18 Modern Apartment Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger and Brighter

Updated 12/21/18

New Yorkers know this better than anyone: In a small apartment, the best solution is to make your space feel bigger and brighter. How, you ask? While many petite apartments feel cluttered and dark, the best thing you can do to a small space is give it the appearance of airiness. Think an all-white space with billowy fabrics and little clutter.

This can be achieved with a minimal color palette, clever window treatments, and multipurpose furniture that leave little space for tchotchkes. But first, there are a few things to avoid: dark and bulky furniture, too many decorative accessories, and inadequate lighting. To achieve the ideal bright modern apartment décor, you'll have to let go of unused items and hand-me-downs that don't perfectly fit your layout.

Are you ready to give your petite pad the appearance of airiness and space? The simple recipe to a modern apartment décor is more easily achievable than you'd think. Ahead, we broke down 18 modern apartment ideas room by room to help you achieve the coveted bright and airy look. Get ready—your space is about to feel 10 times bigger.

In the Living Room

Modern Apartment Décor
Courtesy of Space Exploration

1. Keep your walls white and your furniture in a neutral color palette like tan leather and wood.

2. Simple, sheer white window shades will let more light in, making your space appear brighter.

3. If your ceilings are low, choose a white shade pendant that won't visually clutter the space.

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In the Entryway

Modern Apartment Décor Ideas
Courtesy of The White Arrow

4. If your entryway space is limited, pick a Lucite console that will virtually disappear in the space.

5. Use mirrors cleverly to make the space appear bigger and reflect the little natural light you have.

6. Ensure that you have layered lighting that includes an overhead source but also a light at eye level, like a lamp or sconce.

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In the Kitchen

Modern Apartment Décor Tips
Thomas Richter; DESIGN: Space Exploration and White Arrow

7. Add greenery to your kitchen to make up for the fact that you might not have a leafy view to look out to.

8. Use open shelving instead of upper cabinets to make your space feel bigger and give the appearance of height.

9. If you don't have space for a dining table, use comfortable stools to create cozy island seating in the kitchen.

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In the Bathroom

Apartment Décor Ideas
Courtesy of Jessica Helgerson

10. Keep a small bathroom's color palette to a minimum. White walls and light wood tones are ideal to make your space feel big and bright.

11. Use antiqued brass accents in your lighting and hardware to make your space feel more luxe and layered.

12. Keep all your linens white to make your space feel like a five-star hotel.

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In the Home Office

Apartment Décor Tips
Courtesy of Amber Interiors

13. Use wall-mounted storage to organize your books and maximize the height of your space.

14. If you don't have a dedicated home office, try creating a multipurpose dining area/office with clever accessorizing and storage.

15. Keep your palette to a minimum, adding pops of color only in your bookcase to make your space feel bright and airy.

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CB2 Stairway White Wall-Mounted Bookcase $399
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In the Bedroom

Modern Apartment Ideas
Thomas Richter; DESIGN: Space Exploration and White Arrow

16. A low-slung bed will give your ceilings the appearance of height, so choose furniture that is low to the ground.

17. Layer multiple soft textiles like rugs, blankets, and bedding in shades of white to blur the lines and create a coherent whole.

18. Accessorize minimally with ambient lighting and greenery to keep your space feeling calm, organized, and functional.

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