As urban centers become more and more populated and home prices continue to rise, smaller homes have become an increasingly popular option for homebuyers. There have been countless examples of people designing homes to get the most out the small amount of space they have. But what about those who are forced to take less square footage because of lack of housing options? How can you create more space for yourself in a smaller home? Check out some of these tips and find out.

photo by Neighborhoods.com

1. One of the most important techniques when trying to make a smaller room look and feel different is color. Whether it’s the color of your walls, carpet, or furniture, it’s best to use lighter and more neutral colors. That means beige, taupe, ivory, or light blue.

2. Light is incredibly important in terms of how we perceive space. Either leave your windows bare or use curtain rods that extend beyond the window, allowing more light in when they’re open.

photo by Neighborhoods.com

3. Make use of your ceilings. Traditionally, ceilings are white and bare, but don’t be afraid to go against the status quo. Wallpaper or paint will do; it can even be a white with just a splash of color. Anything that draws someone’s eyes upwards in a room will make it look bigger.

4. Consider your lighting carefully. Try to avoid ceiling and overhead light, but don’t be afraid to use a pendant light that hangs from the ceiling. That should be countered with at least two other sources of light, like a desk lamp and floor lamp. Make sure all three sources also have a dimmer so you can change the amount of light throughout the evening and night. When used correctly, dim lights are cozier and more inviting.

photo by Neighborhoods.com

5. Mirrors are a favorite among interior designers when working with smaller rooms. Not only do mirrors reflect light, but people also tend to instinctively look at them first upon entering a room. It’s important to find the right size and be strategic when hanging a mirror. A larger mirror placed directly across from a window is the ideal setup for a smaller room due to the amount of light it will reflect.

6. As expected, furniture selection is a big part in the process. Though it might seem counterintuitive, one larger couch - like a sectional - is more likely to make your room feel more spacious, as opposed to a several smaller chairs. Another important thing to note is to always use couches and chairs with exposed legs. While you won’t use the space under your couch, it will let in more light, giving the illusion that the room has more space.

photo by Neighborhoods.com

7. Avoiding clutter and using your storage space will not only give your home a cleaner look, it will also create more space. Closet space is very important in smaller houses, so keep your closet organized by using shelves or any other sort of dividers. Multi-purpose furniture is also important for storage -- ottomans and coffee tables are especially important assets when looking for a bit more storage space, as are drawers underneath a bed.

8. As mentioned earlier, attracting an eye towards the ceiling is critical when you want a room to look larger. Using shelves directly below the ceiling is a great way to do this, whether you want to use books, decorative accents, or personal photos. Don’t be afraid to make a wall of shelves either. More practical shelves starting lower are useful too, as long as they lead to the ceiling.

Whether you’re starting out in your first house, a cramped city condo, or a minimalistic home in the forest, these tricks will make your space seem much larger than it actually is. Don’t be afraid to throw your own personal taste in the mix by using these tips as a general guide, giving you the ability to add your own personal touch.