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If you live in a small space, like a studio apartment, you might find decorating a frustrating experience. You want to fill your apartment with personality, but you don’t want it to look cluttered. Yet, you want to fit in as much as possible.

There’s no need to sacrifice style – here are some big ideas for decorating small spaces.

1. Keep it clean.

The folks at “Architectural Digest” advise keeping the floor clear of obstacles. Use shelves and nightstands that have storage, and go for sconces and wall lights instead of floor lamps. And remember the old adage – “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Be sure to put things where they belong after using them.

2. How about some folding pieces?

Everyone needs a place to dine, but if you don’t need a table all day, every day, think about furniture that folds when not in use. This will free up floor space and keep you from adding clutter by piling papers, etc. If folding furniture isn’t your style, look for a drop leaf table that you can then expand for dining.

3. Let there be light!

If you don’t get enough natural light in your space, add light sources in every room. A striking ceiling fixture combined with sconces and table lamps can make things bright and cozy.

4. Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Mirrors reflect light to make the most of whatever natural light you get in your apartment. And bonus: They give the illusion of space. Add a large mirror on one wall or shop around for mirrors of different sizes and shapes and use your creativity to create a gallery wall.

5. Keep it connected.

Stick to a limited color palette. Too many different colors can make the space look cluttered, even if it isn’t. Your apartment probably has white walls; hanging draperies as high as you can will add height and can be used to pull colors together.

6. Pick furniture that does double duty.

In a small apartment, there’s not much space for furniture that doesn’t also serve as storage. A platform bed with drawers, a bench with a lifting lid to store blankets, a sofa that folds out to a guest bed, and a trunk used as a coffee table are pieces that pull their weight.

7. Create negative space.

You might feel that pressing furniture against the wall will give you more space, but optically, it just looks crammed and cramped. Pull your furniture away from the wall if you can, and ensure there’s a space between each piece. This may mean that you get rid of some furniture you don’t really need – like that accent chair that you admire looks-wise, but no one wants to sit in it because it’s so uncomfortable.

8. Go vertical.

Try floor-to-ceiling shelves with both open and closed storage – it’s a great way to avoid clutter.

9. Don’t fear large furniture or rugs

A bunch of small pieces can create an awkward feel. Even if you have wall-to-wall carpet, add a large rug and place most of the furniture on the rug, recommends Apartment Therapy.

No matter how small your apartment, these tips and tricks can help it look larger, brighter and more welcoming.

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