While it would be nice (and perhaps a bit of a pain) to have the roomy elegance of a country house on the scale of Downton Abbey to design and care for, most people contend with much smaller spaces in their homes and apartments when decorating. But that doesn’t mean that small spaces can’t be just as elegant and charming as large ones. Here are just a few tips to make smaller rooms look spacious and welcoming.

Choose a Light Color of Paint

Because darker colors of paint absorb light, using light-colored coats of paint on walls can make a room appear larger than it really is. As colors go, off-whites, light blues, and light greens tend to really “open” up a room.

Add Flowers and Vases

In even the smallest homes, a well-placed vase full of flowers will light up a room’s surroundings. Maintaining freshly-cut flowers can be a chore, of course, but it will be worth the effort when you see the results. Because they’ll last forever, artificial flowers can also make for a great investment.

Use Big Rugs

In small rooms, large rugs tend to give an illusion of space and provide a room with a feeling of warmth. When matched to wall colors and furniture, rugs also give rooms a wonderful feeling of old-school elegance.

Pay Attention to Lighting

For a really elegant room, it’s difficult to beat standalone lighting fixtures and table lamps. (While they can work if installed correctly, overhead lighting sources tend to create a harsh glare in rooms.) In recent years, string lights have also become popular, and they can give rooms a charming sense of cosiness that is hard to beat.

Keep Bigger Items Against Walls

To really provide a room with a feeling of space, try placing larger items like bookshelves, chairs, desks, and sofas against walls. Open space in the middle of a room can really make living quarters seem larger than they are.

Use Wall Space Effectively

A well-ordered selection of prints, paintings, and framed photographs can create a wonderful “vertical” effect on walls, and they can really make a room seem larger than it actually is.

Utilize Mirrors

Mirrors are great additions to homes and apartments because they tend to add space to rooms without creating eyesores. With the right frame, a good mirror can also seamlessly blend in with prints and paintings on a wall.