How to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger - 16 Top Tips

How to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger - 16 Top Tips

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Rooms that are on the small side can be a challenge when it comes to styling and decorating. So to give you a helping hand, I am sharing my top 15 tips on how to make small rooms look bigger.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon and Wayfair associate, we do receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made via links within this article.

1. Use Light Colours in a Small Room


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Painting walls or ceilings a light colour, or choosing light flooring and furniture is always a good idea when decorating a small space. The reason for this is that lighter colours reflect light better than darker alternatives, which as a result will make a room look bigger and seem more spacious, by opening up the space visually. Light colours also brighten any small space, making the space feel naturally more open, airy and inviting.

Adversely, dark colours or busy patterns on your walls, ceiling or floor will make a small room feel even smaller and more intimate, which is fine if that is what you are looking to achieve. This may suit a tiny bathroom space that you are trying to give a cosy and intimate vibe.

2. Glass Exterior Doors: A Gateway to Spaciousness


One often overlooked trick to make a small room appear bigger is utilising exterior doors with glass. This ingenious method can help create a sense of continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces, making the interior seem more expansive.

  • Leverage Natural Light: Glass doors allow maximum natural light into your space. According to many studies, room areas illuminated with maximum natural light are perceived as more spacious.
  • Create a Visual Continuity: Doors with glass inserts can provide an unobstructed view of the outside, making the space appear larger. This visual continuity technique creates an illusion of a bigger room.
  • Design with Mirrored Glass Doors: Mirrored glass on exterior doors can further enhance the room's size. Mirrors reflect light and the room's interior, making the room seem larger than it is.
  • Choose Clear or Frosted Glass: You can opt for clear or frosted glass, depending on your privacy preference. Both options can amplify the light and spaciousness, while frosted glass provides enhanced privacy.

Remember, choosing the right exterior doors can dramatically transform a small room, making it feel larger and more inviting.

From letting in natural light to providing a visual extension of your space, glass doors can be a game-changer in your home decor design. Consider consulting a professional who can provide tailored advice based on your space and style for the best results.

3. Add Mirrors to Small Spaces


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For any small room ideas, hanging mirrors is a simple way to make the area seem larger than it is. This is due to the way that they bounce and reflect light around the room, creating the illusion of more space and adding more light.

For an additional benefit, mirrors can be strategically placed in specific locations within the room. For example, if you have a small hallway, placing a wall mirror opposite the entrance will reflect the light from the doorway. Or if any dark corners don't receive any natural or artificial light, simply point a mirror in that direction so that the problem area can absorb light.

The same goes for a bedroom, kitchen or living room. Hanging mirrors opposite any window in these rooms will make the most of any natural and artificial reflected light, making the room brighter.

If you are daunted by the thought of having to attach a mirror to your wall, don't worry, as we have written a comprehensive step by step guide to hanging wall mirrors.

4. Maximize on any Natural Light


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A simple but very effective tip to make a room look bigger, in this case, a dining room, is to try and get as much natural light into your room as possible. Whether that be from existing windows or replacing solid doors with glass alternatives.

If you struggle with natural light in your home, you may want to consider installing skylights, or even adding additional windows to make the space more light and airy.

These are two great ways to increase the amount of light that can enter your home. Bright natural light is without a doubt one of the best ways to increase the feeling of space in any room.


5. Consider Changing Furniture Placement


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When it comes to small room ideas and particularly furniture placement, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The most important is that all the furniture in any room should not take up too much precious space, especially in a small living room.

Just stick to the bare minimum that you need, such as a sofa, chair and coffee table, and maybe even consider completely removing some larger pieces that will take up too much room. If you don't do this it could risk making your home feel cluttered and cramped, and you definitely won't get the optimum effect that you are hoping for.

In addition, be sure to place furniture so that it is easy to access and use and if possible pulled away from the walls. For example, if you have a couch in the living room, be sure to place it close to the television so that you can watch comfortably.

Another good way to make a room look bigger is to divide it up into different zones, using the furniture and rugs as visual dividers.

6. Choose the Right Lighting


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Lighting is always key when designing a smaller space, it can make or break a space. When trying to make a small room feel bigger make sure that you have good lighting in the space and multiple light sources, whether that be ceiling lights, wall lights or a few lamps that are well placed. It's important to consider whether you want your space to be bright or dim.

Dim lighting is best for small rooms as it makes the open space and room depth seem bigger, visually anyway. This is achieved by the lighting making the walls appear to recede, giving a sense of greater depth and ultimately making a room look bigger and feel more spacious.

7. Get Rid of Curtains to Gain Light


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Window treatments can take up a lot of visual space and make a room look smaller, albeit more cosy. So if you're looking to make a room look bigger, you may wish to consider removing your curtains or drapes entirely.

This will not only allow more natural light to enter the room but the less cluttered a window area is, the larger it will make it feel.

If you don't want to go without window treatments at all, try using blinds or shades within the recess of the window, instead of curtains that protrude into the room.

