Whether we live in a 2,800-square-foot, two-story in the suburbs or an urban 900 square-foot condo, we all look to maximize our living space — if not physically, at least visually.

Space gives us a sense of freedom. It helps us relax and feel good about life! Space helps us stay organized and feel in control. It reduces our stress levels.

But the reality is, few of us can afford the space we need for all of our work, kids, pets, and “stuff” that we collect through everyday living. Fortunately, with a little creativity and a few interior design tricks, we can at least create “visual” space. Here are three ways to do it:

Look to contemporary (modern) décor to maximize space. This clean and simple décor creates an open, airy feeling. It utilizes creative storage to give us a clutter-free environment.

Select a light monochromatic color scheme. Contrasting or added colors can draw visual lines in a room, dividing it into small sections. Tones of one color will create openness and flow.

Make the most of your flooring. Hard-surface flooring has a smooth texture. In a blonde or light-stain finish, it can blend into your wall and disguise where the floor ends and the wall begins, increasing the sense of space.

Hardwood or laminate is a good choice. Make sure the planks are long and show off an extended flow of wood grain. Cork flooring has a multidirectional grain that is perfect for a small space when you want to avoid the lines created by wood flooring planks.

Linoleum is coming back — another multidirectional flooring option that is seamless when laid. The effect is smooth and flowing, once again creating visual space.

All of these flooring options are available as engineered “floating floors” that can be installed easily by homeowners, even in the basement or on a condo’s cement floor. The best system is the Uniclic floor — a unique joint system. Planks and tiles simply click together without glue, nails, or complicated strapping.