it actually is.

Decorate With Glass Decor 

Glass decor gives your space an open, classy, and expansive look. Glass decor is timeless yet modern, and it does a fantastic job at making a rented space look bigger. Replacing big, bulky, and dark decorations with clear glass ones will let your apartment flourish. 

Invest in small, classy pieces of your favorite kinds of glass decor and place them on coffee tables, countertops, or console tables (like the ones we put behind the couch.) Combined with the mirrors and breezy open curtains, you’ll see just how much translucent and reflective decor can open up your home!


Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to have creative freedom. Demonstrate your own unique style in your apartment with non-invasive and non-damaging modifications. Try a few of these suggestions to make your small rented space look bigger and your lifestyle more comfortable and carefree!

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor and maintenance. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.