How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
The 10 best ideas to make a small room look bigger without renovation
Is anyone’s home really perfect?
Don’t get me wrong I love our house and all the ways we have made it feel like home.
But there are still a few things I would change if I had the chance…
One question we get asked a lot is, how do you make a small room look larger?
We have a few spaces that feel pretty small too, especially considering our entire house has 8′ ceilings.
I do sometimes miss our old home’s vaulted bedroom and the 9′ ceilings everywhere else.
Obviously we will not be raising any ceilings in this house, not when you can use a few simple tricks to make the room appear larger.
So today I thought I would round up my 10 best tips and tricks to make any room look and feel larger without taking on a big renovation.
If you are looking for tips specifically for a bedroom you can find those here!
How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
1. Opt for furniture with built-in storage
Furniture makes a huge impact on how a room feels and can serve multiple purposes.
Choose furniture pieces that have hidden storage compartments, this allows you to maximize storage without taking up additional floor space.
Ottomans are a great choice for small living rooms. These are versatile pieces of furniture that can be used as a footrest, extra seating, or even as a coffee table.
The hidden storage compartment inside the ottoman provides a convenient place to store items like blankets, pillows, or books, keeping them out of sight and reducing clutter in the room.
One option for kids rooms is to utilize bunk beds, many have built in storage underneath, perfect for clothes or toys.
Check out the 21 coolest bunkbeds here!
We found this super cool vintage trunk in Eli’s playroom which doubles as bedding storage and a nightstand.
By choosing furniture pieces with built-in storage, you can add storage solutions without taking up extra floor space.
This helps create a more spacious and clutter-free look in a small room
2. Create a Focal Point
Creating a focal point in a small room can help divert attention from its size and draw the eye to a specific area or feature that you want to highlight.
Choose one wall in the room to be the focal point and give it a special treatment.
Some ways to do this are painting it in a bold color, applying wallpaper with a beautiful pattern, or using textured materials like wood paneling or stone veneer.
By creating a visually interesting wall, it becomes the center of attention and can make the room feel more dynamic.
You could also utilize artwork to achieve this. Hang a large piece of artwork or a gallery wall on one wall to create a focal point.
Choose artwork that complements the style and color scheme of your room. Just make sure the art isn’t too large for the wall or it will overwhelm the space.
By drawing attention to the artwork, it becomes a focal point that adds visual interest and distracts from the room’s size.
I love to use this simple DIY method to create large artwork for cheap!
3. Hang Curtains Higher and Wider
Curtains are a game changer when it comes to elevating a room.
They can have a huge impact on how a room looks and feels.
Instead of mounting the curtain rod at the top of the window frame, install it 3″ from the ceiling. This will visually extend the height of the room.
It draws the eye upward and gives the impression of a taller space. It also allows more natural light to enter the room, making it feel brighter and more open.
Next, extend the curtain rod 10-12″ beyond the frame on both sides . This creates the illusion of wider windows and makes the room appear more spacious.
You can check out more tips and tricks for hanging and choosing the right curtains here.
It’s also important to choose the right curtain length for your window. Choosing a size too short will make the window look smaller.
Aim to have the curtains lightly kiss the floor or gently pool on the floor for an elevated look.
4. Use Mirrors Strategically
Using mirrors is a great trick for making small rooms look bigger. Mirrors have the ability to reflect light, which can help brighten up a space.
By placing mirrors on walls, especially opposite windows or light sources, you can bounce natural or artificial light around the room, making it feel brighter and more spacious.
This works really well in rooms with limited access to natural light.
Mirrors can also create the illusion of depth in a room. When you position a mirror on a wall, it reflects the surrounding space, making it appear as if the room extends further.
The size of the mirror is also very important. Choose larger mirrors if possible, because they can reflect more light and create a greater sense of space.
5. Utilize Vertical Space
When it comes to utilizing vertical space in a small room, installing shelves or wall-mounted storage units can really help a room feel larger and less cluttered.
