Small spaces aren’t good for you, quite literally so if research on the effects of small apartments on mental health is to be believed. However, it’s a sad truth that millions of people have no choice but to live in rather small rooms. Does this mean that they have no way of escaping the stress and psychological issues associated with these places?

No, this only means that they should be paying much more attention to their interior decorating. Making your small room feel less oppressive is key to making it comfortable not only for your body but your mind as well. Inspect your living space right now and check if you’ve made any of the mistakes that make small spaces appear even smaller. Fix them right away and you’ll feel some of the stress melting away.

Top 4 Small Space Decorating Mistakes with Fixes

Not having a mirror

When describing the way she fixed her own apartment to feel bigger and lighter, Sacha Strebe from MyDomain said she was amazed at how much of a difference a mirror made in limited space. The effect this simple piece of decoration can produce is fantastic, so every small room should have a mirror.

Feel the Small Space Crushing You? These 4 Design Mistakes Might be the Cause

Preferably, install it across the wall with artwork, so the reflection turns your place into a gallery of illusions.

Using a small plain rug (or no rug at all)

It might sound counterintuitive, but a small room needs a big rug. Better yet, it needs a big soft patterned rug that calls for you to sink your toes into it. This centerpiece will fill the space making it seem larger by drawing attention to itself.

Feel the Small Space Crushing You? These 4 Design Mistakes Might be the Cause

But remember that the kind of rug you use also matters greatly. Korina Khamis from Hibou Design Co says that textures are a vitally important factor for decorating small spaces. Create layers of different textures to give the space a perception of depth. Choose soft materials to fill the place with comfort. Start with that bold-patterned soft rug and move up to comfy furniture with textured upholstery pleasant to the touch, add in a few throw blankets and even sheepskins for an extra layer of comfort.

Using bad lighting

Note that ‘bad lighting’ doesn’t mean ‘poor lighting’. You can have enough bulbs in place to see everything clearly. However, the locations, intensity, and colour of those lights might be the reason why your small space feels cold instead of cozy.

Feel the Small Space Crushing You? These 4 Design Mistakes Might be the Cause

In fact, bright lights are the thing most likely to ruin the mood of the night and atmosphere of the room altogether, notes Stefani Stein. Therefore, you need to have an option to dim the lights to a comfortable level that can set a relaxing and intimate mood. Layered lights with varying ambiance are the best for small spaces as they allow you to enlarge the room visually and to control the level of lighting and atmosphere.

Not using all of the available space

How many shelves, containers, and various space organizers do you have in the room? If your space is limited, you need to use every bit of it you can, walls and insides of cabinets included.

Feel the Small Space Crushing You? These 4 Design Mistakes Might be the Cause

However, beware that clutter is the number one enemy of small rooms. Therefore, you need to find solutions that will increase your usable space but look neat doing it. Some stylish cloth-covered boxes and elegant baskets are good options. It might be a bit of a hassle to put away every item you use into a container to keep the space free of clutter. However, the visual effect is definitely worth it. And your mind is thankful because clutter is also bad for mental health, so they say in Psychology Today.