If you’re renting a studio or small apartment, think beyond mirrors and light paint colors if you’re trying to create the illusion of space. These days, there are so many unconventional, inventive ideas out there to make your apartment feel bigger that it’s hard to know where to start. But here are a few of the best tips and tricks we gathered from the rental pros at Jeff Cook…

  1. Remember, it’s ok to get rid of things. Let’s be real—there’s a reason Marie Kondo’s, Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a national best-seller. Cleaning out your closets and storage areas, and evaluating what you really need (and what you really need to let go of) is never a bad idea. Speaking of, new apps like Letgo and Facebook Marketplace can help you get started.
  2. Invest in multi-functional furniture. Daybeds that double as sofas? Yes please. A kitchen island that does dual dinner table duty? Sign us up. We’re all about pieces that serve multiple functions and give you more room to roam.
  3. Get creative with storage. The most forward-thinking design for small spaces is centered around storage efficiency. That means mastering the art of shelving, hanging hooks in the most useful areas, and betting big on baskets and bins.
  4. Healthy boundaries always help. Trying to separate a singular space, like a studio apartment, into different areas for utility or privacy reasons is common. But think of uncommon ways to do it—like using a tight fabric panel that stretches floor-to-ceiling and also doubles as a projector screen. Now you’re on to something.
  5. Let the outdoors in. Take total advantage of sunny, mild days and open up windows when you can. Don’t forget that some well-placed plants and flowers will remind your guests of the outdoors—the most wide open spaces of all!