8. Utilise Plants in Small Rooms


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Bit of an odd one, but consider using plants more readily in your rooms design, especially small spaces. The idea is to create a focal point that draws attention away from the furniture and other larger objects, creating an air of tranquillity and calm.

A few plants placed in strategic locations can go at least some way to make the room feel bigger.

9. Use Simple Room Design for an Open Feel


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Small rooms can be challenging to design because you are naturally going to want to make the most of the small space that you have.

That's where using simple designs comes in. Simple thought-out designs are going to be less overwhelming to the eye and therefore feel less cramped and oppressive than ones with too much stuff.

We suggest having things neatly arranged and only adding a few small decorative items, which will help to add personality to your small space but stop the simple design from being too drab and boring.

10. Remove Visual Clutter to Maximize Space


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When a small room is cluttered and untidy, it is always going to make the room look smaller than if it was ordered, clean and tidy.

If you're looking for quick ways to declutter your room, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start by taking everything out of your room and sorting it into piles: bin, donate to charity or keep.
  • Once you have everything sorted into your piles, start by putting the things you use most frequently in easy-to-reach places. This could include your bedside table or desk.
  • Next, find a place for everything else. Try to use vertical space whenever possible so that your room doesn't feel cluttered.
  • Finally, add some storage containers and wall storage solutions to keep things like clothes and toys organized. This will help you stay organized and avoid clutter in the future.

Further helpful content...

18 Small Bedroom Decorating Ideas

11. Employ Multi-Functional Furniture


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A big part of making a small room seem bigger is using 'multifunctional pieces of furniture' that don't take up too much space, but do their job well. Maybe also choose pieces that possess extra storage space, for less on-show clutter.

Instead of bulky pieces of furniture that take up floor space and don't serve much purpose, try smaller folding tables or shelving units that hold your items neatly and in an orderly fashion.

Bedrooms can particularly benefit from multifunctional furniture, as sofa beds, day beds, and multi-purpose desks are more readily available.

12. Be Consistent With Flooring


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When you are considering what flooring to put in a room, think about how consistent you want the flooring to be. If you have different types of flooring in one open-plan space, it can make the whole room feel smaller and less cohesive.

However, If you have the same type of flooring throughout the room, it will have the opposite effect and serve to make the space feel larger, more open and ultimately give the optical illusion of more floor space. This is because the eye will not be drawn to the different types of flooring, but will instead see one continuous flow of the floor surface.

13. Use Accessories to Draw the Eye


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There are many different ways to add visual interest to your home without taking up too much space, one way is to use home decor accessories.

Accessories can be anything from paintings and photographs to vases and sculptures. Wall decor is another option and can include things like tapestries, curtains, or even shelves.

If you have a lot of wall space, you can also add large pieces of art but don't go for anything too dark or bulky.

14. Add Reflective Surfaces to Bounce Light


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For the same reasons as we mentioned earlier with adding mirrors to your room, a space with a reflective surfaces looks bigger than it is. This is because the light reflects off the shiny reflective surfaces and makes the room appear brighter and thus more spacious.

Light can be reflected in many different ways. Not only by using mirrors but also other shiny surfaces, such as gloss-finished units or silver mirrored furniture, to bounce light and make the room appear brighter and more open.

Whichever way you achieve this, reflective surfaces are a great way to make small spaces look bigger.

15. Consider Using Glass Furniture


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Glass furniture is another great way to make any small room look more spacious. Simply because the transparency of the glass makes the room appear more open and airy. Additionally, the glass also reflects light which helps to brighten up the space.

If you are considering using glass furniture in your home though, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, glass is fragile and can easily be scratched or broken. So it is important to choose pieces that are made of high-quality, tempered glass.

Secondly, as glass is transparent, it tends to show fingerprints and smudges. So be sure to clean it regularly to keep it looking clean and at its best.

16. Use Furniture with Exposed Legs


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In a smaller space, every inch of floor space counts. That's why I advise using furniture with exposed legs, to help make your room feel bigger and more spacious. This works by the open space below furniture creating a visual illusion of more square footage.

Another tip when choosing furniture for a small room is that it is best to stick with pieces that have clean lines and simple silhouettes.

This will also create the illusion of more space and stop the space from feeling too cramped or busy. As always, declutter as much as possible to make the room feel airy and as spacious as possible.

My Final Thoughts

Small spaces can sometimes feel cramped and uninspiring, but by using ideas that you have gathered and these top 15 tips, there are definitely ways to make your small room look bigger and more open.

By using light colours in soft tones, strategic mirror and furniture placement, you can fool the eye into thinking your tiny space is larger than it is.

Some methods are going to be more effective than others, but by experimenting with different techniques, it is possible to find what works best for each space.

With a little effort, anyone can create the illusion of a larger room and enjoy the benefits of extra living space, without compromising on interior design.

Good luck and enjoy the process!

Author: Matthew Chiappini

Author Bio: Matthew studied art and design at Stamford college, including interior design and colour theory. He still has a great love for art, home decor and interior design and is a keen DIYer, having worked as a carpenter after leaving school. Matthew has been writing home and home decor articles since 2020.

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