Visual tricks are a very important tool of interior design. Colors, light, furniture and decorative pieces can be arranged the right way to make a statement or to make a space look smaller…or bigger. You no longer have to sacrifice comfort because you live in a small, enclosed place. With a few visual tricks and some key elements, any room can appear bigger than it really is.

The key is to think ahead and make buying and decorating decisions with one thing in mind-make the room appear more spacious and more comfortable. To do so, there are three main elements to take into consideration: color, decoration and organization.

Color:

Light hues will open up the space, and painting the walls white will definitely maximize that effect.

Go monochromatic. If all white doesn’t work for your lifestyle, try painting the walls, trim and detailing in different shades of one color. Pick from off-white, beige, any pastel or neutral color.

Match the color of the furniture with the color of the walls. Stay away from contrasting colors, especially in big pieces such as the sofa.

Decoration:

Medium-size furniture pieces work better than a big, prominent one. Avoid having many small pieces scattered all over the room, and arrange furniture at an angle to add visual interest to the place.

Track or recessed lighting works best for small spaces. Use a torchiere lamp to bounce light off the ceiling, and get rid of heavy drapery. Let the natural light come in as much as possible.

Mirrors are also a great way to make a room feel and look bigger. A big wall mirror right in front of a window will reflect light and color; so will a collection of smaller ones, distributed along one wall.

Organization:

Any small space – even a tiny closet – will look bigger if it’s clutter-free. Get rid of little furniture dispersed all over, and move around pieces that block the view and walkway space.

Designers recommend getting pieces of furniture with open arms and legs, as well as small glass-top tables, so the light can filter through.

Make the most out of the space with multifunctional furniture. Invest in good quality pieces such as drop-leaf or removable-leaf tables and ottomans for storage and sitting purposes, among others.