With an average of 150 people moving to the city every day and a booming economy, Austin Business Journal reported Austin as the fastest growing large city in America. Unfortunately, with this growth come the ever-increasing costs of living in popular areas of the city, forcing many Austinites to reside in small spaces as a sacrifice for location and convenience. If you are one of those small space dwellers, here are a few tips and tricks to maximize your space to create a cozy, comfortable home.

1. Storage is Key. The number one problem with small spaces is not having anywhere to put your things, which can result in a cluttered space that may become overwhelming. Consider purchasing multi-purpose furniture that can also be used for storage, such as a cozy ottoman which can be doubled as an attractive storage piece.

2. Don’t be afraid of a little color. Dark color has a way of making spaces feel like they are closing in on you. A simple trick is to avoid dark colors as much as possible. If you are attracted to the darker hues, however, a good tip is to use them on one accent wall and make the rest of the walls white a lighter hue to balance out and brighten the space. Color doesn’t have to stop at the walls though. Using light-colored furniture and décor has a way of making a room feel more open and spacious.

3. Choose the right furniture size. It is important to be able to gauge the scale of your space before making the decision on what furniture to select. Choosing large furniture pieces can make a room feel smaller and seem more cluttered. If you are dealing with a small space, small furniture is ideal for creating a cozy environment without overcrowding.

4. Escape Tradition. There is nothing wrong with not adhering to tradition when it comes to decorating your home. If you eat in the living room, perhaps having a separate dining area is useless to you. Instead, invest in a few barstools for when you feel like eating away from your living area and turn that otherwise-useless dining room into an office space or multi-purpose room.

5. Create Furniture Zones. When you have an open room, placing furniture into corners of the space can create an industrial, uncomfortable feel. Instead, arrange furniture in clusters to create the illusion of separate rooms. Adding bookshelves, curtains, or an accent piece can also help in dividing the rooms up.