Interior Design Ideas to Make Your NYC Apartment Look Bigger

July 15, 2021

With the ideal apartment in New York City, it’s all about location. We’re used to living in places that are a little (or a lot) smaller than we’d like if it means being in a great neighborhood. But choosing an undersized apartment doesn’t condemn you to a place too cramped and crowded for your lifestyle–whether you’re part of a couple, a growing family, or just like to entertain. With some clever interior design ideas, you can make any NYC apartment look and feel more spacious.

Choose furniture that’s proportional to the amount of space.

As much as you may love a sectional sofa, dining room set, or accent chair, big furniture will devour your valuable square footage. One of the best interior design ideas for making an apartment look bigger is to keep things small, functional, and sparse. Furniture that does two jobs at once: like ottomans with storage, are perfect for when you have an apartment without real closets.

The more open floor space you can maintain, the airier your apartment will feel–even if it’s just an optical illusion.

Choose statement art rather than collections.

Less is always more in a small space. While gallery walls are trendy, they can quickly overcrowd a small apartment, especially if the ceilings aren’t exceptionally high. Instead, find art you love and use single pieces to add color to your home without creating a cluttered feeling.

Coordinate your decor.

Careful planning and a ruthless eye for the unnecessary are essential interior design ideas for small New York apartments. Keep everything from artwork to furniture, throw pillows, and area rugs to a carefully selected palette.

If you crave a space with drama, resist a painted accent wall and try different fabrics instead.

Keep everything light.

This advice may be bad news if you have kids or pets, but light fabrics and wall color are some of the best ways to make ceilings feel higher, and rooms feel bigger. If you lead a messier-than-average lifestyle, opt for durable fabrics that resist stains. It’s better than overcrowding a space with one or two dark-colored pieces of furniture.

Add storage wherever you can.

Don’t underestimate the value of wall shelves for storage. They can be stylish and practical to store for those items that don’t have a designated year-round purpose in your apartment. A single shelf running the perimeter of your apartment can add much-needed square footage of storage while also being a stylish accent.

Work with a general contractor for a creative renovation of your space to maximize your square footage.

The layout of your apartment likely isn’t doing you any favors with looking bigger than it is. If you’re living in a tiny one-bedroom with a galley kitchen, an open floor plan might serve you better. An experienced general contractor in New York understands the limitations of old-city apartments. They’ll know how to maximize your square footage while still providing you with the essentials you can’t live without–like closets.

VIR NYC has a legacy of construction in New York going back to 1993–there isn’t much we haven’t seen with small spaces. But our team thrives with constraints, designing and building some of the most exciting residential spaces in the city.

Get an estimate to implement your interior design ideas with VIR NYC.

We’re a boutique general contractor with years of experience transforming New York apartments into spacious, exciting spaces that inspire connection, creativity, and heritage. We work in commercial and residential properties, providing custom cabinetry and millwork for homes, retail environments, and restaurants.

Contact our team for a free quote to turn your interior design ideas into reality.

Interior design ideas for New York City apartments.