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Living in a closet? Here's how to make the most of it



In an undersized apartment, every square foot counts. From painting the inside of cabinets a vivacious color to building storage space into furniture, small details can make even the smallest space feel larger - and pop.

We chatted with the pros for tips on how to make the most of spaces with stunted square footage. Now get rearranging.

Less is more
Rule No. 1 for tiny spaces: Clutter makes everything seem smaller.

"Address the focal points of the room and let the rest of the room work from one bold statement," said Patricia O'Shaughnessy, an NYC-based interior designer who once turned a closet into a children's bedroom. Keeping decorative objects to a minimum and stashing random stuff will help open up a space and make it seem streamlined.

Paint it
When working with a minimal decor, an accent wall can help pull a space together and make it feel done. Painting the insides of cabinets or drawers can also be a nice accent that adds style without clutter.

Another easy trick? "I might paint the ceiling in a gloss paint to give an extra bounce of light," said O'Shaughnessy.

"In a small space all sides of the cube need to be maximized."

Multifunctional furniture is key
Maximize your square footage with pieces that do double duty. Items like Murphy beds, storage ottomans or desks that can double as kitchen tables will improve the functionality of your flat and keep the clutter from building up, advises Brigitte Starr, an interior designer specializing in small spaces. "Try building as much furniture as possible custom to the room," she said.

Smoke and mirrors
Optical illusions are an easy (and inexpensive) way to open up a space.
Mirrors help bounce light to give the appearance that a space has natural light coming from more than one facade. But, O'Shaughnessy advises, "be careful what you're reflecting."

Use every inch
New York apartments are famous for their oddly shaped walls and corners. Make the most of what you've got by installing built-in shelving or storage. And if you have high ceilings, says Starr, "build up as much as possible." 

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