Decorating a small apartment can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be impossible! While a small living space can seem like a recipe for blandness, cramped living quarters don’t have to mean cramped style. One of the easiest ways to turn a small space into an inviting and visually pleasing room is to use color to your benefit.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to switch to an all-white palette to enlarge a small room; in fact, doing so can hurt, rather than help, since a bland room gives the eye nothing to ‘settle’ on, and will only reinforce the concept of small size. However, it’s usually a good idea to use lighter, warmer colors on walls, since they reflect light and open up a room, so look for a lighter shade of your favorite color: robin’s egg blue, lavender, or warm terra-cotta are all great options.

Now, use similar shades of that main color throughout the room to create a unified look. This cuts down on the visual ‘noise’ and streamlines a space, and also helps to visually enlarge an area by subtly leading the eye around the room. To add depth without clutter, use complimentary shades throughout, with darker colors on smaller accents (like throw pillows or candles). A white sofa with a couple of warm navy throw pillows will look punchy and crisp against those robin’s egg blue walls; other shades of blue and teal can continue the theme in an area rug and other accents.

Finally, if you want to go really bold, choose a contrasting color to add a pop of life here and there. Love the shades of blue throughout the room? Replace those navy pillows with sunny yellow for a jolt of energy. Or try a piece of colorful artwork on one wall to create a bold focal point. Once you’ve seen how color can re-energize a small space, you’ll never go back to white again!

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