Installing shelves on the walls can help maximize vertical space and provide additional storage options. Let’s face it there are never enough storage options.
There are various types of shelves, such as floating shelves or adjustable shelves.
Floating shelves are mounted directly onto the wall without any visible brackets, they work great in kitchens and living rooms.
You can use shelves to display decorative items and add character to the room without taking up too much space.
Installing wall mounted shelves easily frees up floor space and keeps the room clutter-free.
6. Declutter and Organize
Speaking of clutter…
Decluttering and organizing a small room is an easy way to create a sense of spaciousness.
Start by removing unnecessary items, identify anything that is not essential or doesn’t contribute to the overall aesthetic.
Choose pretty and practical storage solutions that can help keep the room organized.
Wicker boxes are perfect for hiding all our remotes and gaming controllers. We also utilize large baskets for storing extra pillows and blankets in our living room.
By having designated places for your belongings, you can prevent clutter from accumulating and maintain a tidy space.
Check out this budget friendly cube storage makeover
This goes against the maximalist idea but limiting the number of decorative items or knick-knacks on display will help avoid visual clutter. I am not saying put everything away and have no decor obviously.
Just be sure to visually balance what you do have on display so that it isn’t overwhelming.
7. Choose Furniture with a Small Footprint
Did anyone else have a grandparent that had absolutely ginormous, bulky china cabinets?
Those things were always filled with the coolest and strangest things, but they also basically took up the entire room…
When selecting furniture for a small room, it’s important to choose pieces that have a visually lightweight appearance and a smaller scale.
Bulky or oversized furniture can make a small room feel cramped and crowded. Instead, go for furniture with slender legs or open bases that allow light to pass through and give the impression of more floor space.
For example, a slim console table can serve as a functional and stylish alternative to a bulky sideboard.
8. Create Visual Continuity
Use a consistent color palette and design style throughout the room.
This helps create a cohesive and uninterrupted visual flow, making the space feel larger and more harmonious.
One way I have been loving lately is to paint the trim and baseboards the same as the wall color.
This is especially helpful in small rooms with multiple doors, it keeps the room from looking choppy and broken up.
Another option is to use a monochromatic color scheme, this is when you choose one color and use different variations of it in the room.
You can have your wall color mixed in a darker hue and use that on the trim and doors to add a bold but cohesive look to your space.
9. Use Strategic Lighting
Lighting is always a great first step in helping your small room not feel like a cave.
Incorporate a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create layers of light in the room.
Ambient lighting is the general, overall lighting that illuminates the entire room.
To create a sense of spaciousness, opt for soft and diffused lighting. Use fixtures such as recessed lights, flush-mount ceiling lights, or wall sconces that distribute light evenly without creating harsh shadows.
Task lighting serves a specific purpose, such as reading, studying, or working. Use desk lamps or floor lamps, this helps define different zones within the room.
Accent lighting adds depth and visual interest to a room. By highlighting architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements, it draws attention away from the room’s size. Picture lights are one of my favorite ways to highlight artwork and even our command center.
The right lighting can add depth and make the space feel more expansive.
How To Add Sconce Lighting Without Hardwiring
10. Don’t Forget the Ceiling
Have you ever heard of the 5th wall?
The 5th wall is the ceiling and it is frequently forgotten about.
Using color or pattern on the ceiling will draw the eye upwards making the room appear larger.
You could go for a color drenched look and paint the ceiling the same color as the walls.
Another great choice is to add a fun pattern to the ceiling with wallpaper.
We added so much character to this small office by installing this pretty floral wallpaper.
Ideas to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
Those are just a few of my favorite tips and tricks to make a small room look bigger.
The best part is you can accomplish any of these suggestions on a budget, without a major remodel.
No space is perfect, but every space has potential.
You just have to find the right combination to make the room work for you!
Let me know what you think about these tips and which room you are going to try them in.
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