Living spaces in Japan are known internationally for being small and cramped. While this isn’t always the case, you’ll often live somewhere you wish was bigger. If your rental apartment is on the small side, there are plenty of things you can do to make it feel more spacious.
Being restrained with the decor in a small apartment is crucial for making it feel more spacious. Try to cut down on the clutter and consider minimalism when decorating. Bear in mind that most things you add will be taking up space from your apartment so less is more. We do have some bits that you may want to add specifically because they can accent a small space in a way that makes it look and feel bigger.
Making sure that your apartment is well-lit is important for making a space feel bigger. Lighting can accent areas and create a sense of depth in a room which can in turn make it feel more spacious.
Natural lighting is the first choice. One of our tips for choosing an apartment is to consider how much natural light a space gets because it can make a big difference. If you already have your apartment, pay attention to the lighting at different times in the day and think about how you can let as much of it into your living space. Make sure not to block any windows or doors! If any lightly-colored walls reflect the natural light, leave these clear so that they can increase the brightness of your apartment.
If the natural lighting doesn’t reach some places in your apartment, you can accent these with lamps. Lamps come in all shapes and sizes but simple designs are best for making a place feel spacious. Different heights of lamps will create more sense of depth and space. Lampshades can also direct the light in different directions so look at the shapes and shadows each lampshade creates on a wall when buying a lamp.
Since glass is transparent it is a practical material for furniture and decor. Most people need some kind of table and shelf in their living space, it’s hard to avoid. However, choosing designs that are made out of glass will make it appear like these pieces aren’t taking up as much space.
This goes for transparent plastic too. Choose transparent glass surfaces and furniture where you can because it will also reflect light and a brighter apartment will always feel more spacious.
However, if you have furniture made out of glass, make sure to leave the surfaces free because any clutter will be very easy to spot.
Glass has reflective qualities, but for even more reflection use mirrors. Mirrors can enhance a sense of space.
Since mirrors reflect what is in front of them, be careful what you place nearby. Mirrors work best to create a sense of space when they are reflecting bright and clear spaces. Hang or place a mirror next to a window because it will reflect any natural light and make the space feel much bigger.
If you have a thin corridor or space in your apartment, you can place a mirror against one side to reflect the other wall. It can create an illusion of space that works effectively in narrow spaces.
You can place mirrors in different areas of your apartment to amplify certain places. One larger mirror is however better than various mirrors of different shapes and sizes on one wall since it can start to look cluttered if you’re not careful.
Another way to make your apartment feel brighter and lighter is by using light fabric. Both light colors and lightweight materials will create a sense of spaciousness.
For curtains, light fabric is an effective way to reflect light and brighten up the space. Lightweight and soft textured materials will flow and have a nicer drape which can create breeziness and airiness. This helps to create a sense of space. Heavy materials can make a place feel more compact.
Consider light fabric for furniture too. Light and neutral colors are best. Sticking to one shade with your furniture will create a sense of cohesion which can make a space seem more simple and crisp and therefore more spacious.
Another way to make your apartment feel more spacious is by quite literally creating space. It’s easier than it sounds!
You can create space by elevating furniture. If you have a houseplant on the floor, put it up on a plant stool with legs. If you’re getting a sofa, choose one with legs. Consider hanging shelves too. The more you can keep off the floor, the larger the floor area will seem. Elevating furniture can help to create more of a flow around the apartment, rather than blocking out big areas.
Leaving a gap between furniture and walls is another way to create space. This gives the illusion of more space and helps to accent pieces.
We hope these tips help your rental apartment feel more spacious! These techniques to create a sense of space are most effective in an apartment that has been decorated with restraint. So please take your time when decorating to think things through and organize your ideas, it can help you avoid gathering more clutter. Happy decorating!