15 Simple Ways to Make a room look bigger
Whether you have a small living room, tiny bedroom or your whole home is seriously lacking square footage, there are many design tips that you can implement to give your space the illusion of being bigger than it actually is.
Here are some simple ways to visually enlarge your space to make it bright and welcoming without reducing your bank account. Get our 15 simple tips on how to make your room look bigger below.
1 - Choose Streamlined Furniture
Large furniture with bulky legs or a heavy frame makes a room look crowded and overwhelming. Choose furniture that is raised up off the floor; sofas and chairs with visible legs, coffee tables and consoles with an open metal frame. The more streamlined the furniture, the larger and more airy the room will feel.
2 - Add Glass or Acrylic
If you want your furniture to appear as though it is “barely there”, you’ll love the look of acrylic. Also called “ghost” furniture, see-through acrylic furniture is great in a living room or dining room that already has a lot going on.
Acrylic is so subtle it’s barely noticeable. It blends beautifully into a room’s décor, adding a modern vibe and functionality without creating a visual barrier. Glass objects, such as table tops, also have a similar “disappearing” effect.
3 - Trade bulky bookcases for open shelves
Bookcases displaying books or decorative accessories look much “lighter” if they are free standing. If possible, create built-ins or hang open shelves to display a few possessions (the less the better). The flatter or slimmer a piece of furniture is, and the fewer accessories, the more space you’ll be able to “free up” in the room.
Mirrors are an easy way to visually expand your space and make your room look bigger. Hang a mirror in a small entrance, over a fireplace mantle or opposite a dining room table.
Mirrors are practical and look lovely in any space. They come in all shapes and sizes so there’s plenty to choose from that suit your décor style. Place a mirror at the end of a narrow hallway and it will open it up and help to reflect light. For an extremely tiny entrance or landing, consider a wall of mirrored tiles
5 - Make The Most Of Reflective surfaces
Reflective surfaces such as a mirrored bedside table, glossy cabinet or metallic plant stand have the same effect as hanging a mirror. Light bounces off of them, reflecting back into the room. When you add a piece of furniture that has a reflective surface into a small space, it brightens the room and makes it appear larger.
6 - Choose A Neutral Colour Palette
Neutral paint colours such as white, cream, beige, grey, greige and variations of these colours make small spaces appear open and airy. Natural or artificial light reflects off of light coloured walls. Soft pastel colours are also perfect neutral choices. Using white or neutral shades in your furniture and décor choices also helps to open up a space and make it feel larger.
If you want help creating a whole home colour palette click here to get my simple 5 step process.
7 - Shed light on walls and ceilings
If you have floor or table lamps in a small room and you could use more space, try installing wall or ceiling fixtures.
Sconces are ideal on either side of a fireplace or on a dining room wall flanking a mirror or artwork. Bedside table lamps can be replaced by swing arm reading lights hung beside the headboard. A pretty chandelier overhead adds an elegant touch to a dining room, living room or bedroom and eliminates the need for lamps on a sideboard, console or dresser.
To brighten dark corners, use torchiere lamps that shine upwards. A room looks larger the brighter it is. Illuminate your walls with track lighting, recessed wall washers or wall sconces that shine both up and down the wall. Use light colored translucent lamp shades to amplify the light shining throughout the room.
8 - Sieze The Daylight
If you’re renovating your home and want to invest in a new window, opening up a dark space with natural light is a great design decision. If a side window overlooks unappealing scenery or a forbidden point of privacy, consider whether skylights are an option. Skylights offer light, brighten up a room and don’t take up valuable space.
9 - Scale It Down
When choosing furniture, consider a scaled down version if possible. Rather than a recliner, try a comfy reading chair. Swap an oversized sofa for a loveseat.
If you’ve been eyeing that gorgeous padded headboard to make a statement in your bedroom, let it be the focal point and get rid of artwork above it. You can use colourful cushions and bed linens to add pops of texture and colour instead.
If your office is also a guest room, trade the double bed for a pull out daybed. Always try to scale things down.
10 - Choose items that work double duty
One of the easiest ways to make a room feel larger is to choose furniture with more than one purpose. An antique trunk can be used as a table and storage, and an ottoman can double as a coffee table (holding a tray), a foot rest or additional seating.
11 - Replace a coffee table with side tables
Coffee tables take up valuable floor space. If yours isn’t completely necessary, consider replacing it with smaller side tables.
You can use a side table to hold a lamp, books or plants, and pull it closer to your seating area when you have guests. Side tables in varying heights are less obvious than a coffee table and a lot easier to manoeuvre around.
12 - Consider installing built-ins
While it’s nice to be able to move furniture around when the mood strikes, built-in furniture is a practical option along a window, tucked in a kitchen nook or on a large wall.
A dining bench or window seat can have multiple functions while being extremely stylish. In addition, a built-in offers extra storage for blankets, games, electronic cables and miscellaneous essentials.
13 - Avoid the furniture line-up
Most people have a tendency to think that furniture needs to be placed against the wall. Allow your furniture to “float” away from the wall with open space around it.
You can place furniture in the center of your room and define the arrangement with an area rug. This may improve traffic flow and allows for breathing room.
If you entertain often and need a sofa and loveseat or sofa and chairs in your living room, consider replacing them with a sectional. This will give you plenty of seating from a single piece of furniture.
14 - Contain the clutter
While it should be obvious that less is more and small spaces benefit from minimal decorative accents, it’s easy to fill a space with family photos, travel souvenirs and cherished heirlooms. Think minimal, especially in tiny spaces.
Choose to display a few items that you absolutely love and try to keep your accessories within the same colour palette so you don’t end up with a space that looks and feels cluttered or busy.
If you want to create a clutter-free mind and home, make sure you get our free decluttering masterclass with ultimate clear the crap checklist, it does wonders for your home and mind.
15 - Hang floor to ceiling curtains
Secure your curtain rod well above the top of your window frame and allow your curtains to drape the full length of the wall. This will create the illusion of tall ceilings. You can also hang curtain panels on the wall down the sides of a window to make the window appear larger.
By choosing a similar curtain and wall colour, your curtains will blend seamlessly into the room’s design, making your space feel even bigger.