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How to Make Your One-Bedroom Senior Living Home Feel Like a Two-Bedroom

How to Make Your One-Bedroom Senior Living Home Feel Like a Two-Bedroom

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

When you’re downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment, you can look forward to many benefits. In addition to saving money on the initial costs, you’ll pay less for insurance and utilities, and have less square footage to furnish and clean.

Some people feel that a one-bedroom apartment is too small to really personalize. It’s a common misperception. In our opinion, this is where the fun starts. The key to living well in your one-bedroom apartment is knowing how to make a small space look larger. There are countless tips and tricks to arranging your new space for how you want it to flow.

Knowing how to make a small space look larger can be boiled down to six guidelines:

  •  Declutter your belongings
  •  Make smart use of wall space
  •  Maximize your furniture arrangement
  •  Maximize natural light
  •  Decorate with restraint
  •  Combine furniture functions

We’ve compiled a list of decorating ideas and interior design tricks based on these guidelines. You’ll soon find how much more rewarding it is to use fewer things, while at the same time be able to do as much, if not more.


  • If the ceiling height in your new bedroom is low, choose a low-slung bed and bedside table t. Keeping these main pieces of furniture lower in height will help  make your bedroom feel larger.
  • Pick a tall headboard, and one that looks and feels lightweight. A tall headboard will draw the eye upward and create the impression of a taller space. One in a light color is preferable, especially if the wall color in your bedroom is dark.
  • Install wall lights next to your bed. Not having a clunky lamp on your nightstand frees up valuable space and means you can have a smaller nightstand.

Colors and Décor

  • One of the first steps in knowing how to make a small space look larger is to keep wall paint colors neutral. Big patterns and bold colors will dominate small spaces. Choose small or subtle designs and light colors instead. If you want to add in a bolder look, do so  sparingly, and make sure it complements how you’ve decorated the rest of the apartment so there’s a feeling of continuity.
  • Create an illusion of a larger room by painting the trim a slightly lighter color than the walls. Your eye sees this as depth and the walls feel further away, giving you a feeling of more space.  
  • Decorating with mirrors visually expands a space. Use a beautiful mirror to make a statement as an art piece, or to brighten a room. Place a floor-length mirror against the wall in a tight nook for a decorative, yet functional element. Placing a mirror next to a window will reflect the maximum amount of light into a room.


  • Paring back your furniture needs is part of knowing how to make a small space look larger. The less furniture you have in your apartment, the bigger it will look. Use space-saving furniture with multiple functions. If you’re in the market for a smaller bed, look for one with a storage platform underneath. Look online for modular couches that can be rearranged into separate seating, coffee tables that convert into dining tables, or wall shelves that can be pulled down into a desk.
  • When purchasing pieces of furniture for your new apartment, choose ones with space beneath them. Resist the temptation to store items under your furniture (except perhaps your bed) as this detracts from the uncluttered look you’re trying to achieve. Knowing how to make a small space look larger means choosing pieces with slim, tapered legs. Leggy designs have a space-enhancing effect.
  • If you can’t bear to part with a favorite piece of furniture, see if you can repurpose it. For example, try using a china cabinet as a pantry, or as a linen cupboard. Look online for ideas on how to repurpose your vintage pieces.
  • Another trick designers use is to buy transparent furniture. A coffee table or chairs made of clear acrylic or lucite have less visual impact than furniture made of more traditional material such as leather.

What About Guests?

If you’re expecting a grandchild or other guest to stay over occasionally, you may be thinking about how to fit another bed in your one-bedroom apartment. One option is a multipurpose furniture piece in the living room that converts into a bed. Look for an easy-to-unfold model in a streamlined design; it doesn’t have to be a sofa. Here are examples of chair sleepers, and here’s an example of an ottoman that quickly pulls out into a bed.

Make It Your Nest

Transforming your new one-bedroom apartment into a comfortable, inviting home is an exciting part of settling in. Think about how you’ll spend your time. Will you continue to work? Set up a small workspace and shelves for your computer and office supplies. Are you likely to have friends over for drinks and a meal? Then you might plan to have a dining room table with extendable leaves and folding chairs or repurpose a small cabinet as a minibar. Do you love to read and relax? Heap your bed with luxurious linens or layer a reading chair with pillows and throws.

Beautiful, Affordable Senior Apartments

With more seniors wanting to make the transition to smaller living spaces, we’re adding 60 new independent living apartment homes to our community. We’re confident you’ll find your sweet spot at Jefferson’s Ferry on Long Island. Our variety of floor plans includes one- and two-bedroom senior apartments with and without a den, and cottages of up to 2,000 square feet with a basement.

Which floor plan will you choose? Use our floor plan fit finder for your perfect match, and get ready for an easy, refined independent lifestyle that’s the perfect blend of privacy and community. Reach out to us to see about floor plan availability today.

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