“Cozy” stops being the correct adjective for your home when setting down one new piece of decor makes the space suddenly feel too crowded. Therefore, making a small space appear bigger is essential for comfort. However, if you are in a studio apartment or an older home, you have limited options for physically expanding your space. A common method that designers use to combat claustrophobic living spaces is to incorporate tricks on the eye. These optical illusions will show you how to maximize your space and let you breathe again!

Implement Stripes

Stripes continue to be a powerful and timeless decorating tool for designers. Design elements that carry a person’s gaze elsewhere can help a room seem larger. Vertically striped wallpaper and decor give a room height, while horizontal stripes appear to expand the floor space. Even a color ombre on the walls will give the illusion that a space is bigger than it actually is.

Hang Mirrors

Mirrors can do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to opening up a room. A mirror near a natural light source will reflect that light into the desired space, brightening a dull and confined atmosphere. If possible, choose a large mirror as opposed to multiple smaller ones—one single, massive mirror can give the impression that the space has doubled in size. Placing mirrors in places you’ll use them, such as your home’s entryway or a bedroom door, can expand a room while serving a purpose.

Focus On Function

Creating more space doesn’t need to be 100-percent an illusion. Floating shelves that seem impossibly suspended on the wall maximize the space by lessening the room decor’s visual weight and keeping items up off your floor. Avoiding excessive clutter, both in decor elements and more generally, will free up space and allow the viewer to enjoy the room without stress.

If you’re looking to maximize your space using optical illusions but are concerned about forgoing your dream design elements, fret not. Incorporating any of these optical illusions and strategies will make a small room seem larger, but they don’t need to be the focal point of your decorating. In fact, making these optical illusions a natural part of your design can make them even more effective!